Au revoir and a small reflection…

Au revoir and a small reflection…
When I wasn't struggling with running simulations and debugging code I was struggling to keep my eyes open in the sun outside the Louvre!

As the internship has come to an end and my time in Paris is over, I find it as good a time as any to reflect on my experience. I first came across the Summer of HPC program as I was looking for something to keep me occupied over the summer. Being halfway through my Master’s in Computational Science and Engineering, I was looking forward to get some hands-on experience in the field. SoHPC seemed like the perfect opportunity – even though I was a little disappointed that it would be organized online. Nevertheless, some projects switched to on-site mode, and my favorite project just so happened to be in Paris, a city that will always have a bit of extra significance to me as it was the start of my international journey back in 2015.

This internship has given me the opportunity to dive into and apply my HPC knowledge to a completely new field. Unlike most other internships, we as participants have had good insight into each other’s projects which has really given me a better intuition and insight into HPC and its endless applications. By being on-site, I got to know many of the amazing people at CentraleSupélec. Besides providing many laughs during lunch and coffee breaks, I really enjoyed getting some insight into their work and hearing their perspectives on a career in research.

My project focused on seismic wave propagation, more precisely, improving the stability condition of the existing numerical wave propagation solver SEM3D, and thereby improving performance as fewer computations are required to obtain the results. I’ve summarized my project and its significance in a short and (hopefully) comprehensible presentation that you can watch below. I found it really motivating to work on a project with such a clear and important use case with the support and guidance from my two amazing supervisors, Filippo Gatti and Régis Cottereau. My inner software nerd was also thrilled getting introduced to the not-so-new language Fortran 90 and having to work directly with the large, highly optimized HPC code that is SEM3D. If future editions of SoHPC offer projects on SEM3D, I really urge students to apply – I could not have been luckier with my project and supervisors!

As if the internship in itself wasn’t enough, I got to spend my entire summer in Paris, for which I’m incredibly grateful. I’ve had a summer packed with good food and wine, and spent most of my spare time taking long Paris walks, soaking in the liveliness of the city and enjoying the ambiance. Moving abroad is an incredibly empowering adventure that I wish everyone gets to experience at some point in their life. Navigating through a new country and culture without your normal safety net is both exhilarating and scary, especially when you’re on your own. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and opens new doors to form unexpected friendships and pick up hobbies you otherwise might not try, leaving room for personal growth in every aspect of your life!

With these (slightly cheesy) words my Summer of HPC has come to an end. If anyone has further questions about my project/experience, or simply want to stay in touch, you’re very welcome to shoot me a message on LinkedIn. And if you’re a student interested in getting into HPC: apply to next year’s edition of Summer of HPC – you won’t regret it!

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