Black Friday

Well, Black Friday is one of those things one has to do while living in the US. I failed so far … but this year it shall be different (after being at a delicious thanksgiving meal in Chicago). The problem is that camping the night before on the street, waiting in line forever, and fighting for the very best deals isn’t quite my thing. But there is a good trick to avoid all this and still get reasonable deals if you’re living in a village like Champaign :-) .

So I got a brand-new 32 inch Toshiba flat-screen TV for just $260 (for the Europeans, that’s about 190 EUR) instead of $340 … I think it’s an amazing deal. The way to get it without a line is to drive to a small shop in a small town which still has one or two Black Friday deals. In this case, it was a very small Radio Shack in Savoy, IL. Worked great!

toshiba

The TV even has two HDMI and one VGA input. Actually, I’m not really using it as TV anyway, just as a very large (and cheap) monitor :-) .

An SC11 story – walking by OccupySeattle and Space Needle …

A couple of days ago was one of those nights where I went back from the parties to my (slightly remote) hotel. I was passing OccupySeattle every day … but this time it was full of police. The funniest part was that the cops told me to leave while I was just walking by … I mean, seriously, I didn’t even stop. Actually, they stopped me in order to tell me to leave. I didn’t think it was worth mentioning until I saw this. I think the whole movement is really fed by such stories in a very grim way.

The movement is interesting and the Seattle one is especially noteworthy since the weather is really bad.

Well, well … very strange. Btw., the conference was absolutely great! Well, it was a bit too small (crowded) and the Party in the Space Needle was rather disastrous (reminded me a bit of the SC08 Texas thing without food). It was the opposite though this time — there was a lot of excellent food and drinks, but there was simply no space to stand. And getting up the needle was a 1-hour effort, well, Jim and I found a secret shortcut ;-) . Here is the proof:

573273-1565463-797-L

SC11 is over now! And we even had a 1.5 hours break before SC12 started for the committee :-) . It was a great show, bigger, better everything. ~5k people in the technical program and ~12k total.

PS: I know that Mount Rainier and the Space Needle can not fit on a picture like this … it’s called artistic freedom!

Next year’s plans

Many knew that I was planning my return to Europe since the beginning of this year. I want to remark again that my move is exclusively motivated by personal reasons; I like the US and especially UIUC and my alma mater IU very much. I applied about a year ago to the Assistant Professor position at ETH and some time after that to the Helmholtz (HGF) Junior Investigator group program with the Juelich Supercomputing Center. Btw., this was the first (and second) time that I applied for something in my
life—I somewhat slid into all other jobs and programs.

Against all odds, both applications succeeded and both offers were extremely close regarding the funding. Now I was facing the paradox of choice (see Schwartz and his talk). This was horrible because I knew that both places invested in me and I had to disappoint somebody. I hate this, seriously.

Juelich is *the* top supercomputing center in Europe and ETH is *the* top research university in (mainland) Europe (with people like Einstein as alumni). It was a very hard choice and I took some time to make it final.

Since my career-goal is to be a professor at a research university, I decided to accept the position at ETH. The environment and colleagues also seem very very promising. I hope my friends in Juelich understand my decision.

So now it’s official. I’ll move to Zuerich, Switzerland (most likely) in August next year to start a position as Assistant Professor at the ETH Zuerich.

juelich_forschungszentrum
A view of Juelich. I like the natural forest setting a lot!

ethz
zurich
Views of ETH and Zurich.

The new ACM SIGHPC!

We (the CS researchers working on parallel computing and HPC) finally made it! We got our own special interest group in ACM — SIGHPC. I think it’s a great opportunity for us to have a forum for the HPC researchers. I joined immediately.