How I got into the Summer of HPC

How I got into the Summer of HPC

Welcome to my blog about the Prace Summer of HPC. My name is David Knapp and for the next two months, I am taking part in the summer of HPC. I come from Germany and currently, I am living in Bonn. There, I studied mathematics and just finished my master in computer science.

At the beginning of my studies, I wasn’t interested in coding at all. But that changed quickly during the first courses about applied mathematics, especially about numerics. After a coding seminar on fluid simulation, I discovered my passion for numerical simulations and scientific programming. The combination of mathematical challenges and finding the most efficient way to write a computer program to simulate it is what interests me most. What got you into programming and what do you like most about it?

With the start of my master studies I started working at the german aerospace centre. There I work at the High-performance computing group where I already got some experience with High-performance computing. At the beginning of this year, my supervisor forwarded me an E-Mail about the Summer of HPC. I was immediately excited about it and started the coding challenge you had to solve for the application. The opportunity to work for two months on a big coding project is one of the reasons why I applied for the Summer of HPC. Interchanging expertise with other enthusiasts during the project is what excites me most about it.

I applied for the project about the Numerical Simulation of the Boltzmann-Nordheim equation. To me, it is a completely new topic and first did not know anything about it. Discovering a completely new field and unravelling its mysteries is awesome. Even though I do not expect to become an expert in quantum physics in two months, I hope to get at least a basic understanding of it. You can see my progress on the Boltzmann-Nordheim equation in the video.

The goal for the Summer of HPC will be to deepen my knowledge about the equation and how to simulate it. Especially how to improve the performance of the computation using parallel programming. In our training week, we learned about two paradigms to parallel programming, MPI and OpenMP. For this project, I will probably work with MPI the most and I hope to find the right techniques to improve the computation. Apart from the science, I hope to enjoy the summer with the other participants, to get to know each other and to share our experiences.

What are your expectations? Would you like to get some experience with High-performance computing? Feel free to write your answer in the comments.

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43 comments on “How I got into the Summer of HPC
  1. SK says:

    Great blog! And a very informative and fun video!

  2. Simon W. says:

    great project, good luck.

  3. Alexa Krause says:

    I like your blog – and Star Wars, too 😉 Good luck for you… fingers crossed!

  4. Ellen Nielsen says:

    Sehr informativ! Viel Erfolg!

  5. Patrick says:

    Very informative Blog and the video is fun to watch – great! 🙂

    • David Knapp says:

      Thank you and great, that you like the Video! It was very fun to make too, especially because it is the first time I made a Video like this.

  6. Heike says:

    Spannendes Thema!
    Weiterhin viel Freude damit!

  7. Camilla says:

    What an amazing project! Good luck with it and enjoy it to the fullest!

  8. Martim Gomes says:

    Great post! Keeps us updated about your progress. Excited to hear about super computers next 😉

  9. Philipp (the smaller one) says:

    Great blog post and the project sounds very exciting! Looking forward to read more about your mystery-unraveling.
    Good luck und lots of fun! 🙂

  10. Karen says:

    The video was awesome, especially the parts where you are using the force and drawing the supercomputer! I’m excited for updates ^-^

    • David Knapp says:

      As I am still a Padawan it is still difficult for me to use the force, but I am trying my best!
      Thank you for your comment

  11. Hi David,

    nice blog and great video.
    I hope you enjoy your time at the Summer of HPC and that you come back with a lot of gained knowledge and new ideas.

    • David Knapp says:

      Hi Johannes,

      thank you for your comment! I will sure try to make the best out of the time here! It is a very nice experience!

  12. Lisa says:

    very informative video, thanks

  13. Artem says:

    Great blog, teammate!!

  14. Michael says:

    Awesome project. I am absolutely thrilled to hear more about it. Looking forward to hearing from David and his project.

  15. Max says:

    It seems that that you are a kick-ass judoka as well as a passionate nerd. If half the people around me were as enthusiastic as you, I would have no worries at all. 05/04 b w/ u my friend and have a good time!

  16. Malin says:

    Great blog!
    I definitely enjoyed watching the video!
    To answer your questions:
    Studying math was what brought be into programming too.
    After that it came in handy for my job at the econonomic department of the university. It was a nice tool that made data processing way easier.
    Now I’m doing my Phd in economics and programming has become a big part of that field too.
    I think what I like most about it is that it makes things way easier and it definitely creates a lot of new opportunities to do good research.

    • David Knapp says:

      Thank you very much for your comment! And nice to hear, that you had a similar approach to programming as me. The versatility of programming is amazing, and I am sure, that High-performance computing has a use-case for economics, too. Good luck with your PhD, maybe you will find there a use for a supercomputer for your research.

  17. Mona says:

    Very interesting Blog, I wish you good luck for your project and I am interested in your progress!
    Ps: Loved the Star Wars move in the video 🙂

  18. Joe says:

    Hey David,
    thanks for this great and informative blog. Never heard so much about HPC! I‘m looking forward to read about supercomputer!
    I‘m also impressed about your combat skills I‘ve seen in your video. Hope I never get in trouble with you! 😀
    Greetings Joe

    • David Knapp says:

      Hey Joe,
      don’t worry, I am very peaceful 😉
      Thank you for your support, I hope you will find the next post as interesting as this one!
      Greetings David

  19. Margrit says:

    I really like your video with the great sketches and explanation! Thanks!

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