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Are you a Tau-ist? Pi Day is Under Attack

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — June 19-25

June 26, 2015 12:41 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

As we entered our first week of summer, the week’s biggest hits included a strong bent toward several “lighter” mathematical topics: learning how math drives Formula 1 and launches Angry Birds, inspiring young minds at MoMATH, and Pi Day under attack. You also won’t want to miss molecules exhibiting strange, exotic states, hot lava flows on Venus, and some of the coolest experimental technology showcased at this year’s Paris Air Show.

What your Clothes may say about You

June 25, 2015 9:44 am | by University of Pittsburgh | News | Comments

Moving closer to the possibility of "materials that compute" and wearing your computer on your...

Centimeter-long Origami Robot Climbs Inclines, Swims, Carries Loads Twice its Weight

June 25, 2015 8:46 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

At the recent International Conference on Robotics and Automation, researchers presented a...

Jill Hruby will be First Woman to Lead National Security Lab

June 25, 2015 8:34 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Jill Hruby was named the next president and director of Sandia National Laboratories, the...

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From his hospital bed, a disabled patient is capable of controlling a telepresence robot and interacting with people he meets over Skype. Courtesy of Alain Herzog / EPFL

Quadriplegics Pilot Telepresence Robot Remotely with Thoughts

June 24, 2015 2:15 pm | by EPFL | News | Comments

For someone suffering from paralysis or limited mobility, visiting with other people is extremely difficult. Researchers have been working on a revolutionary brain-machine approach to restore a sense of independence to the disabled. The idea is to remotely control a robot from home with one's thoughts. The research, involving numerous subjects located in different countries, produced excellent results in both human and technical terms.

LISA Pathfinder Electrode Housing Box -- Courtesy of CGS SpA -- Click to enlarge

Best Free-fall Ever: LISA Pathfinder Electrode Housing Box

June 24, 2015 1:56 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

This photo, suggestive of an old-fashioned lift cage, shows a much smaller enclosure: an electrode housing box that will fly on ESA’s LISA Pathfinder mission. The inside measures 5.5 centimeters on each side. The mission is a technology demonstrator that will pave the way for future space-based observatories measuring gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space-time predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

This graphic representation shows how three active sources cloak an incoming circular wave (like ripples from a stone dropped in water), creating a quiet zone for the object to be cloaked. This is just for one frequency. Courtesy of Fernando Guevara Vasqu

Mathematicians Play Key Role in Developing Multi-Frequency Cloaking

June 23, 2015 9:47 am | by NSF | News | Comments

The idea of cloaking and rendering something invisible hit the small screen in 1966 when a Romulan Bird of Prey made an unseen, surprise attack on the Starship Enterprise. Not only did it make for a good storyline, it inspired budding scientists, offering a window of technology's potential. Today, pop culture has embraced the idea of hiding behind force fields, and mathematicians are looking at transforming science fiction into science.

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Researchers used high-resolution microscopy to examine owl feathers in fine detail. They observed that the flight feathers on an owl’s wing have a downy covering, which resembles a forest canopy when viewed from above. In addition to this fluffy canopy, o

How Owls could help make Computer Fans Quieter

June 20, 2015 9:46 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

A newly-designed material, which mimics the wing structure of owls, could help make wind turbines, computer fans and even planes much quieter. Early wind tunnel tests of the coating have shown a substantial reduction in noise without any noticeable effect on aerodynamics.

Planes you can park in your garage. Satellites that fit in your backpack.  Some of the coolest experimental technology showcased at this year’s Paris Air Show is about thinking small — though it's easy to get distracted by the huge aircraft performing ove

Hits at Paris Air Show: Vertical Lift-off, Tiny Satellites

June 20, 2015 9:18 am | by Maggy Donaldson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Planes you can park in your garage. Satellites that fit in your backpack. Some of the coolest experimental technology showcased at this year’s Paris Air Show is about thinking small — though it's easy to get distracted by the huge aircraft performing overhead, from thundering fighter jets to the surprising near-vertical liftoff of a Boeing passenger jet. These innovative ideas may change the way we travel, wage wars or explore space.

This artist impression shows Rosetta’s lander Philae (front view) on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The comet lander Philae has awakened from a seven-month hibernation and managed to communicate with Earth for more than a minute, the Euro

Philae Spacecraft Finally Wakes Up after Seven Long Months of Silence

June 15, 2015 12:50 pm | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

To scientists' relief and delight, the Philae spacecraft that landed on a comet last fall has woken up and communicated with Earth after seven long months of silence, ESA announced June 14, 2015. Philae became the first spacecraft to settle on a comet when it touched down on icy 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November. But the solar-powered probe came down with a bounce and ended up in the shadow of a cliff instead of in direct sunlight.

This November 14, 1969, photo shows Jack King in the Firing Room of the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Control Center in Cape Canaveral during the countdown for Apollo 12, the second lunar landing mission. King, the NASA public affairs official who counted

Voice of Apollo 11 Moon Shot, Jack King, Dies

June 12, 2015 4:29 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

Jack King, a NASA public affairs official who became the voice of the Apollo moon shots, has died. He was 84. King counted down the historic launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. He also did the countdown for hundreds of the early rocket launches, including the two-man Gemini missions and many other Apollo missions.

