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August 2017 — September 2017

ALCF Simulations Aim to Reduce Jet Engine Noise (Sep 23, 2017)
Humans make a lot of noise. The riffs of heavy metal bands like Metallica and Kiss have soared to levels in the 130-decibel range, levels sure to lead to auditory damage. But try as they might, bands just can’t compete with the decibel ranges produced by jet engines. They are, said Joe Nichols, among the loudest sources of human-made noise that exist. An assistant professor of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota, Nichols is fascinated by sound and its ability to ...
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New HPC for Materials Program to Help American Industry (Sep 23, 2017)
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced a new high-performance computing initiative that will help U.S. industry accelerate the development of new or improved materials for use in severe environments. The HPC4Mtls initiative will initially focus on challenges facing industry as they work to develop new or improved materials that can sustain extreme conditions—including extreme pressure, radiation, and temperature, corrosion, chemical environment, vibration, fatigue, or...
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World's First 'Molecular Robot' Capable of Building Molecules (Sep 22, 2017)
Scientists at The University of Manchester have created the world's first 'molecular robot' that is capable of performing basic tasks including building other molecules. The tiny robots, which are a millionth of a millimeter in size, can be programmed to move and build molecular cargo, using a tiny robotic arm.

New Technique Accurately Digitizes Transparent Objects (Sep 22, 2017)
A new imaging technique makes it possible to precisely digitize clear objects and their surroundings, an achievement that has eluded current state-of-the-art 3D rendering methods. The ability to create detailed, 3D digital versions of real-world objects and scenes can be useful for movie production, creating virtual reality experiences, improving design or quality assurance in the production of clear products and even for preserving rare or culturally significant objects.

Computer Science Degrees Don’t Always Result in Hefty Pay Bumps, But That Doesn’t Make Them Pointless (Sep 21, 2017)
Data released by Stack Overflow earlier this morning suggests that obtaining a computer science degree only translates into a modest pay bump. Stack Overflow’s 2017 Developer Ecosystem report shows those with Computer Science degrees only earn £3,000 more per annum compared to those without. On average, developers without a university education reported earning £35,000 ($47,500) yearly. Those with a bachelors degree reported yearly average earnings of £38,000 ($51,500). For context, tuition...
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Tech Companies Woo Female Computer Science Majors at an Awkward Time (Sep 21, 2017)
Devshi Mehrotra couldn’t speak highly enough of her three-month internship with Google’s artificial intelligence project, Google Brain, this summer. “Oh, it was so great,” says Mehrotra, a 19-year-old computer-science major at the University of Chicago. “It was this program tailored to people with my background — women, people of color— and it was an environment that really pushed me to work as hard as I possibly could.”

Brain Composer: 'Thinking' Melodies onto a Musical Score (Sep 16, 2017)
Brain-computer interfaces, known as BCI, can replace bodily functions to a certain degree. Thanks to BCI, physically impaired persons can control special prostheses through the power of their minds, surf in internet and write emails.

Researchers Develop Spectroscopic 'Science Camera' System for Smartphones (Sep 16, 2017)
The latest versions of most smartphones contain at least two and sometimes three built-in cameras. Researchers at the University of Illinois would like to sell mobile device manufactures on the idea of adding yet another image sensor as a built-in capability for health diagnostic, environmental monitoring, and general-purpose color sensing applications.

The Myths and Realities of Studying Computer Science (Sep 15, 2017)
On nights that Kshetrapal Singh, 17, worked his part-time job as a night watchman, he dreamed of computer science. "Of everything taught in school, the only subject that can get me a proper job is computers," said Kshetrapal, a student in class 12 at Sangam Vihar's Government Boys Senior Secondary School, known locally as the pahadi school. "And that's the one thing they aren't teaching me."

Machine & Deep Learning: Practical Deployments and Best Practices for the Next Two Years (Sep 15, 2017)
In this video from the HPC User Forum in Milwaukee, Arno Kolster from Providentia Worldwide presents: Machine & Deep Learning: Practical Deployments and Best Practices for the Next Two Years.

Connecting Up the Quantum Internet (Sep 14, 2017)
Major leap for practical building blocks of a quantum internet: New research demonstrates how to dramatically improve the storage time of a telecom-compatible quantum memory, a vital component of a global quantum network. The technology operates in the same 1550 nanometer band as today's telecommunications infrastructure. It can also be operated as a quantum light source or used as an optical link for solid-state quantum computing devices such as superconducting qubits and silicon qubits.

New Approach to Simulate Chemistry with Quantum Computing (Sep 14, 2017)
IBM scientists have developed a new approach to simulate molecules on a quantum computer that may one day help revolutionize chemistry and materials science. The scientists successfully used a seven-qubit quantum processor to address the molecular structure problem for beryllium hydride (BeH2) – the largest molecule simulated on a quantum computer to date. The results demonstrate a path of exploration for near-term quantum systems to enhance our understanding of complex chemical reactions that...
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Is Learning 'How To Code' Still Worth It For Millennials? (Sep 11, 2017)
I’m starting up to solve a problem I care deeply about…. Should I learn how to code to build out a prototype? Should I outsource development initially? Should I study computer science? These are questions that every first-time entrepreneur asks. Back in 2014, my vehement answer in an article called “Should We Require Computer Science Classes?” was to learn computer science or at least be able to program yourself.

