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CAMERA Hosts 2019 Ptycho Developers Workshop

June 13, 2019

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Center for Advanced Mathematics for Energy Research Applications (CAMERA) hosted a Ptycho Developers Workshop at Berkeley Lab June 3-5. Researchers from the Lab's Computational Research Division, NERSC, the Advanced Light Source, and CAMERA organized the event, which attracted 60 participants from five continents.

pytcho 2019

The 2019 Pytcho Developers Workshop held at Berkeley Lab attracted 60 participants from five continents.


Ptychography is an x-ray technique that achieves resolutions of one billionth of a meter, macroscopic field of view, or the capability to retrieve chemical or magnetic contrast, among other features. Ptycho-tomography and spectro-ptychography are the most computationally intensive techniques being developed at the Advanced Light Source and light sources around the world, noted Stefano Marchesini, a staff scientist in CAMERA and chair of the workshop.

“Ptychography has really grown in the last years into a diverse landscape of methods to address ever more complex systems. These techniques involve beautiful mathematics, from harmonic analysis and algebraic geometry to complex numerical analysis,” Marchesini said.

The goal of the workshop was to bring together developers and practitioners of ptychography to assess the current landscape of available algorithms and software, investigate commonalities and discuss a range of topics, from required theoretical and algorithmic advancements and unmet needs to practical issues of implementation and deployment. Other topics included workflows, beamlines, optics, and HPC solutions.

“It's been six years since the last meeting of this kind, so this really is an important step for people to find consensus and advance the field,” said Bjoern Enders, Data Science Workflows Architect at NERSC who was co-chair of the workshop and also one of the organizers of the Ptycho 2013 conference in Munich, Germany. “Ptychography is a challenging technique both in data rate and HPC demands and an ideal target to collaborate across divisions and DOE facilities."

The event was one in a series of CAMERA workshops organized with the goal of bringing together broad communities of algorithm developers, software engineers, and beamline scientists to advance imaging; these workshops have included tomography and image processing.