Let me introduce myself; Caution, magic ahead!

Let me introduce myself; Caution, magic ahead!

My story

Greetings everyone!
My name is Antonios-Kyrillos Chatzimichail (too long, I know, friends call me Antonis) and I am excited to be a part of PRACE Summer of HPC this year.

I was born on May, 1999 in Thessaloniki, Greece, where I lived my childhood. My first contact with programming was in primary school, when our teacher presented us a way to make simple video games by connecting instruction blocks. My very first game was a cat moving around a room and although I have played a lot of more interesting and enjoyable games, I was truly thrilled about this one for a different reason; the creativity. And clearly, the fact that I could create anything I imagined and make it work (well, most of the times), made me feel like I was doing something extraordinary, something that to me felt like… magic. That was the moment when I realized how fun programming can be.

Later on, I constantly wanted to learn more about this new “magic” world I have discovered, so in high school, apart from developing more games, I also took courses in C, which was the first programming language I used. After that, I participated in several IT contests, in which of course I encountered problems more advanced than a simple Move-The-Cat game. This led me to realize that programming is not only fun, but also really powerful.

So, after this short back story, I am currently living in Volos, Greece, where I study Electrical and Computer Engineering in University of Thessaly. And in case some of you wonder why I chose Computer Engineering, the answer is simple; I needed to know how and why “magic” really works.

My SoHPC application background

Similarly to before, unveiling the “magic” around supercomputers was the motivation for me to apply for SoHPC 2020. To be honest, actually, this motivation emerged later, because at the time that I first learned about the programme, I did not know what HPC stands for. Then I realized that it refers to the really exciting field of High Performance Computing. I believe that every young engineer dreams to use supercomputers and I just could not let the opportunity slip out of my hands.

The “You have been selected” email

I was really anticipating that email and felt really excited when I received it.

Although I really wanted to be selected for the programme, I knew that many students have applied and so I believed that the chance to be selected was low. Because of that, I made the assumption that I might not have been selected and was thinking that there is always next year to try again. Of course, when I opened and read the email saying I was selected, all of these feelings were gone and I started to bounce off my chair full of excitement.

Little Quiz and conclusion

So here I am now after being selected to be a part of “Performance of Parallel Python Programs on New HPC Architectures” project organized by EPCC in Edinburgh, UK.

Before concluding, I have a little quiz for you.
How many cores do you believe that top supercomputers have?
Please write your answer/estimation down in the comments. Feel free to guess even if you have no idea, my initial guess was really wrong as I realized during the online training event in Vienna.

Last but not least, I would like to thank all of you that read my post, I hope you found it interesting and hope to see you in my future posts. After all, SoHPC has just began and until the end of the summer, there is so much magic ahead.

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9 comments on “Let me introduce myself; Caution, magic ahead!
  1. Maria says:

    Top supercomputers have 2.4 million computer cores 😉

    • Antonios-Kyrillos Chatzimichail says:

      Well done Maria! Until November 2019, the number 1 supercomputer was Summit with 2.4 million cores. Now, it stands in place 2.

  2. Dimitris says:

    hmm…if a laptop has 4 cores…one supercomputer must have over 200 ! Enjoy this exciting experience !

    • Antonios-Kyrillos Chatzimichail says:

      Thank you Dimitris! You are actually close to my initial wrong guess. In fact, most of the supercomputers listed in the top 500 have at least 30.000 cores.

  3. Samaras Dimitrios says:

    Because we are talking about SUPERcomputers, i would guess a number about x * pentaFlops (x between 10-20), so my answer is about 10 Million cores.

    • Antonios-Kyrillos Chatzimichail says:

      Well, Dimitrios, your answer is considered correct since there is one supercomputer with 10 million cores (Sunway TaihuLight in China). But in general, only a few supercomputers exceed one million cores.
      Of course, supercomputers are not ranked by the number of cores they have, but by petaFLOPS (FLOating point OPerations per Second) as you mentioned. In fact, supercomputers listed in the top 500 have at least 1 petaFLOPS and only 22 of them exceed 10 petaFLOPS.

    • Antonios-Kyrillos Chatzimichail says:

      Well, Sotiris, if we are talking about the top 5 supercomputers, this is a correct estimation. On the other hand, if we are talking about the top 500, most of them don’t exceed 200.000 cores.

  4. Antonios-Kyrillos Chatzimichail says:

    Thank you all for your answers!
    I left on purpose undefined how many supercomputers are considered as top, because I wanted to see a variety of answers/estimations.
    For more information about top 500 supercomputers around the world, please visit https://www.top500.org/lists/top500/list/2020/06/

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