Current Position: SQL Server Analysis Services, Microsoft, USA
When I applied to the MSc in HPC, I had worked as a software developer for 3 years. I had always been keenly interested in parallel computing, because of the sheer complexity of the computational problems it can address. This was the perfect opportunity for me to learn under the tutelage of industry-renowned experts at EPCC, which has a long-standing association with HPC, and to gain hands-on experience of working with large parallel computers such as HECToR.
The MSc has been an immense learning experience for me. The course was perfectly paced to accommodate students from various backgrounds and ages – from fresh graduates to experienced professionals. The content was broad and touched almost every aspect of HPC. The lecturers had a thorough understanding of the subject matter and patiently helped us understand even the most difficult concepts. I also enjoyed the regular guest lectures delivered by industry experts who gave us key insights into emerging trends.
The University hosts students from almost every geographical location, cultural background and academic interest. The list of my friends in Edinburgh included writers, investment bankers, scientists, environmental engineers and economists, to name a few. I had the most memorable experiences at Edinburgh which I shall cherish forever.
I currently live in Seattle, USA, and work for Microsoft who offered me a placement while I was writing my MSc thesis. I work in the SQL Server Analysis Services team where we routinely deal with extremely large quantities of data, popularly called ‘Big Data’. The concepts learnt during the MSc are helping me understand key design decisions in the software stack and the implications of the underlying hardware, as well as to suggest improvements to extract optimal performance from our servers.
In the next 10 years, I wish to start my own venture focused on specific applications of HPC. I also hope to be able to pursue a PhD in HPC since I haven’t had enough of it just yet.
My advice to prospective students would be to think in terms of the future, as HPC will only grow and continue to infiltrate every aspect of our lives. GPUs are ubiquitous, mobile devices are already running many-core processors, and hundreds of cores on a single chip are on their way. HPC is surely the way forward, and the MSc course at the University of Edinburgh will equip you with everything you need for charting that trajectory.