Luxembourg looks suspiciously like my room…

Hi there! My name’s Matt and I’m getting involved in the work-from-home Summer of High Performance Computing (SoHPC) internship programme this year. I live near Cambridge, England and I’m going into my final year, studying Physics at The University of Manchester. During the SoHPC, I’ll be working on project 21 – Submarine Computational Fluid Dynamics.

A photo of me in Barcelona, looking sufficiently smug.

Computational physics problems to me are like LEDs to a moth. This might lead you to assume that I can’t wait to get stuck into the internship… and you’d be right! At the end of my first Fluid Mechanics course I learnt how to calculate the lift on an aerofoil (plane wing) and it truly felt like magic. Since then, I’ve been chasing the same feeling in all of my studies. Excited is an understatement. Now I just can’t wait to start on the submarines!

Educational video on how submarines work. My only criticism is that they aren’t all yellow.

Outside of my academic interests, I’m an avid rock climber (every wall is just another problem to solve!) and I love to run around the countryside. I’ll give pretty much anything that involves going out in nature and being a bit outdoorsy a go! I’ve also started learning guitar recently so I can at least feel productive over lockdown. I like to think I’m doing okay, but anyone in earshot may disagree.

Canyoning in the beautiful Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal.

Having completed the online training week, I’ve been blown away by how well each session’s been organised – especially considering current events. Parallel programming’s brand new to me, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad nervous about jumping straight into programming on the Vienna Scientific Cluster (VSC). We were introduced to a few different types of parallel programming, and while OpenMP is a standout favourite currently, it is still all to play for in the upcoming weeks! It’s also provided a fantastic opportunity to meet the like-minded individuals that I’ll be working alongside, and subdue some of the imposter syndrome that I think was felt unanimously before we began.

Everyone’s lovely faces from the SoHPC training week.

Now… if you’re wondering why this year’s SoHPC is a work-from-home project, there truly is no hope for you. Nevertheless, I am delighted that the guys at PRACE were able to keep the programme running – even if it means missing out on a nice trip abroad. To make up for it, I’m thinking of bringing a bit of Luxembourg to me. If you have any suggestions let me know!

Thanks for reading! Any questions, please let me know in the comments below.

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40 comments on “Luxembourg looks suspiciously like my room…
  1. Mitch says:

    Radical physics journey dude

  2. Belen Irureta says:

    Sounds very exciting, Matt! All the best for your internship xx (and thanks for the educational video!)

  3. Helen says:

    What a great education opportunity. Best of luck

  4. James Asker says:

    Nice work Matt!

  5. Matthew Potts says:

    Good luck!

  6. Rita Lenko says:

    That really had the wow factor, so much to learn about submarines… thank you for posting!

  7. Nicky Hardy says:


  8. Sam says:

    Sounds interesting man all the best

  9. Rob Sullivan says:

    Well done Matt good luck with the rest of your studies

  10. Mike says:

    Really interesting! Good luck

  11. Paul says:

    Great work – Good luck!

  12. Mark Hitchins says:

    Great blog Matt, sounds like a fantastic opportunity.
    I’ll get you Dad to explain parallel programming next time I have a chat with him 😀
    Great video on submarines and keep going with the guitar 👍

  13. Neville Pettitt says:

    Hope things keep going upwards for you

  14. Ben says:

    Great work Matt!

  15. Muke says:

    Nice piece Matt. Enjoy

  16. Taylor says:

    Sounds interesting, Good luck with everything!

  17. Wynne Vick says:

    Great work!

  18. Jim Hart says:

    If you’re turning to guitar for a pastime, just think what Jimmy Hendrix would have done to Fluid Dynamics had he taken that up as a hobby!
    Well done, such a complex subject. Never did get my head Fully around CFD myself, but give me a Monte Carlo and I was there. Good luck for the future, you’ll smash it.

    • Matthew Asker says:

      Hahaha but then we’d never have all his music! It’s a tricky one but I’m trying and seems like I might be getting somewhere. Thank you!

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