January 26, 2024 - by CSCS

Could you shortly introduce yourself?

My name is Jeffrey Zweidler, and I just started my master’s degree in computer science at ETH Zurich. I got this opportunity to intern at CSCS during my first semester, so a lot of things are going on at the moment! 

What fascinates you in the world of supercomputing?

Everything is about speed. From the shortest line of code up to the parallelization of simulations on huge clusters, every single step must be as performant as possible to guarantee the speedups that CSCS is trying to achieve.

How did you first hear about CSCS?

I took a course at ETH about parallel programming for partial differential equations (PDEs). The course was very practical, and for running/testing our codes, we had access to a few node hours on the “Piz Daint” supercomputer at CSCS.

Why did you want to intern at CSCS?

I fairly enjoyed all the HPC classes during my bachelor’s program, and I’m thinking about specializing in it during my master’s. What better place to gain some hands-on experience than CSCS?

What projects have you worked on so far during your internship at CSCS?

I’ve been part of the GT4Py group for my internship. GT4Py is a Python library for generating high-performance implementations mostly used for simulations. As another programming language, namely Julia, is gaining more and more popularity in the sector of high-performance programming, my job was to kick off an embedded version of this Python library in Julia.  

How would you describe a regular day as an intern at CSCS? 

Well, it’s a typical 8 to 5 office job. I appreciate it a lot that I’m not being micromanaged, but at the same time, I am getting all the support that I need. All my colleagues are very knowledgeable, and I’ve spent many coffee breaks not understanding what they were talking about. I’m learning a lot about the “typical day as an HPC engineer”, which is exactly what I wanted.  

What will you take home from this experience?

This is my first working experience in the field of computer science. I have learned what it means to carry out a larger project involving multiple people and what each person needs to contribute. Plus, I learned a lot of programming skills! Coming from ETH, my practical skill set was very narrow… I learned a lot, and I’m looking forward to expanding these skills even more.