Data Science in the News

Did you know we have a monthly newsletter? View past volumes and subscribe.

UC Merced & UC Riverside tackle Data Science Challenge on ML-assisted heart modeling

Aug. 3, 2023 - 
For the first time, students from the University of California (UC) Merced and UC Riverside joined forces for the two-week Data Science Challenge (DSC) at LLNL, tackling a real-world problem in machine learning (ML)-assisted heart modeling. Held in the Livermore Valley Open Campus’s newly remodeled University of California Livermore Collaboration Center from July 10-21, the event brought...

Explainable artificial intelligence can enhance scientific workflows

July 25, 2023 - 
As ML and AI tools become more widespread, a team of researchers in LLNL’s Computing and Physical and Life Sciences directorates are trying to provide a reasonable starting place for scientists who want to apply ML/AI, but don’t have the appropriate background. The team’s work grew out of a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project on feedstock materials optimization, which led to...

Machine learning reveals refreshing understanding of confined water

July 24, 2023 - 
LLNL scientists combined large-scale molecular dynamics simulations with machine learning interatomic potentials derived from first-principles calculations to examine the hydrogen bonding of water confined in carbon nanotubes (CNTs). They found that the narrower the diameter of the CNT, the more the water structure is affected in a highly complex and nonlinear fashion. The research appears on...

High-performance computing, AI and cognitive simulation helped LLNL conquer fusion ignition

June 21, 2023 - 
For hundreds of LLNL scientists on the design, experimental, and modeling and simulation teams behind inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments at the National Ignition Facility, the results of the now-famous Dec. 5, 2022, ignition shot didn’t come as a complete surprise. The “crystal ball” that gave them increased pre-shot confidence in a breakthrough involved a combination of detailed...

Celebrating the DSI’s first five years

May 18, 2023 - 
View the LLNL Flickr album Data Science Institute Turns Five. Data science—a field combining technical disciplines such as computer science, statistics, mathematics, software development, domain science, and more—has become a crucial part of how LLNL carries out its mission. Since the DSI’s founding in 2018, the Lab has seen tremendous growth in its data science community and has invested...

Patent applies machine learning to industrial control systems

May 8, 2023 - 
An industrial control system (ICS) is an automated network of devices that make up a complex industrial process. For example, a large-scale electrical grid may contain thousands of instruments, sensors, and controls that transfer and distribute power, along with computing systems that capture data transmitted across these devices. Monitoring the ICS network for new device connections, device...

Computing codes, simulations helped make ignition possible

April 6, 2023 - 
Harkening back to the genesis of LLNL’s inertial confinement fusion (ICF) program, codes have played an essential role in simulating the complex physical processes that take place in an ICF target and the facets of each experiment that must be nearly perfect. Many of these processes are too complicated, expensive, or even impossible to predict through experiments alone. With only a few...

Fueling up hydrogen production

April 3, 2023 - 
Through machine learning, an LLNL scientist has a better grasp of understanding materials used to produce hydrogen fuel. The interaction of water with TiO2 (titanium oxide) surfaces is especially important in various scientific fields and applications, from photocatalysis for hydrogen production to photooxidation of organic pollutants to self-cleaning surfaces and biomedical devices. However...

From plasma to digital twins

March 13, 2023 - 
LLNL's Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) group has an array of techniques at its disposal for inspecting objects’ interiors without disturbing them: computed tomography, optical laser interferometry, and ultrasound, for example, can be used alone or in combination to gauge whether a component’s physical and material properties fall within allowed tolerances. In one project, the team of NDE...

New HPC4EI project to create 'digital twin' models for aerospace manufacturing

Jan. 19, 2023 - 
A partnership involving LLNL aimed at developing “digital twins” for producing aerospace components is one of six new projects funded under the HPC for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative, the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced. Sponsored by the HPC4Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program, one of the pillars of HPC4EI, the collaboration between LLNL...

Supercomputing’s critical role in the fusion ignition breakthrough

Dec. 21, 2022 - 
On December 5th, the research team at LLNL's National Ignition Facility (NIF) achieved a historic win in energy science: for the first time ever, more energy was produced by an artificial fusion reaction than was consumed—3.15 megajoules produced versus 2.05 megajoules in laser energy to cause the reaction. High-performance computing was key to this breakthrough (called ignition), and HPCwire...

National Ignition Facility achieves fusion ignition

Dec. 13, 2022 - 
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the achievement of fusion ignition at LLNL—a major scientific breakthrough decades in the making that will pave the way for advancements in national defense and the future of clean power. On Dec. 5, a team at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) conducted the first controlled...

ML model instantly predicts polymer properties

Nov. 30, 2022 - 
Hundreds of millions of tons of polymer materials are produced globally for use in a vast and ever-growing application space with new material demands such as green chemistry polymers, consumer packaging, adhesives, automotive components, fabrics and solar cells. But discovering suitable polymer materials for use in these applications lies in accurately predicting the properties that a...

Understanding the universe with applied statistics (VIDEO)

Nov. 17, 2022 - 
In a new video posted to the Lab’s YouTube channel, statistician Amanda Muyskens describes MuyGPs, her team’s innovative and computationally efficient Gaussian Process hyperparameter estimation method for large data. The method has been applied to space-based image classification and released for open-source use in the Python package MuyGPyS. MuyGPs will help astronomers and astrophysicists...

ESGF launches effort to upgrade climate projection data system

Oct. 5, 2022 - 
The Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF), a multi-agency initiative that gathers and distributes data for top-tier projections of the Earth’s climate, is preparing a series of upgrades that will make using the data easier and faster while improving how the information is curated. The federation, led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in collaboration with Argonne and...

Scientific discovery for stockpile stewardship

Sept. 27, 2022 - 
Among the significant scientific discoveries that have helped ensure the reliability of the nation’s nuclear stockpile is the advancement of cognitive simulation. In cognitive simulation, researchers are developing AI/ML algorithms and software to retrain part of this model on the experimental data itself. The result is a model that “knows the best of both worlds,” says Brian Spears, a...

S&TR cover story: The ACES in our hand

Sept. 20, 2022 - 
Uranium enrichment is central to providing fuel to nuclear reactors, even those intended only for power generation. With minor modifications, however, this process can be altered to yield highly enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons. The world’s need for nuclear fuel coexists with an ever-present danger—that a nonnuclear weapons nation-state possessing enrichment technology could...

Lab researchers win top award for machine learning-based approach to ICF experiments

Aug. 4, 2022 - 
The IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS) announced an LLNL team as the winner of its 2022 Transactions on Plasma Science Best Paper Award for their work applying machine learning to inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments. In the paper, lead author Kelli Humbird and co-authors propose a novel technique for calibrating ICF experiments by combining machine learning with...

Kevin McLoughlin applies computational biology to complex problems

May 17, 2022 - 
Kevin McLoughlin has always been fascinated by the intersection of computing and biology. His LLNL career encompasses award-winning microbial detection technology, a COVID-19 antiviral drug design pipeline, and work with the ATOM consortium. The appeal for him in these projects lies at the intersection of computing and biology. “I love finding ways to visualize data that reveal relationships...

Accelerating the path to precision medicine

March 22, 2022 - 
LLNL joined the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) consortium in 2018. The national, multiyear, multidisciplinary effort, led by the University of California at San Francisco in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne national laboratories and other leading research organizations and universities, combines neuroimaging, blood-based...