“Interim Technical Program Manager Applications” for Blue Waters

Actually, since March 1st (I wish I had more time for blogging and other things) I’m a manager, who would have thought that? I was promoted into this interim position after Bob Fiedler, who held it before, decided to retire from UI (now working for Cray). I will most likely hold this position until I leave to ETH at the end of July and I see it as a very interesting opportunity to gain some important experiences in the five month period.

One part of this job is to manage the Advanced Application and User Support (AuS) group in the Blue Waters project. This is not your usual run-off-the-mill user support group but 11 domain experts at masters and Ph.D. level who can talk to the application developers and users as peers. Each so called “point of contact” (PoC) is an expert in a particular domain (e.g., CFD, quantum chemistry, MD, QCD, …) and can advise users at a very high domain-specific level. This is possible because Blue Waters has, as a national resource, a very small user community (approx. 30 teams) and each PoC is working with 2-3 teams and ensures that the system is used efficiently and effectively. It was already very interesting to get AuS up and running for the first early users mid March. We had full support from day one and it went rather smooth!

I am also responsible for application and benchmark performance and certifying SoW items. This sounds much less exciting than it actually is, well, most of it at least :-) . It’s a big and fascinating system and network!

Even though my research output may be hurt for some months (I hope my students keep it up ;-) ), I think this is a great opportunity for gaining experience in managing a team of professionals and accepting a large-scale supercomputer. Thanks for your trust NCSA!

And even better, I got a new and awesome office! IMHO, one of the best offices in the building:

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A large whiteboard! Finally :-)

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A premium view! Well, sometimes the sun annoys me a bit ;-) .

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And a great view on the beautiful Siebel Center!