April ’07 Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends of CITRIS,

am just back from Taiwan, where we held the second CITRIS-Asia Research
Symposium at the National Taiwan University in Taipei. I’m pleased to
report that our Pan-Pacific relationships continue to flourish and
grow, and that the application of innovative technologies to the
service of society is a mission that resonates as well with the
scientific community in Asia as it does here.

power of technology to bridge gaps and bring people together is clearly
reflected in the story below about Noor, a project that bridges
centuries as well as continents. Visiting Fellow Steve Beck and his
colleagues on Noor are working to expose the mathematical and
geometrical principles underlying the famous mosaic tile patterns that
grace mosques and palaces throughout the Islamic world. The work
reflects the power of technology and art, thoughtfully applied, to
bridge important cultural gaps by revealing shared values of truth and

Also in this issue of the newsletter, we
take a look at the dawn of a new age in supercomputing—the coming of
the massively parallel petascale computers. Making these machines
available to a full range of California’s top researchers will open up
new worlds in the fields of medicine, climate research, earthquake
prediction, and energy production and conservation. CITRIS researchers
James Demmel and Kathy Yelick are playing key roles in developing the
architecture, systems software, and algorithms that will give our
scientists full access to the power of these new machines. The work of
Demmel and Yelick represents not only the future of high-end scientific
computing, but also the way forward for smaller parallel computers,
including the newest generations of PCs and hand-held devices. It is in
the academic scientific computing arena that engineers like Demmel and
Yelick have the know-how to negotiate the challenges of parallel
processing on a large scale. Partnerships between such researchers and
the private computer makers that need their expertise will be an
important and exciting source of innovation here at CITRIS.

Professor Shankar Sastry
Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society

CITRIS Asia Research Symposium, Taiwan

Our CITRIS-Asia research symposium took place on March 27 in Barry Lam
Hall at National Taiwan University in Taipei, with more than 150
attendees. Faculty members gave technical talks throughout the day, and
photos and presentations are now online.

The Innovation in Services Conference
Join us for a conference on Innovations in Services on April 26-28 at
the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, sponsored by Tekes.

Electric Car Conference in UC Santa Cruz draws hundreds
Fans and makers of electric cars from around Northern California
converged on UC Santa Cruz on Saturday for a conference and car show
celebrating the battery-powered green machines. http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2007/March/11/local/stories/05local.htm

Research Exchange talks on-line
This semester, we have had engaging talks on energy, sustainability,
health care and emerging regions, among others. These popular talks are
held every Wednesday at noon on the UC Berkeley campus and broadcast
on-line the day and time of the event.

CITRIS White Paper competition
Open to undergraduate and graduate students at all four CITRIS
campuses, the White Paper Competition will award $25K to students who
present the best multidisciplinary research project that demonstrates
the capacity of IT to help address a major societal challenge. The
deadline is April 23, 2007.

New “hyperlens” brings scientists closer to nanoscale optical imaging
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a
“hyperlens” that brings them one major step closer to the goal of
nanoscale optical imaging. The new hyperlens is capable of projecting a
magnified image of a pair of nanowires spaced 150 nanometers apart onto
a plane up to a meter away.

Topping Out ceremony marks milestone for CITRIS Headquarters
The CITRIS Headquarters Building reached a milestone on March 2nd,
during a Topping Out ceremony which marked the placement of the highest
and final steel beam. The gold and blue painted beam was signed by all
the dignitaries present then hoisted into the air and placed atop the

PEER leading way for Tall Buildings Initiative
Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center is leading the Tall
Buildings Initiative, a collaborative of universities, government
agencies and the engineering community that develops design criteria to
ensure safe and usable high-rises following future earthquakes.

New UC Davis Center Helps Small Water Systems Succeed
A new UC Davis program aims to help small drinking-water suppliers that
are struggling to meet state and federal standards. The Center for
Small Affordable Water Systems is part of the John Muir Institute of
the Environment, a collaboration of UC Davis experts discovering
solutions to complex environmental challenges.