Briefs 11/13

▶ UC San Diego Networked Systems Team sets World Record

A UCSD team from the Center for Networked Systems comprised of CNS Associate Director George Porter, former CNS Director Amin Vahdat and computer science and engineering doctoral student Michael Conley set three new world records in a data-processing competition for academe and industry. The team set a world record in the 100 Terabyte Daytona Gray Sort Category after sorting 100 terabytes in less than 23 minutes and also won two other world records for their first-ever 100 Terabyte CloudSort Competition, in which all their data processing was done on publicly available cloud services rather than on dedicated computer clusters. Rajesh Gupta, the team chair of the CNS department in the Jacobs School of Engineering, explained to the UCSD News Center that their results underline their emphasis in creating experimental artifacts that advance the state of the art in practice based on research done at UCSD. The team took a two-year hiatus from the competition in 2012 and 2013 because their dedicated computer cluster was not sufficient to win records. They could either spend millions to develop the cluster itself or risk losing and not setting any records, so they, therefore, chose to not enter the competition.


▶ Ocean View Growing Grounds to Get Facelift

Local San Diego residents are transforming Ocean View Growing Grounds, a vacant, 20,000-square-foot urban lot that lacks supermarkets, into a gathering place for the people to grow food, socialize with each other and hold projects. OVGG is located in the Chollas Creek Watershed where many residents lack access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Due to this, many problems arise such as poverty, obesity and environmental degradation that pose serious environmental and social public health problems. UCSD Director of the Urban Studies and Planning program Keith Pezzoli is an active participant at OVGG and aims to make OVGG a model for positive social and ecological change in underserved areas. The research team is developing OVGG by introducing technologies such as mapping, visualization and scenario-planning tools to the community in hopes to build a network that will diminish food disparities. Karemah Alhark, president of the OVGG neighborhood leadership group, explained to UCSD News Center that the community’s empowerment begins when they become self-sufficient and don’t have to eat foods that are sub-par. There are now two food forests, mimicking woodland ecosystems, at the OVGG site. In the food forests, there are logs placed for people to sit, 15 trees that are producing fruit and 14 smaller fruit and nut trees.