Summer of HPC – Computing and Dust

Summer of HPC – Computing and Dust

Who even is this guy??

Hello! The person writing this is Brian O’Sullivan, that would probably be a good place to start. (That’s me in the photo!) I am 21 years old and recently graduated out of the National University of Ireland, Galway with a bachelor’s in physics. Physics is still close to my heart, but now I’m planning on moving into data science with the hopes of applying that background in climate modelling and meteorology! Given the looming threat of climate change and extreme weather, it’s an area I’ve always had a huge interest in, so I’m really excited to go down this new path.

Note: I’m on the left

Summer of HPC

Of course, I am incredibly grateful for PRACE for giving me this opportunity, and I hope to learn as much as I possibly can from this internship. Naturally, I had to apply to the Summer of HPC the minute I heard about it, hearing about the exciting possibilities we can achieve with advanced computing and high performance computing is honestly pretty mind blowing. No doubt, it was an area I needed to explore for myself. My project is with the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC-CNS), where I will be working on improving the spatial interpolation of NMMB/MONARCH, a state of the art atmospheric chemistry/dust model over Europe and Northern Africa. Attentive readers may notice this project is a perfect pairing, a combination of atmospheric modelling and data science! I believe it will be an excellent way to engage with my area of interest, and I’m looking forward to getting started.

Summer of Dust

During my final undergraduate year, I worked on a year-long project in spatial interpolation. I was trying to find effective ways to fuse satellite and in-situ NO2 air pollution datasets over Western Europe. I finished the project to a varying degree of success, but I can’t wait to see how the experts at BSC have created similar tools and models. What especially interests me is the many different scales and products they are focusing on (Dust!). Being able to create flexible software that can be applied to various quantities in the atmosphere is a must, so I’m eager to discover the intricacies of MONARCH for myself.

A Small Bio to Finish

Working from Galway in Ireland, I like to think of this internship as a sort of virtual “trip” to Barcelona. Summers here are definetely much colder here than those in Catalonia, and there is much more rain (so much rain….) so I hope to vicariously live through my work and experience the sunshine through my laptop screen. Of course, one must give themselves some leisure time. I typically like to practice the piano or play boardgames in my freetime, but I don’t think anything can really beat spending time with friends. Oh, also, here is a photo of my dog, people tend to like those.

My brother Charlie
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