President Obama today named Warren Washington, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), as one of 10 eminent researchers to be awarded the National Medal of Science. The recipients of the science medal and of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation will receive their awards-the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists, engineers, and inventors-at a White House ceremony later this year.

"The extraordinary accomplishments of these scientists, engineers, and inventors are a testament to American industry and ingenuity," President Obama said. "Their achievements have redrawn the frontiers of human knowledge while enhancing American prosperity, and it is my tremendous pleasure to honor them for their important contributions."

"We are delighted that Warren's many years of dedicated research in climate science are being recognized with this extraordinary honor," said Roger Wakimoto, NCAR director. "His scientific leadership, innate diplomacy, as well as the mentorship to future generations of scientists have deeply and profoundly impacted our field."

Richard Anthes, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages NCAR, added: "It is a well-deserved honor for Warren as well as the atmospheric sciences, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the UCAR and NCAR community.  Warren is a wonderful scientist who has been at the forefront of climate modeling for 40 years.  Even more importantly, he is a kind and generous person."

Washington is an internationally recognized expert on atmospheric science and climate research and a pioneer in using computer models, which employ fundamental laws of physics to predict future states of the atmosphere, to study Earth's climate. He has served as a science advisor to former presidents Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush, published almost 200 papers in professional journals, and garnered dozens of national and international awards. He also served on the National Science Board for 12 years and was its chair for 2002 to 2006.

Washington became one of the first developers of groundbreaking atmospheric computer models in collaboration with his colleague, Akira Kasahara, when he came to NCAR in the early 1960s. With support from NSF and the Department of Energy, Washington subsequently worked to incorporate the oceans and sea ice into climate models. Such models were used extensively in the 2007 assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for which Washington and a number of scientists at NCAR and around the world shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

"I am very pleased to receive this honor, which recognizes not only my work but that of my many colleagues whom I've had the pleasure of working with for more than 45 years," Washington said. "Akira Kasahara and Jerry Meehl, at NCAR, contributed significantly to the development of computer climate models, and support from NSF and the Department of Energy enabled us to make research advancements that I hope will contribute to mankind's ability to sustain this planet." 

As the second African-American to earn a doctorate in the atmospheric sciences, Washington has served as a role model for generations of young researchers from many backgrounds, mentoring numerous undergraduate and graduate students. In 1999, Washington won the Dr. Charles Anderson Award from the American Meteorological Society "for pioneering efforts as a mentor and passionate support of individuals, educational programs, and outreach initiatives designed to foster a diverse population of atmospheric scientists."

Washington was born and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He became interested in science in grade school, going on to earn a bachelor's degree in physics and master's degree in meteorology from Oregon State University, and then a doctorate in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University. In 1963, he joined NCAR as a research scientist.

-----National Medal of Science-----

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Nominees are selected by a committee of presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in, and contributions to, the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences, as well as chemistry, engineering, computing, and mathematics.

This year's recipients are:

Yakir Aharonov, Chapman University, CA

Stephen J. Benkovic, Pennsylvania State University, PA

Esther M. Conwell, University of Rochester, NY

Marye Anne Fox, University of California, San Diego, CA

Susan L. Lindquist, Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, MA

Mortimer Mishkin, National Institutes of Health, MD

David B. Mumford, Brown University, RI

Stanley B. Prusiner, University of California, San Francisco, CA

Warren M. Washington, National Center for Atmospheric
Research, CO

Amnon Yariv, California Institute of Technology, CA

The 2009 national meeting of the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) combined with the 5th BELIEF (Bringing European eLectronic e-Infrastructures to Expanding Frontiers) Symposium, takes place from 7 to 9 December 2009 at the Sandton Convention Centre. Some 270 local and international delegates have registered for this event.

This year the CHPC and the South African National Research Network (SANReN) have made significant progress in the ongoing efforts to establish and enhance usage of South Africas national cyber infrastructure. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) funds both initiatives, which will soon be complemented by the Very Large Datasets initiative.

The SUN Microsystems hybrid supercomputer at the CHPC has recently made it onto the TOP500 list of supercomputers globally. Launched in September 2009, it is now the fastest supercomputer in Africa. The CHPC boasts significant supercomputing resources for the local and African research communities. Since the launch of its operation, the CHPC has achieved significant milestones, most notably the completion of its first round of flagship projects. Flagship projects are a mechanism to drive pockets of collaborative research requiring significant computational resources on problems of relevance to South Africa and have a strong human capital development.

The DST and SANReN recently announced the completion of the national backbone networking ahead of schedule. The national backbone interconnects the metros of Tshwane, Johannesburg, Mangaung, Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay and eThekwini on a 10-gigabits-per-second fibre-optic ring network and supports projects of national importance. The Tertiary Education Network has acquired international bandwidth from Seacom which can now be distributed via the SANReN national backbone network. This development bodes well for South Africas ability to tackle bandwidth-hungry projects such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), as well as for collaboration with international partners.

This year the 5th BELIEF symposium has been collocated with the 2009 CHPC national meeting. The CSIR Meraka Institute is part of the BELIEF-II consortium, funded by the Capacities Programme which is part of the European Unions Framework Programme 7. This will allow valuable insights into the trends and visions of the evolving e-Infrastructures ecosystem in South Africa and Europe by providing a co-operation platform to promote knowledge sharing between business, research, government and academic communities.

