Only a few lucky folks worldwide ever have access to the level of high-performance computing (HPC) that supercomputers like the Cherry Creek II (CCII) at UNLV can provide. Chong Chen is among them– and not just can he access it, he in fact has the power to enhance it. As the UNLV National Supercomputing Institute’s brand-new HPC applications specialist, Chen will check out the possibilities CCII needs to provide and pave the paths that will help UNLV researchers speed towards options much faster than ever before.
The supercomputer here is really strong, and few universities have their own, so that’s appealing. Some universities have to lease supercomputing capabilities, so UNLV is various. Here, we have the CCII. The CCII has 112 computer nodes and a modern accelerator, so it’s excellent equipment. Some faculty in astronomy, physics, and chemistry are already using it, however we can provide these resources to lots of faculty in other disciplines as well, like those biology and electrical engineering. UNLV’s area is attractive also.
Had you checked out Las Vegas prior to your interview?
In fact, no, but I understood of the city. It’s world-famous. I was a software application engineer in Silicon Valley before I came here. That location is extremely active however too crowded and really pricey. Now that I’m in Las Vegas, I see that it provides a great deal of conveniences. You can get to everything rapidly, and it’s not too crowded.
Where did you mature, and do you miss out on anything from home?
I matured in a village in the southeast part of China called Shangrao. I miss the peacefulness and tranquility of my house often, however since I have actually been residing in other countries for the last 16 years, I’m past it for the a lot of part.
Inform me about a time you did something bold.
Studying abroad was quite bold. When I came to the United States in 2008, I needed to discover a various language. It was challenging. There weren’t lots of Chinese trainees here then, and a telephone call in between China and America wasn’t very common. Getting a visa was also extremely hard, and to come here then indicated you could not go back house for numerous years, which made those very first 2 years hard. But nowadays, practically Ten Years later on, it’s much easier to correspond.
What do you carry out in your role at UNLV?
I’m here to help faculty discover and use the supercomputer. My work is concentrated on making applications for the CCII that accelerate research study. If there’s no existing application on the CCII that makes good sense for a particular faculty member’s research study, I would work with our professors to develop one. The university has a Leading Tier plan that focuses a lot on research, and for numerous research jobs, computation resources are needed. For instance, in medical research study, you need large calculation resources for DNA sequencing.
What inspired you to go into this profession?
Dealing with a supercomputer is quite cool. It’s a huge space with lots of racks, and you know your work is on the cutting edge.
What cannot you work without?
I just require one computer. I can log in remotely with simply one.
Exactly what’s the most significant obstacle in your line of work?
The greatest challenge here is comprehending the numerous research study tasks and developing options that help professors in what they do. I’m good at computing, however just because I know computers doesn’t suggest I understand all of science. So I have to comprehend the science related to a particular research need in order to carry out the proper computer language and option. It’s challenging on both sides due to the fact that both sides have to understand a bit about exactly what the other performs in order to do our jobs.
Exactly what’s the biggest mistaken belief about your field?
People have the tendency to presume that I deal with software, or security, or artificial intelligence, or some sort of hacking. That’s not exactly what I do, but exactly what I do is very beneficial for research. There are lots of different subdisciplines in computing, and exactly what I’m doing is more scientific computing– dealing with a physicist, chemist, or other professor to develop code.
Exactly what about UNLV strikes you as different from other places you’ve worked?
This is much different from other scholastic environments I have actually been in. I particularly like the large size of the campus. It’s different from exactly what I experienced at the University of Dayton. There are great deals of people here and great deals of restaurants and shops around UNLV. I like this type of campus.
The sort of work I do here is also different from exactly what I was doing in the past. In my industry, when you work for personal entities, you go through privacy contracts, and the majority of business forbid you to release details on your jobs and items. In academic community, you have more time to do research study, and you can publish your findings. If I have a great idea, I wish to share it.