How Neural Networks Think (Sep 11, 2017)
Artificial-intelligence research has been transformed by machine-learning systems called neural networks, which learn how to perform tasks by analyzing huge volumes of training data. During training, a neural net continually readjusts thousands of internal parameters until it can reliably perform some task, such as identifying objects in digital images or translating text from one language to another. But on their own, the final values of those parameters say very little about how the neural net...
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Machine Learning Shows Promise for Earthquake Prediction (Sep 9, 2017)
By listening to the acoustic signal emitted by a laboratory-created earthquake, a computer science approach using machine learning can predict the time remaining before the fault fails. “At any given instant, the noise coming from the lab fault zone provides quantitative information on when the fault will slip,” said Paul Johnson, a Los Alamos National Laboratory fellow and lead investigator on the research, which was published today in Geophysical Research Letters.

Recipients of George Michael Memorial High Performance Computing Fellowships Announced (Sep 9, 2017)
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) jointly announced today that Shaden Smith of the University of Minnesota and Yang You of the University of California, Berkeley are the recipients of the 2017 ACM/IEEE-CS George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowships. Smith is being recognized for his work on efficient and parallel large-scale sparse tensor factorization for machine learning applications. You is being recognized for his work on designing accurate, fa...
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Low-Cost Wearables Manufactured by Hybrid 3-D Printing (Sep 8, 2017)
Human skin must flex and stretch to accommodate the body's every move. Anything worn tight on the body must also be able to flex around muscles and joints, which helps explain why synthetic fabrics like spandex are popular in active wear. Wearable electronic devices that aim to track and measure the body's movements must possess similar properties, yet integrating rigid electrical components on or within skin-mimicking matrix materials has proven to be challenging. Such components cannot stretch...
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What James Damore Got Wrong About Gender Bias in Computer Science (Sep 8, 2017)
In August Google employee James Damore made the news and even Wikipedia by publishing his speculation that female software engineers are underrepresented due to inherent biological differences. Although he admitted that implicit bias and explicit bias may exist, Damore wrote, “I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in ...
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Robot Learns to Follow Orders Like Alexa (Sep 7, 2017)
Despite what you might see in movies, today's robots are still very limited in what they can do. They can be great for many repetitive tasks, but their inability to understand the nuances of human language makes them mostly useless for more complicated requests. For example, if you put a specific tool in a toolbox and ask a robot to "pick it up," it would be completely lost.

Most TV Computer Scientists Are Still White Men. Google Wants to Change That. (Sep 7, 2017)
Google is calling on Hollywood to give equal screen time to women and minorities after a new study the Internet giant funded found that most computer scientists on television shows and in the movies are played by white men. The problem with the hackneyed stereotype of the socially inept, hoodie-clad white male coder? It does not inspire underrepresented groups to pursue careers in computer science, says Daraiha Greene, Google CS in Media program manager, multicultural strategy.

Unlocking Wind’s Potential: Supercomputing’s Grand Challenge (Sep 4, 2017)
A report released last week by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) — “Enabling the SMART Wind Power Plant of the Future Through Science-Based Innovation“– asserts that supercomputing-led scientific advances could cut the unsubsidized cost of wind energy in half by the year 2030. With science and computing driving plant-level innovations, wind could supply the United States with 20 percent of its energy needs by 2030 and nearly half of its total energy needs by 2050, a...
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The Scientific Community is Mobilizing to Save Research Hit by Harvey (Sep 1, 2017)
Houston is home to over two million people, some 30,000 of which will be left homeless in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. It’s also home to multiple major research institutions, many of which took heavy hits from the storm. Houston scientists study everything from cardiovascular disease to the movements of the planets, and after checking in on family and friends, some also checked in on their labs—where water-damaged equipment, floods, and power outages mean losing ground on critical expe...
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Computer Science Ranked Highest Paying Field of Study in the US (Sep 1, 2017)
Computer science is the highest paying field of study in the United States, with a median total compensation of $92,300, according to LinkedIn’s new 2017 U.S. State of Salary Report. The report is based on salary data from over two million LinkedIn members. Close to half of the highest paid fields are STEM-based. Tech positions also ranked among the highest-paying entry and mid-level jobs. Ranked fifth was user experience designer at a median total compensation of $72,000. Associate Software E...
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ALICE Experiment Searches for Signal of Big Bang (Aug 31, 2017)
The world’s most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), began running at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in 2009. The LHC spends most of its time studying the puzzles of high-energy physics. But for one month a year, it, like the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, studies the nuclear physics of the early universe by colliding heavy, charged nuclei (ions)...
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NASA Supercomputing Strategy Takes The Road Less Traveled (Aug 31, 2017)
For a large institution playing at the leadership-class supercomputing level, NASA tends to do things a little differently than its national lab and academic peers. One of the most striking differences between how the space agency views its supercomputing future can be found at the facilities level. Instead of building massive brick and mortar datacenters within a new or existing complex, NASA has taken the modular route, beginning with its Electra supercomputer and in the near future, with a 30...
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