The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Engineering’s Michael Brothers recently attended an all expenses-paid, week-long summer school in Budapest, Hungary to study high-performance computing. Brothers, a first year Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, applied for the program with the encouragement of his advisor Dr. John Foster, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
“I was chosen to attend the Fifth International Summer School on High-Performance Computing in Budapest, Hungary,” said Brothers. “A number of countries funded students with an interest in high performance computing in their work to go somewhere and sharpen their skills. This year, I was chosen to attend a week-long program at Budapest University of Economics and Technology.”
The summer school, which was held June 1-6, 2014, is sponsored by the European Union Seventh Framework Program’s Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe Implementation Phase project (PRACE-3IP), U.S. National Science Foundation’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project, RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (RIKEN AICS), and Compute/Calcul Canada.
“Michael is one of the best parallel programming code developers I’ve encountered at UTSA,” said Foster. “It was really great that he was recognized for his skills and allowed to attend this prestigious gathering and opportunity to learn from the world’s best experts in HPC.”
Brothers and his fellow participants attended daily classes and lectures at the at university, and had the chance to interact with other high-performance computing professionals.
“It was nice was to see some people who write and manage big codes talk about the tools they actually find valuable,” said Brothers. “It is one thing to search online or read books or see statements from the manufacturers about why you should use their stuff, but to actually see a scientist explain why something was actually useful, that was pretty valuable. It helps me know what I should be looking at a little more deeply.”
Brothers said that having the chance to interact with other people around the world who do the same kind of work as he does was an extremely valuable experience. He said that he is already trying to collaborate with two people he met during the program.
“I would recommend this kind of experience to anyone,” said Brothers. “It is kind of nice hanging out with people who think like you. It can be kind of rare the further and further along in your studies, the way we speak gets more and more strange to ‘normal’ people. It was great to have people you can bounce ideas off of and confirmation that there are other people around the world doing what you do.”