Computer Vision Breakthrough: Merlin taps Powerful AI to ID Birds from Photos

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — June 5-11

June 12, 2015 3:39 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

In case you missed it, here's another chance to catch this week's biggest hits. Software and “Moore’s Drumbeat,” CFD scalability at 64,000 cores, experiencing “Pluto Time,” the first LightSail images, why legendary racer John McGuinness is so fast, whether RAID is dead or alive, a computer operating on water droplets, and a breakthrough for computer vision are among the latest top stories.

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LightSail captured this image of its deployed solar sails in Earth orbit on June 8, 2015. The Planetary Society

LightSail Test Mission Declared Success, First Image Complete

June 10, 2015 2:03 pm | by Jason Davis, The Planetary Society | News | Comments

The Planetary Society’s LightSail test mission successfully completed its primary objective of deploying a solar sail in low-Earth orbit, mission managers said on June 9, 2015. During a ground station pass over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the final pieces of an image showcasing LightSail’s deployed solar sails were received on Earth. The image confirms the sails have unfurled, which was the final milestone of a shakedown mission.

Scanning electron microscope images of single crystal structures fabricated using template-assisted selective epitaxy. For better visibility, the silicon is colored in green, and the compound semiconductor in red. Courtesy of H. Schmid/IBM

Futuristic Components on Silicon Chips, Fabricated Successfully

June 9, 2015 9:44 am | by Jason Bardi, American Institute of Physics (AIP) | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a relatively simple, robust and versatile process for growing crystals made from compound semiconductor materials that will allow them be integrated onto silicon wafers — an important step toward making future computer chips that will allow integrated circuits to continue shrinking in size and cost even as they increase in performance. The work may allow an extension to Moore's Law.

Soyuz TMA-15M Spacecraft – courtesy of ESA/NASA – click to enlarge

Soyuz TMA-15M Spacecraft to Head Home this Week

June 9, 2015 8:52 am | by ESA | News | Comments

Soyuz TMA-15M launched successfully aboard a Soyuz-FG rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan November 23, 2014. The spacecraft reached low Earth orbit approximately nine minutes after lift-off. After executing rendezvous maneuvers, it docked with the International Space Station on November 24. Soyuz TMA-15M has remained docked to the ISS, serving as an emergency escape vehicle and  waiting for its return flight to Earth.

Quieter, greener supersonic travel is the focus of eight studies selected by NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project to receive more than $2.3 million in funding for research that may help overcome the remaining barriers to commercial supersonic f

Future of Aviation: NASA funds Supersonic Research Projects

June 5, 2015 4:25 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Quieter, greener supersonic travel is the focus of eight studies selected by NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project to receive more than $2.3 million in funding for research that may help overcome the remaining barriers to commercial supersonic flight. The research, which will be conducted by universities and industry, will address sonic booms and high-altitude emissions from supersonic jets.

Intelligent Light, in collaboration with scalable solver developers at Georgia Tech and HPC experts at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has announced that it is achieving breakthrough CFD scalability running the AVF-Leslie combustion simulation code

Researchers Achieve Breakthrough CFD Scalability at 64,000 Cores

June 5, 2015 4:00 pm | by Intelligent Light | News | Comments

Intelligent Light, in collaboration with scalable solver developers at Georgia Tech and HPC experts at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has announced that it is achieving breakthrough CFD scalability running the AVF-Leslie combustion simulation code on up to 64,000 cores on supercomputers at the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.

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Earthquakes Reveal Deep Secrets beneath East Asia

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — May 29-June 4

June 5, 2015 3:23 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

Here they are — the top most-visited stories from the past week. A 10-engine battery-powered plane that can take off like a helicopter, fascinating facts about USB OTG, a flexible computing prototype for electronic skin, a detailed look at the "Prostate Cancer Jungle," free Windows 10 upgrades, and an experiment that proves reality does not exist — at least until it is measured — are all among the top hits.

The North launched its first and only satellite in 2012. The claim that it is working on another, made in an interview last week with an AP Television crew in Pyongyang, comes amid a flurry of attention to the country's fledgling space agency,

North Korea Developing New Satellite, Defends Space Program

June 4, 2015 3:33 pm | by Eric Talmadge, Associated Press | News | Comments

North Korean space agency officials say the country is developing a more advanced Earth observation satellite and are defending their right to conduct rocket launches whenever they see fit, despite protests that the launches are aimed primarily at honing military technologies. The North launched its first and only satellite in 2012. The claim  it is working on another comes amid a flurry of attention to its fledgling space agency.

Astronaut Bruce McCandless II, STS 41-B mission specialist, participates in the first use of a nitrogen-propelled, hand-controlled device called the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), which allows for much greater mobility than that afforded previous space wa

NASA Celebrates 50 Years of Spacewalks

June 2, 2015 2:20 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

This month, NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of NASA astronaut Ed White's first successful spacewalk through a number of commemorative features on NASA Television and NASA.gov, including a documentary narrated by actor and fan of space exploration Jon Cryer that looks at the history and future of humans “suiting up” and working on a tether in space.