Speakers at the event have been drawn from the local and international research communities. These include C. Schoultz, Director: Character Matters who will speak on impact of cyber infrastructure on the South African animation industry and J. Jonas, Associate Director: Science & Engineering SKA South Africa, whose topic is entitled Dataflow in Radio Telescopes: the Square Kilometre Array and MeerKAT.

A selection of overseas speakers includes Dr C. McIntyre, Senior Vice President, Strategic Operations and High Performance Computing Initiative, Council for Competitiveness (US); Professor Yannis Ioannidis, Professor at the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the University of Athens and Dr Hermann Lederer, Deputy Director of the Garching Computing Centre (RZG) of the Max Planck Society.

Proceedings at the event will be shared with interested parties in Europe via video conferencing.

Providing Expertise and Equipment Demonstrate Force10’s Commitment to Better Understand Technology Issues Concerning Computer Security

 

Force10 Networks has announced that it recently provided the networking infrastructure, including an E-Series core switch/router, C-Series resilient switch/router and an S-Series switch as well as engineering expertise, to the recent 26th Chaos Communication Congress (26C3) in Berlin, Germany. The annual four-day conference, organized by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), offered lectures, workshops, project presentations and other activities to more than 3,000 attendees and some 9,000 remote participants.

“Since 1984, the Chaos Communication Congress has served as the pre-eminent destination for hackers in Europe to exchange ideas and work on projects that help them better understand issues related to computer technologies, security, society and networking,” said Elisa Jasinska, CCC. “We are glad Force10 provided us with high performance network equipment and valuable technical support so we were able to keep the activities operating smoothly throughout the conference.”

In addition to the lectures and workshops, the 26C3 conference featured a hack center, which is considered a huge laboratory for technological research in a wide range of fields, including operating and testing network hardware and software. Drawing from a long-term successful cooperation between the CCC and Force10, the CCC selected the Force10 E600 as a single core switch and the C300 and S50 solutions in the distribution layer and implemented them to anchor the network infrastructure for the conference and the hack center activities.

“As a technology-driven organization, Force10 strongly supports the primary mission of the 26C3 conference, which is to cultivate and share knowledge with concern to computer and network technologies and security,” said Marc Bruyere, Senior Customer Support Engineer, Force10 Networks. “Because we take this effort very seriously, we were excited to provide resources in equipment and expertise to best support the CCC and the work being done during the conference.”

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have announced that work on the national backbone network of the South African National Research Network (SANReN) has been completed ahead of schedule.

SANReN forms a crucial part of the national cyber infrastructure initiative funded by the DST. As part of this national cyber infrastructure, SANReN’s powerful network capabilities support projects of national importance.

The CSIR’s Meraka Institute is responsible for the implementation of the DST’s cyber infrastructure initiative which, in addition to SANReN, comprises the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and the proposed very large datasets data storage initiative.

The CSIR contracted Telkom for the installation of the national backbone network in July 2009.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor says, “The completion of the national backbone network is an important milestone. The network will greatly reduce the cost of bandwidth for all research and higher education institutions in the country. For the first time, South African researchers will have world class networking enabling them to collaborate nationally and with their international peers. This positions South Africa internationally as a player in global science efforts. It also makes it possible to harness South Africa’s full research and development capacity to address national priority issues, including health, food security and understanding and mitigating the effect of climate change.”

“Bandwidth abundance resulting from SANReN’s networking of universities will shape the growth and development of a new generation of students whose knowledge and skills will contribute to the goal of creating an inclusive information society, enabling socio-economic benefits through information and communications technology and broadband specifically. In turn these advances on the scientific front will contribute to the competitiveness of local industry through the scientific breakthroughs achieved and through the establishment of a world-class national cyber infrastructure.”

The Director-General of the DST, Dr Phil Mjwara, says, “The broadband connectivity provided by SANReN will allow reciprocal participation between South Africa and international research institutions. It will give the global research community access to facilities such as the Southern African Large Telescope and the Karoo Array Telescope (also known as MeerKAT), and allow South Africa to participate in international projects with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, among others. This milestone will further demonstrate South Africa’s readiness to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, for which the country is currently bidding.”

“We have entered a new era in research networking made possible by the vision and funding of the DST. Unlocking its potential will undoubtedly benefit South Africa’s research community as our researchers are now able to engage in meaningful online collaboration with peers locally and abroad,” says CSIR President and CEO, Dr Sibusiso Sibisi.

“We would like to commend Telkom for the work done on the SANReN national backbone and for delivering well within the agreed deadline.”

Says Godfrey Ntoele, Telkom's Managing Executive for Medium and Large Business Services, “Telkom, the CSIR and the Meraka Institute are satisfied with the pace at which we are jointly proceeding with the SANReN project. We are happy that all elements are on track and Telkom remains committed to delivering on all aspects of this initiative so that the national agenda of attaining high technology connectivity at our academic institutions is realised in order to promote skills development in our country.”

The national backbone now interconnects the metros of Tshwane, Johannesburg, Mangaung, Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay and eThekwini on a ten gigabites per second fibre optic ring network.

The tertiary education network has acquired international bandwidth from Seacom which can now be distributed via the SANReN national backbone network. Seacom is a 1,28 terabytes per second, 17 000km long submarine fibre optic cable system linking southern and East Africa to global networks via India and Europe. This development bodes well for South Africa’s ability to tackle bandwidth hungry projects such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

The first phase of SANReN will connect 50 higher education and research institutions to the network and in the longer term SANReN aims to connect all research and higher education institutions in the country.

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