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Laser Liftoff -- Courtesy of International Launch Services – Click to enlarge

Laser Liftoff

February 1, 2016 11:26 am | by ESA | News | Comments

The first laser node of the European Data Relay System (EDRS) lifted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan atop a Proton rocket on January 29, 2016, at 22:20 GMT. Dubbed the ‘SpaceDataHighway,’ EDRS will uniquely provide near-real-time big data relay services using cutting-edge laser technology.

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Fudan University, located in Shanghai, is one of the top universities in China.

HPC Cluster Accelerates Scientific Research for 50+ Fudan University Projects

February 1, 2016 10:52 am | by Sean Thielen | Articles | Comments

If you’ve ever been involved in configuring a high performance computing system for a broad range of scientific disciplines, then you know how difficult it can be to balance different user needs with budgetary realities. You have to consider everything from application performance for specific types of workloads, to what type of expertise will be needed for managing the system, to ongoing operating costs and much more.

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Retrieving Project Natick vessel from the ocean

Microsoft Research Project Puts Cloud in Ocean for First Time

February 1, 2016 10:05 am | by Athima Chansanchai, Microsoft | News | Comments

In 2015, starfish, octopus, crabs and other Pacific Ocean life stumbled upon a temporary addition to the seafloor, more than half a mile from the shoreline: a 38,000-pound container. But in the ocean, 10 feet by seven feet is quite small. The shrimp exploring the seafloor made more noise than the datacenter inside the container, which consumed computing power equivalent to 300 desktop PCs.

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Imagine that you have 128 soft spheres, a bit like tennis balls. You can pack them together in any number of ways. How many different arrangements are possible? The answer, referred to as 10 unquadragintilliard, is so huge that it vastly exceeds the total

How Many Ways Can You Arrange 128 Tennis Balls? Impossible Problem Solved

February 1, 2016 9:47 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

A bewildering physics problem has been solved in a study which provides a mathematical basis for understanding issues ranging from predicting formation of deserts, to making AI more efficient. A team developed a computer program that can answer this mind-bending puzzle: Imagine that you have 128 soft spheres, a bit like tennis balls. You can pack them together in any number of ways. How many different arrangements are possible?

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President Barack Obama speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Friday, January 29, 2016, during a ceremony marking the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. (AP Photo/M

Obama wants $4B to help Students Learn Computer Science

February 1, 2016 9:18 am | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama said January 30, 2016, he will ask Congress for billions of dollars to help students learn computer science skills and prepare for jobs in a changing economy. "In the new economy, computer science isn't an optional skill. It's a basic skill," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. Obama said only about one-quarter of K-12 schools offer computer science instruction.

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Miguel Camacho Collados, researcher from the Statistics and Operations Research Department (UGR), author of this work. Courtesy of Miguel Camacho Collados

New, Cheap, Fast IT System Predicts Crimes

January 29, 2016 4:26 pm | by University Of Granada | News | Comments

Scientists from the Spanish National Police Corps and from the University of Granada have developed an IT system based in mathematical algorithms that allows prediction of how many and what type of crimes are going to be committed in the next police shift. It's about using scientific methods for police patrolling, and it's the first time in history that predictive police methods are combined with a mathematical patrolling model.

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Sean Martin is Chief Technical Officer at Cambridge Semantics.

The Future of Data Lakes: Four Predictions for 2016

January 29, 2016 3:38 pm | by Sean Martin, Cambridge Semantics | Blogs | Comments

Gartner recently revealed that data lake interest is “becoming quite widespread.” In a world where organizations are confronted daily with new and different technologies, tools and platforms, data lakes offer something of an oasis: a one-stop hub that makes big data more manageable and valuable. But what will data lakes bring to the table in 2016? Here are four ways that data lakes will influence the big data landscape in the New Year...

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“One of the most intriguing aspects of this research is that we’ve found that there are indeed universal properties of correct code that you can learn from one set of applications and apply to another set of applications,” Martin Rinard says. Courtesy of

Recognizing Correct Code: Automatic Bug-repair System Fixes 10x as Many Errors

January 29, 2016 3:14 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a machine-learning system that can comb through repairs to open-source computer programs and learn their general properties, in order to produce new repairs for a different set of programs. The researchers tested their system on a set of programming errors, culled from real open-source applications, that had been compiled to evaluate automatic bug-repair systems.

