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In this issue:
From the Director of PPA: Whither Scientific Computing at SLAC
Service Awards Dinner Celebrates Multi-decadal SLACers
Department of Energy Releases Open Government Plan

SLAC Today

Friday - April 9, 2010

From the Director of PPA: Whither Scientific Computing at SLAC

(Photo - David MacFarlane)

Last week a new Scientific Computing Applications Department, SCA, was established within the Particle Physics and Astrophysics Directorate. The new group consolidates high-energy physics scientific applications expertise from existing experimental programs within PPA with some elements of the Computing Division scientific applications group. Most of these applications, such as GEANT4, data storage and server software, and data management tools, are unique to HEP. Thus, it makes sense to manage these activities directly within PPA where close connections to present and future PPA projects can be maintained. Certainly many future challenges in the computing applications arena are already visible with the PPA program, particularly the data volume and analysis requirements for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. These challenges will continue to attract talented scientific and engineering manpower that will bolster the long-term health of the SCA Department and ultimately the laboratory as a whole.

HEP experiments have historically tended to reinvent software and data management tools for each new application. Such an approach is clearly no longer efficient, particularly in an era when software applications are designed with broadly applicable requirements. Having solved the data pipeline, data management and data monitoring needs of the Large Area Telescope for the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope mission, much of the software toolkit is now applicable to future mid-scale experiments, such as the Cold Dark Matter Search Super CDMS, the Enriched Xenon Observatory, and the Advanced Gamma-ray Imaging System. The PPA applications group is well positioned to extend existing techniques to these new projects to help define their needs and extend existing techniques or develop new ones as required for their science missions. The SCA Department also provides an effective conduit to the Computing Division and efforts in other science directorates, which should improve the overall science applications environment at the lab.  Read more...

Service Awards Dinner Celebrates
Multi-decadal SLACers

(Photo - Service Awards Dinner)
(Photo by Brad Plummer.)

Seventy-three awardees with 20, 30, 40 and 50 years of service to SLAC were honored with a festive dinner at the Stanford Faculty Club on March 30. Human Resources Director Larry Young, served as master of ceremonies. SLAC Director Persis Drell recognized Professor Emeritus Roger H. Miller for his 50 years of outstanding, energetic and enthusiastic service to SLAC, and his major scientific contributions to important lab projects. In addition, 54 employees received recognition for 20 years of service, nine employees celebrated 30 years of service and nine more, 40 years of service. Linac Coherent Light Source Strategic Projects Director John Galayda was the featured speaker, giving an entertaining presentation of the history of SLAC and the LCLS project. Musical entertainment was provided by Leonard's Jazz Duo.

For more photos of the event, see the Human Resources Department's awards dinner photo page.

Department of Energy Releases Open Government Plan

The U.S. Department of Energy today released its Open Government Plan highlighting DOE initiatives to maintain and increase transparency, increase participation between the Department, its program offices, sites and the American public, and increase collaborative efforts between the Department and its stakeholders.

"We are strongly committed to making government work better for the American people," said Secretary Chu. "Through transparency and openness, we will provide better service to the public, give citizens a better understanding of how the Department works, and create new opportunities for people to engage the Department on issues that matter to them."  Read more from the DOE...

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