Two researchers dominate the world of high performance computing (HPC) | Other Asian Columns and Reports | SciencePortal Asia Pacific Telling the present of science and technology in the Asia-Pacific region

AsianScientist-Contrary to all predictions, female researchers are sweeping the world of high performance computing (HPC). Two great researchers show how they are leading and collaborating in business computing.

Augusta Ada Byron, commonly known as Countess Lovelace Ada, was a mathematician widely admired as the first computer programmer. While there are certainly denials questioning her contribution to the analytical engine of Charles Babbage, today her name and legacy stand out as an illustrious female celebrity in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

While IT is predominantly male, female pioneers have made a name for themselves in the history of the field. It was the all-female team that programmed Eniac, the first major electronic device that sparked the computer age, and Grace Hopper, who invented the first high-level computer language.

April 18, 2022

But even in the very near future in 2017, only 10% of all high performance computing (HPC) papers were by female authors. The number of women working in HPC is not yet significant, but it is having a widespread impact. Ssupercomputing asia The magazine interviewed two researchers recognized as leading specialists in the field, as well as women involved in computing.

Calculate everyday chemistry

Dr. Freda Lim of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research Singapore (A*STAR) studies computational chemistry and aims to elucidate consumer interactions with consumer products such as pain patches and health products. skin care. His research extends beyond the bench to bathroom shelves, creating effective solutions.

When he was a young undergraduate student, Dr. Lim was not at all sure about entering the computer world in the future. At the time, Dr. Lim decided that computational chemistry was a poor, repetitive, unguided, and uninteresting task, so he decided not to go into that field.

After continuing with my higher education, influenced by the patience and intellect of my instructor, I learned the joy of building, improving and testing models of electrons, atoms and molecules in the system. These are the central parts of computational chemistry.

Currently, Dr. Lim conducts research in the area of ​​consumer care products while playing a leading role as Principal Investigator, Chief Innovation Officer, and Deputy Director at the A*STAR Institute for High Computing. performance (IHPC). Dr. Lim has a lot of work to do, but more importantly, he promotes HPC in consumer care and ultimately develops formulas for products that people use daily in the bathroom.

“The first ‘real’ computational chemistry project in graduate school involved semiconductor materials, and the second project was trying to find a catalytic material for the oxidation of carbon monoxide in IHPC. Both themes. Was also intriguing, but nothing is more interesting than exploring the interplay of chemistry with the consumer skincare products that people use every day,” says Dr. Lim.

Dr. Lim and his team use HPC to study the interaction of polymers with other components such as nanoparticles, surfactants and even other polymers. Additionally, molecular dynamics simulations help us understand how these different formulations interact with soft materials like hair and skin, and contribute to the development of products that people can use effectively and safely. ..

As a mentor for young researchers and a speaker at conferences such as Supercomputing Asia and webins at the Skin Research Society Singapore, Dr. Lim has played an active role in shaping the future of HPC in Singapore and Asia.

“Asia (supercomputer) has Kyoto and Tomitake in Japan, and the Tianhe system in China, so I have constantly increased its presence in the HPC field over the past 10 years. This means that the use of HPC will become more common in the coming years, will be accessible to students in more parts of Asia, and will be able to develop a healthy and continuous number of talented people who can play an active role in the field of HPC. “, Dr. Lim said.

Team sports

The world of HPC is revitalized by the cooperation of universities, industry and government agencies to tackle global issues such as climate change and public health, in addition to the presence of training and a familiar mentorship.

Dr. Christine Ouyang, a strong proponent of this form of collaboration and one of the transformators leading the effort, is a distinguished engineer, master inventor, and technical director of IBM Systems at IBM. He has several titles as a leader. Dr. Ouyan is also passionate about teaching HPC, with some of his work centered on the IBM Global University program designed to build relationships with academic institutions. “We have supported research and skill development by providing technologies such as hardware and software, course materials, IBM doctoral scholarships, faculty awards and other academic awards,” said Dr. Ouyan.

Launched more than 60 years ago, the program encourages partnerships with schools around the world, from Switzerland to Pakistan, fosters more talent for private companies and government agencies, and accelerates innovation from R&D to market. companies.

In fact, IBM set up 13 Joint Innovation Centers (JICs) between 2012 and 2013 to pilot new technology areas such as big data, advanced analytics, and cloud computing. One such partnership involving Dr. Ouyan is still successful at the National University of Singapore (NUS). With the launch of the CIC, IBM provided NUS with analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) software, hardware, as well as industry use cases from customers and student mentors. All of these resources are used to develop HPC talent in Singapore.

During his 21 years with IBM, Dr. Ouyan has witnessed first-hand each party’s ability to develop new technologies that benefit edge computing. Dr. Ouyan believes that combining resources not only provides beneficial results for all parties, but often exceeds the results an organization can achieve on its own.

“Each stakeholder brings something unique to help solve the problem. The academic community provides curious people working on the problem with a dedicated network to help them grow. Government agencies often provide the funding to meet the challenge, which enables the academic community The technology industry provides funding and other resources and introduces consultants. Finally, the industry is the real world. Contribute expertise on the problems and their areas of interest “(Dr. Ouyan)

Schools and organizations around the world are inviting more women into the field as the HPC market continues to grow steadily and is expected to reach nearly US$56 billion by 2028. It’s understandable to try. HPC industry pioneer Dr. Anita Borg founded, a non-profit organization aimed at helping women work and advance in technology. A survey conducted by the organization in 2020 found that the overall proportion of women in the technology sector continued to grow steadily, increasing by 2.9% compared to 2018.

As we know the direction, spotlight pioneers, and nurture budding young computer scientists, researchers like Dr. Freda Lim and Dr. Christine Ouyan are in the HPC field regardless of gender. It’s a powerful example of the success that can be achieved with.


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