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December 2017 — January 2018

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018 (Jan 1, 2018)
What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Exascale Computing Project leadership shuffling? AMD’s return from the dead in the data center? Scandal at PEZY? Aurora’s stumble? Trump? There’s lots to choose from. Whether you’re thinking ‘good riddance’ or ‘stay a little longer’ about 2017 – it feels like a year where there’s not a lot in between. It’s probably ...
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Impatient with Colleges, Employers Design Their Own Courses (Jan 1, 2018)
SCOTT GORDON HAD just arrived in his job as provost of Eastern Washington University when an alumnus approached him at a meet-and-greet in the Skyline Ballroom of Spokane’s Hotel RL. The event was new, too. Called the Eagle Summit after the public university’s athletics mascot, it was meant to build enthusiasm among the school’s supporters. That has become increasingly crucial at a time when Americans’ faith in higher education is declining, governments are investing less money in it, an...
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Technique to Allow AI to Learn Words in the Flow of Dialogue Developed (Dec 31, 2017)
A group of researchers at Osaka University has developed a new method for dialogue systems*1. This new method, lexical acquisition through implicit confirmation, is a method for a computer to acquire the category of an unknown word over multiple dialogues by confirming whether or not its predictions are correct in the flow of conversation.



Sowing the Seeds of Diversity in Engineering (Dec 31, 2017)
Increasing the number of women in engineering is a problem without clear boundary conditions. Although we know that no single solution can help address the challenges women face in navigating their studies and careers, the understanding we’ve gained in recent years can point the way to seeing real change.



Memristors Power Quick-Learning Neural Network (Dec 30, 2017)
A new type of neural network made with memristors can dramatically improve the efficiency of teaching machines to think like humans. The network, called a reservoir computing system, could predict words before they are said during conversation, and help predict future outcomes based on the present. The research team that created the reservoir computing system, led by Wei Lu, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, recently published their work in N...
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Valleytronics Route Towards Reversible Computer (Dec 30, 2017)
Despite much anticipation of valleytronics being a candidate for 'beyond CMOS' technology and to continue the legacy of Moore's law, its progress is severely hindered by the lack of practical designs for a valleytronic-based information processing unit. One major challenge in valleytronic is the construction of a "valley filter." Valley filter can produce electrical current composed dominantly of electrons from only one specific "valley." It serves as a fundamental building block in valleytronic...
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5 Misconceptions About Data Science (Dec 29, 2017)
Despite the massive advantages and benefits big data, machine learning and predictive analytics have to offer, data science is still a touchy subject for businesses of all sizes. Not only are many reluctant to adopt the related systems and hardware, but when they do make the leap, they lag when it comes to properly using the information collected. Poor data across businesses, organizations and the government contribute costs of up to $3.1 trillion a yearto the U.S. economy. To make matters worse...
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Enterprises Challenged by the Many Guises of AI (Dec 29, 2017)
Artificial intelligence and machine learning, which found solid footing among the hyperscalers and is now expanding into the HPC community, are at the top of the list of new technologies that enterprises want to embrace for all kinds of reasons. But it all boils down to the same problem: Sorting through the increasing amounts of data coming into their environments and finding patterns that will help them to run their businesses more efficiently, to make better businesses decisions, and ultimatel...
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Researchers Advance User-Level Container Solution for HPC (Dec 28, 2017)
Most scientific computing facilities, such us HPC or grid infrastructures, are shared among different research disciplines, and thus the system software environment needs to be generic enough to accommodate different user and applications profiles; they are multi-user environments. Because of managerial and technical constraints, such infrastructures cannot afford offering every research project a tailored environment in their machines. Therefore the interest of exploring the applicability of co...
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Deep Learning and Automatic Differentiation from Theano to PyTorch (Dec 28, 2017)
Inquisitive minds want to know what causes the universe to expand, how M-theory binds the smallest of the small particles or how social dynamics can lead to revolutions. In recent centuries, developments in science and technology brought us closer to explore the expanding universe, discover unknown particles like bosons or find out how and why a society interacts and reacts. To explain the fascinating phenomena of nature, Natural scientists develop complex ‘mechanistic models’ of determinist...
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Blue Waters Supercomputer Processes New Data for NASA’s Terra Satellite (Dec 19, 2017)
Over the course of nearly two decades, NASA’s Terra satellite has exceeded many of its expectations from the time of its launch. Blue Waters professor at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, Larry Di Girolamo, who was in his first year of graduate school studying atmospheric sciences when Terra was conceived, has literally watched the Earth change before his very eyes with Terra.



Open Sourcing the Data Driven Revolution (Dec 19, 2017)
Open Source helped to provide promising ground for digital transformation. Not too long ago open source transformed software and now it is having an impact in larger areas of business. However, it is important to note that this generation dates back much further than the Big Data revolution that is being promoted today.



Inner Workings of Victorious AI Revealed by Researchers (Dec 18, 2017)
Libratus, an artificial intelligence that defeated four top professional poker players in no-limit Texas Hold'em earlier this year, uses a three-pronged approach to master a game with more decision points than atoms in the universe, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University report.



