Data Science in the News

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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...

Consulting service infuses Lab projects with data science expertise

June 5, 2023 - 
A key advantage of LLNL’s culture of multidisciplinary teamwork is that domain scientists don’t need to be experts in everything. Physicists, chemists, biologists, materials engineers, climate scientists, computer scientists, and other researchers regularly work alongside specialists in other fields to tackle challenging problems. The rise of Big Data across the Lab has led to a demand for...

Data science meets fusion (VIDEO)

May 30, 2023 - 
LLNL’s historic fusion ignition achievement on December 5, 2022, was the first experiment to ever achieve net energy gain from nuclear fusion. However, the experiment’s result was not actually that surprising. A team leveraging data science techniques developed and used a landmark system for teaching artificial intelligence (AI) to incorporate and better account for different variables and...

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...

Scientists develop model for more efficient simulations of protein interactions linked to cancer

March 28, 2023 - 
LLNL scientists have developed a theoretical model for more efficient molecular-level simulations of cell membranes and their lipid-protein interactions, part of a multi-institutional effort to better understand the behavior of cancer-causing membrane proteins. Developed under an ongoing collaboration by the Department of Energy and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) aimed at modeling cell...

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...

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...

LLNL researchers win HPCwire award for applying cognitive simulation to ICF

Nov. 17, 2022 - 
The high performance computing publication HPCwire announced LLNL as the winner of its Editor’s Choice award for Best Use of HPC in Energy for applying cognitive simulation (CogSim) methods to inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research. The award was presented at the largest supercomputing conference in the world: the 2022 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking...

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...

LLNL team claims top AI award at international symbolic regression competition

Aug. 16, 2022 - 
An LLNL team claimed a top prize at an inaugural international symbolic regression competition for an artificial intelligence (AI) framework they developed capable of explaining and interpreting real-life COVID-19 data. Hosted by the open source SRBench project at the 2022 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO), the competition had two tracks—synthetic and real-world—and...

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...

Introduction to deep learning for image classification workshop (VIDEO)

July 6, 2022 - 
In addition to its annual conference held every March, the global Women in Data Science (WiDS) organization hosts workshops and other activities year-round to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide, regardless of gender, and to support women in the field. On June 29, LLNL’s Cindy Gonzales led a WiDS Workshop titled “Introduction to Deep Learning for Image Classification.” The abstract...

Assured and robust…or bust

June 30, 2022 - 
The consequences of a machine learning (ML) error that presents irrelevant advertisements to a group of social media users may seem relatively minor. However, this opacity, combined with the fact that ML systems are nascent and imperfect, makes trusting their accuracy difficult in mission-critical situations, such as recognizing life-or-death risks to military personnel or advancing materials...

Winter hackathon meets WiDS datathon

March 9, 2022 - 
Sponsored by the DSI, LLNL’s winter hackathon took place on February 16–17. Hackathons are 24-hour events that encourage collaborative programming and creative problem solving. In addition to traditional hacking, the hackathon included a special datathon competition in anticipation of the Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference on March 7. Hackathon and datathon participants presented their...

Understanding materials behavior with data science (VIDEO)

Dec. 21, 2021 - 
Computational chemist Rebecca Lindsey, PhD, explains how machine learning and data science techniques are used to develop diagnostic tools for stockpile stewardship, such as models that predict detonator performance. Lindsey also describes how atomistic simulations improve researchers’ understanding of the microscopic phenomena that govern the chemistry in materials under extreme conditions...

Career panel spotlights diversity, equity, and inclusion

Nov. 19, 2021 - 
The DSI’s career panel series continued on November 3 with a session highlighting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as well as the Lab’s DEI-focused employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs are sponsored by LLNL’s Office of Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Programs. Moderator Anh Quach, member of the Asian Pacific American Council (APAC), was joined by four panelists: Raul Viera Mercado...

Building better materials with data science (VIDEO)

Nov. 11, 2021 - 
Research engineer Brian Giera, PhD, describes how data science techniques help collect and analyze data from advanced manufacturing processes in order to craft meaningful experiments. With examples of automated microencapsulation, 3D nanoprinting, metal additive manufacturing, laser track welding, and digital twins, Giera explains how interdisciplinary teams apply machine learning to remove...