ALICE is made up of several screening instruments. The experiment is important because, in the universe, natural phenomena occur that can not yet be explained, and the cosmic ray detector makes it possible to know these phenomena and study them with physi

Scientists Develop Cosmic Ray Detector for LHC

June 1, 2015 12:39 pm | by Investigación y Desarrollo | News | Comments

Scientists have a special interest in understanding the origin of life, and one of the major projects to achieve this is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Built by a range of researchers of different nationalities, it also has the support of Mexico, as a multidisciplinary team created ACORDE, the first Mexican cosmic ray detector. ACORDE was designed by tUNAM, CINVESTAV, the Autonomous University of Sinaloa and BUAP.

NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate and astronaut John Grunsfeld (center) is inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 30, 2015 at the NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Shaking Grunsfeld's hand i

Four NASA Heroes Inducted into Astronaut Hall of Fame

June 1, 2015 12:21 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate John Grunsfeld and former astronauts Steve Lindsey, Kent Rominger and M. Rhea Seddon were inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 30, bringing the total number of Hall of Fame space explorers to 91. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a 2006 hall-of-famer, and 2008 inductee Bob Cabana, director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, presided over the ceremony.

Baxter, a versatile robot that is designed to work in industry alongside people, is one of about 40 robots featured in Robot Revolution.

Robot Revolution Explores Visionary World through Cutting-edge Robots

May 29, 2015 9:44 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

“They’re here … to help and improve our lives,” The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago announces on its Web site. MSI is hosting a new national touring exhibit, Robot Revolution, which explores how robots, created by human ingenuity, will ultimately be our companions and colleagues, changing how we play, live and work together. It allows guests to step into a visionary world where robots are not just a curiosity, but a vital asset.

And the winner is… ‘Colouring water’ -- Courtesy of M.A. Richardson – click to enlarge

And the Winner is… Colouring Water

May 27, 2015 2:26 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

‘Colouring Water’ — a photograph by Michael Angelo Richardson from the Netherlands — has won the top prize in the Sentinel-2 Colour Vision photo competition. Richardson will receive a trip to the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), the European Space Agency (ESA)’s operations center in Darmstadt, Germany, as a guest at the VIP event on the night of the Sentinel-2A launch. The satellite is scheduled for liftoff on a Vega rocket...

What if handheld tools know what needs to be done and were even able to guide and help inexperienced users to complete jobs that require skill? Researchers have developed and started studying a novel concept in robotics - intelligent handheld robots.

Intelligent Handheld Robots Have the Skills

May 26, 2015 3:52 pm | by University of Bristol | News | Comments

What if handheld tools know what needs to be done and were even able to guide and help inexperienced users to complete jobs that require skill? Researchers have developed and started studying a novel concept in robotics - intelligent handheld robots.

Novel full-duplex transceiver in the anechoic chamber Courtesy of Sam Duckerin

New Technology could Fundamentally Change Future Wireless Communications

May 20, 2015 2:06 pm | by University of Bristo | News | Comments

Radio systems, such as mobile phones and wireless Internet connections, have become an integral part of modern life. However, today’s devices use twice as much of the radio spectrum as is necessary. New technology is being developed that could fundamentally change radio design and could increase data rates and network capacity, reduce power consumption, create cheaper devices and enable global roaming.

oward 'green' paper-thin, flexible electronics

Journey to Space in a Vacuum Chamber

May 20, 2015 9:07 am | by NASA | News | Comments

When you need to test hardware designed to operate in the vast reaches of space, you start in a vacuum chamber. NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland has many of them, but Vacuum Chamber 5 (VF-5) is special. Supporting the testing of electric propulsion and power systems, VF-5 has the highest pumping speed of any electric propulsion test facility in the world, which is important in maintaining a continuous space-like environment.

Now, engineers and physicists at the University of Pennsylvania have shown how liquid crystals can be employed to create compound lenses similar to those found in nature. Taking advantage of the geometry in which these liquid crystals like to arrange them

Liquid-crystal-based Compound Lenses work like Insect Eyes

May 19, 2015 5:01 pm | by University of Pennsylvania | News | Comments

Compound eyes found in insects and some sea creatures are marvels of evolution. There, thousands of lenses work together to provide sophisticated information without the need for a sophisticated brain. Human artifice can only begin to approximate these naturally self-assembled structures. Taking advantage of the geometry in which liquid crystals like to arrange themselves, researchers can grow compound lenses with controllable sizes.

Autonomous Car Prototype Folds, Shrinks, Drives Sideways

Recap: The Week's Top Stories — May 8-14

May 15, 2015 2:34 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

In case you missed it, here's another chance to catch this week's biggest hits. Writing like a genius; the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity; imaging fascinating, wild and unpredictable thunder; a car prototype that folds, shrinks and drives sideways; a high-efficiency laser system to remove space debris from orbit; and more are among the latest top stories.

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