How Melinda Gates Used Computer Science to Help Solve This Major Issue in Tech (Dec 18, 2017)
While philanthropist Melinda Gates spends much of her time working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on ways to resolve and prevent global health crises, she has also brought attention to the lack of women and minorities in the industry where she started her professional career: technology.



Error-Free into the Quantum Computer Age (Dec 17, 2017)
A study led by physicists at Swansea University in Wales, carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.



Artificial Intelligence Helps Accelerate Progress Toward Efficient Fusion Reactions (Dec 17, 2017)
Before scientists can effectively capture and deploy fusion energy, they must learn to predict major disruptions that can halt fusion reactions and damage the walls of doughnut-shaped fusion devices called tokamaks. Timely prediction of disruptions, the sudden loss of control of the hot, charged plasma that fuels the reactions, will be vital to triggering steps to avoid or mitigate such large-scale events.



OSU Linguistics Team Using OSC to Translate Lesser-Known Languages (Dec 16, 2017)
Off the top of your head, how many languages can you name? Ten? Twenty? More? It is estimated there are more than 7,000 languages worldwide. For those involved in disaster relief efforts, the breadth and variety of that number can be overwhelming, especially when addressing areas with low resources. William Schuler, Ph.D., a linguistics professor at The Ohio State University, is part of a project called Low Resource Languages for Emergent Incidents (LORELEI), an initiative through the Defense Ad...
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A Not-Quite-Random Walk Demystifies the Algorithm (Dec 16, 2017)
The algorithm is having a cultural moment. Originally a math and computer science term, algorithms are now used to account for everything from military drone strikes and financial market forecasts to Google search results. "People outside of computer science and math have come to describe these and other phenomena as 'algorithmic,' ascribing complex matters to a single, somehow magical entity that has developed a life of its own," says Malte Ziewitz, assistant professor of science and technology...
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Top 3 Industries AI Will Disrupt in 2018 (Dec 15, 2017)
When it comes to artificial intelligence, we most often hear about the flashiest of consumer applications – such as robots or autonomous driving vehicles. But AI also has the potential to deliver practical benefits for businesses, including driving higher profit margins, improving performance rates, enhancing the customer experience, and more. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that businesses are investing big in the technology; according to McKinsey, companies invested $26B to $39B in AI i...
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Artificial Intelligence and Supercomputers to Help Alleviate Urban Traffic Problems (Dec 15, 2017)
Look above the traffic light at a busy intersection in your city and you will probably see a camera. These devices may have been installed to monitor traffic conditions and provide visuals in the case of a collision. But can they do more? Can they help planners optimize traffic flow or identify sites that are most likely to have accidents? And can they do so without requiring individuals to slog through hours of footage?



Physicists Win Supercomputing Time to Study Fusion and the Cosmos (Dec 14, 2017)
More than 210 million core hours on two of the most powerful supercomputers in the nation have been won by two teams led by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The highly competitive awards from the DOE Office of Science’s INCITE (Innovative and Novel Impact on Computational Theory and Experiment) program will accelerate the development of nuclear fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy for generating electricity and will a...
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Supercomputing How First Supernovae Altered Early Star Formation (Dec 14, 2017)
Over at LBNL, Kathy Kincade writes that cosmologists are using supercomputers to study how heavy metals expelled from exploding supernovae helped the first stars in the universe regulate subsequent star formation. In their respective efforts to understand the universe and all it comprises, there is a telling gap between what cosmologists and astrophysicists study and how they study it: scale. Cosmologists typically focus on the large-scale properties of the universe as a whole, such as galaxies ...
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Basic Element for Quantum Computer -- Stable Quantum Gate -- Created (Dec 13, 2017)
Milestone on the path to the quantum computer: Scientists of the University of Konstanz, Princeton University, and the University of Maryland develop a stable quantum gate for two-quantum bit systems made of silicon. The quantum gate is able to perform all necessary basic operations of the quantum computer. The electron spin of individual electrons in silicon is used as the basic storage unit ("quantum bits").



Female Computer Science Students Given Boost by Leading Games Company (Dec 13, 2017)
The video games industry is usually seen as a bro-ey, male-dominated one. But US games giant Bethesda – which is behind popular titles like Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, DOOM and Wolfenstein – wants this to change. It has donated US $100,000 to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation which provides scholarships to women and minority communities to study computer science or games production, “to do our part to support the next generation of game developers”.



Computer Science GCSE in Disarray After Tasks Leaked Online (Dec 11, 2017)
Exams regulator Ofqual plans to pull this chunk of the qualification from the overall marks as it has been seen by thousands of people. Ofqual said the non-exam assessment may have been leaked by teachers as well as students who had completed the task. The breach affects two year groups. The first will sit the exam in summer 2018. Last year 70,000 students were entered for computer science GCSE. A quick internet search reveals numerous posts about the the non-exam assessment, with questions and ...
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