One of the nicest things about my role in the NESE project is visiting friends in our neighborhood. I never realized it before moving to Boston, but all of the NESE institutions (Boston University, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern University and UMass) are actually within walking distance of each other (UMass has 5 campuses – I’m counting UMass/Boston as walking distance). Walking around is a bit like walking around the Disney World Epcot Center – you can experience many different cultures all on the same day.
Today, I was visiting Jeremy Kepner at his office in the MIT Beaverworks. I know of Jeremy from his AI projects, books and his newly expanded, top500 MIT Supercloud with hardware in an HP EcoPod in Holyoke, MA, near our beloved MGHPCC.
The culture of MIT is, of course, brilliant, and, of course, technically sophisticated, but it’s also got a unique hands-on, free spirited flavor that’s really fun and inspirational. From the outside, at least, my impression is a culture where if you have an idea, you go ahead and do it, making what you need yourself as you go along. It’s a culture where you don’t need permission to do something smart or interesting. Nobody is going to stop you! You can read part of it from Jeremy’s lab below. Student projects everywhere. A real lab. You can tell from the lack of dusty setups that it’s all actively being worked on. Everything is on wheels! Jeremy says that every time he comes in, it’s different.
My excuse for the visit was to talk about storage. MIT Supercloud, it turns out, is tightly integrated with some really fast Lustre storage. The Beaverworks are mostly student projects organized around Jupyter notebooks and such, so, it turns out, he’s one of the few people in the neighborhood not urgently in need of many PB storage as supplied by us. Oh well. We’ll definitely stay in touch as it’s one of the major new shared facilities available to MGHPCC consortium students and researchers.
Neighborhood …which reminds me of the Disney World Epcot Center – Many cultures all close together.
Beaverworks Jeremy’s lab at MIT Beaverworks