Friday, May 2, 2008

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for April 28 - May 2

Through human eyes: LANL scientists teach computers to see

Like a teacher disciplining a poor student, Lakshman Prasad has been tempted periodically to put his computer in "time out." Instead of finishing its homework by looking at pictures and telling the teacher what's in them, it would goof off, get confused or just plain come up with the wrong answer, the Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist said. He could have just given up, but instead he decided to get the computer some help. So he and Sriram Swaminarayan, a Los Alamos scientist and computer programmer, took a deeper look, and the pair found out the problem wasn't the computer's attitude. It had a learning disability. See the story here

Los Alamos Director's statement
available on YouTube.

Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio's opening statement before a senate subcommittee on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 in Washington, D.C. is now available on the Laboratory's YouTube channel. Anastasio and the directors of Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national labs were on a panel testifying before the Senate Energy and Water Development Subcommittee about stockpile stewardship and the future of the nuclear weapons complex.

Also available on the Laboratory’s YouTube channel are short videos of high explosives tests, recovery of sealed radioactive sources, nighttime training of the Laboratory SWAT team, bomb-sniffing honeybees, and testing of sensors to detect defects in highway bridges.

The FBI Announces New Albuquerque Computer Forensics Laboratory

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III today announced that Los Angeles, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico were selected as the host sites for two new FBI-sponsored Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories (RCFLs). "The creation of an RCFL in Albuquerque will ensure that law enforcement in New Mexico stays ahead of the ever changing technology associated with an exploding cyber crime problem," said Special Agent in Charge Thomas C. McClenaghan, of the Albuquerque Division. "Working with our partners at the University of New Mexico, Sandia National Lab, and Los Alamos National Lab will expose our federal, state, and local forensic examiners to world class and cutting edge cyber scientists and instructors. New Mexico will quickly become known throughout the nation and world as the place to go for computer forensic instruction." Read the FBI press release here.

National Labs develop improved searches

Employees of the Los Alamos National Laboratory were so fed up with using the Google search engine that they developed their own electronic knowledge management tool to better work through large information archives. The tool, called the Electronic Knowledge Management system, can sort through information and organize the results by concepts and trends. The system also finds links between documents and permanently connects them, making future searches faster. You don't have to search for this story, it's available right here!

Old mine may help solve mysteries of universe

As a third-generation miner, Duane Ennis used to measure the
product of his labor each day in gold-bearing ore torn from the rock caverns deep in the Homestake Mine. Now, as one of a number of former miners helping reopen the underground caverns to create a laboratory for futuristic science and physics experiments, Ennis cautions against expecting immediate results from the research being planned. The point of the research, for the scientists who gathered in Lead, is the quest for knowledge. These aren't the folks who ask about practical applications of the discoveries. About 96 percent of the universe contains matter "that we don't know what it is," says Andrew Hime, a physicist with Los Alamos National Laboratory. "That alone is reason to study it. It's most of the universe, and we don't know what it is. That's the compelling question." Dig up the story here.

Area students receiving scholarships

EspaƱola Valley High School senior Alicia Salazar plans to use her
platinum scholarship to pursue a degree in chemical engineering this fall at preferably an in-state university. Salazar is the recipient of the platinum scholarship from the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund, administered by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation. Fifty-two students are receiving scholarships thanks to the generosity of Laboratory employees who donate to the fund. The 2008 scholarship drive begins Thursday, May 1. The platinum scholarship provides $7,500 a year for four years in financial assistance. See the story here.

Learn more about Los Alamos Foundation scholarships.

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