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5 Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — January 22-28

5 Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — January 22-28

January 29, 2016 2:19 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

In case you missed them, here’s another chance to catch five of our most popular recent stories. An implantable neural interface provides unprecedented data-transfer between the human brain and digital world; amazing math behind primes; world’s greatest writers construct fractals; Venus flytraps employ deadly math; and a truly historic breakthrough — the first computer defeating a human Go champion — are all among the top stories.

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Opposing the sharing of data may soon find as little overt support within the research community as opposing the theory of gravity.

2016 could be the Year Medical Research Converges on Data Sharing as a Universal Standard

January 29, 2016 12:58 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

According to a series of articles published this month in PLOS Medicine, data sharing in medical research could soon become the norm. The papers represent authors from the World Health Organization, the pharmaceutical corporation GlaxoSmithKline, the US National Library of Medicine and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. In an accompanying editorial by the PLOS Medicine editors is summarized.

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Anther of a Flowering Plant -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2015 Nikon Small World Winner -- Click to enlarge

Close-up: Anther of a Flowering Plant

January 29, 2016 10:29 am | News | Comments

This 20X photograph shows the anther of a flowering plant. It was the 15th place winner in the 2015 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope and was taken using confocal microscopy.

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Randy Hice is a leading authority in the field of laboratory informatics and currently works for a global healthcare company.

Of Memory and Memories: Strange Recollections from the Rain Man

January 29, 2016 10:00 am | by Randy C. Hice | Blogs | Comments

Has it really been 20 years? In 1995, I first contributed a column to the precursor publication to Scientific Computing called Scientific Computing and Automation, entitled “New Rules for LIMS Project Justification and Implementation.” Then in 1996, I was asked to become a monthly columnist. My first “regular” column was written April 24, 1997 and was entitled “LIMS Requirements Specifications: Green Kryptonite for Scientists.”

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Lining up potential pitfalls: nonexperts and computers may misinterpret the vertical line in this image as a natural feature rather than a result of a mosaic compilation of multiple satellite images. Google Earth, CC BY-NC

In Sea of Satellite Images, Experts' Eyes Still Needed

January 29, 2016 9:15 am | by Raechel A. Bianchetti, Michigan State University | Articles | Comments

The Islamic State destroyed a sixth-century Christian monastery in Iraq in 2014, a fact confirmed last week by studying satellite images. The cultural loss is significant and is being widely lamented. Remotely sensed images can be valuable information sources for the public, such as journalists and their readership. High-resolution imagery of places in the news have been used extensively to bring world events to doorsteps of the public.

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Vortex structures occur in nature across a broad range of length scales, from galaxies and weather systems all the way down to the atomic scale of polar vortices in ferroics.

New State of Matter Holds Promise for Ultracompact Data Storage and Processing

January 28, 2016 10:50 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

The observation in a ferroelectric material of “polar vortices” that appear to be the electrical cousins of magnetic skyrmions holds intriguing possibilities for advanced electronic devices. They could find potential applications in ultracompact data storage and processing, and could also lead to the production of new states of matter and associated phenomena in ferroic materials.

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The frilly forms of corals and sponges are biological variations of hyperbolic geometry, as seen here on the Great Barrier Reef, near Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Wikimedia/Toby Hudson, CC BY-SA

Corals, Crochet and the Cosmos: How Hyperbolic Geometry Pervades the Universe

January 28, 2016 10:35 am | by Margaret Wertheim, University of Melbourne | Articles | Comments

We have built a world of largely straight lines — the houses we live in, the skyscrapers we work in and the streets we drive. Yet outside our boxes, nature teams with frilly, crenellated forms, from the fluted surfaces of lettuces and fungi to the frilled skirts of sea slugs and the gorgeous undulations of corals. These organisms are biological manifestations of what we call hyperbolic geometry, an alternative to Euclidean geometry...

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