Oooops, I profoundly underestimated the report I had to submit. Or it is because I have a jetlag and am tired? Anyway, it is now 06h00 AM and have finally submitted the report. Time to sleep for 50 minutes before I had again to the Center. Same routine, bath, breakfast upstairs and walk to the Center. I am like a zombie today but the program is exciting. Hunted sessions by AI keyword. Because … mmmh I like how AI algorithms can be used to identify climate patterns… and… peoples physical features… and fingerprints. Back home we call it Self Organising Maps. Got a match in Machine Learning in HPC Environments. Afterwards, went to this Procurement and Commissioning of HPC Systems tutorial. Oh, what a session. These three presenters seem to be swimming in their own pool. I had a question for the Q&A time. Oh yes I had a question!: What is the advice for a country like mine, with limited number of experts to cater for an HPC infrastructure. Shouldn’t we rather go for cloud computing instead of an in situ solution, and thus transfer all maintenance costs to those giant companies?. The response was simple and straightforward. I will not share it here. I am only saying that it involves required sovereignty of data and applications and also the need of the client to create local capability for infrastructure maintenance.
It is now that time everyone was awaiting: The HPC Inspires Plenary and the Exhibit time… and mostly, the Reception Time!. Maybe I ask too many questions: Robert S. Hart,Vice-President of Global Good and General Manager of the Institute for Disease Modeling at Intellectual Ventures showed a malaria map for Madagascar that triggered my question – Could AI be used to learn the complex relationships between disease-relevant variables and include Adaptive Capacity as one of them, so that we better cope with these diseases? I don’t remember the response as I was trying to head back to my seat for I have been standing for long, unnoticed, to ask the question.
Now that we are going to the exhibit, I want to see how this Cray computer looks like!!! Oh so it is this aerodynamic wardrobe-like box?! How can such a machine be that fast!!??? Let me use this drink ticket for a wine and go see other exhibitors. I can’t help but notice NASA and NCAR. They are part of my life. We have an intense platonic relationship. They feed me with initial and boundary data and I thank them with model results. And what are these stacked Raspberry Pi connected to a switch doing at the NCAR booth? Shhhhhh… don’t tell the news yet. It is an educational cluster running WRF model about to be released. Let’s try it over Mozambique domain. It works!!!!!
Horst also introduced me to the people of the Department of Physics of the TU-Arlington. They are also my family. I am from a Department of Physics too. We had a long conversation… Now I am thinking: As I get back home, I need to get some of my department’s colleagues talking to these people. There is so much room for collaboration in HPC with them. Now I have souvenirs… a very nice looking t-shirt and a cap. I’ll be showing these off on the annual party of our Dept in December.
Tired of poor sleeping yesterday, I just passed by upstairs and picked a few pieces of Pizza with Georgia and went to sleep. Never a bed felt so good to me like this time.
Ah, the distance is not so bug, from the Ubuntu House to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas is just a walking distance. In fact, the dome of the Center is visible from our Ubuntu House. So Georgia escorted us… not without providing us with that magical breakfast first. What a Chef she is! By the way, apparently the jetlag is over.
- Registration at the SC18 – checked
- New backpack with Conference material– checked
- Badge with some some free drinks for the Monday Gala – checked
From now on, my phone will be telling me the sessions I chose to attend when they are about to start and where. The one in Kubernetes was about to start. I am learning about running codes in a cloud computing environment (and also saving money on operational costs at the same time, I was told) and this Kubernetes and friend Container words keeps popping up on my computer screen through adverts. Now I decided to investigate further, why they haunted me all this time. Rushed there and met Horst coming back frowning. … The room was full. Sorry 😦 Plan B: Computational Approaches for Cancer Workshop. For personal reasons. Cancer is a very complex disease. It is comforting tome to see all these people and all this effort to fight it. It is lunchtime and I am just wondering how efficient one has to be to feed all these thousands of people at the same time and with the same food. Ate quickly as BrYan and the part of the African delegation wanted to go see the famous 411 Elm Street, the old Texas School Book Depository and so did I …. and not because of nightmares I may have had, but because this is where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK .
Now that we are back to the Convention Center, my phone indicates me to go try other Machine Learning in HPC Environments. Also nice. But a bit too much for someone who is again battling jetlag. Time to go back home to the treats of Georgia and try some sleep after quickly finalizing and submitting that overdue university report to Maputo.
I am so much used to travelling… in fact my passport is only a page to be over. So why this hangover-like, baabalaas-style jetlag? I only took water during my flights. Wait… maybe its the almost 33 hours of flying … but have done more time before!! Or the remorse for missing the inauguration of the Maputo-Katembe bridge? … and thanks Meshack for recognising me as soon as the shuttle dropped me. I don’t know if I could have been open our airbnb door on my own 😉
Anyways, Dallas, here I am. Bring me that SC18
Maputo-Johannesburg-London-Dallas. MPM-JNB-LHR-DFW, they say in their aviation lingo. Thanks for joining us onboard this flight from XXX to YYY. That was common throughout all flights. Only difference was the accent! I suffered for around 30 hours of flights and connections. That is more than a day in a confined space. Anyway, since I was not the pilot and decided to listen to classical music and sleep most of the time, there is not much to be said about the in-flight times. Therefore, it was a lie… I did not suffer that much. Talk to you when I land at Fort Worth. Zzzzz
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
After the most difficult days of my life, finally decided to attend @Supercomputing, in Dallas, TX. And oh yes, that has some painful implications on the flight costs and itineraries..