Coffee and Contemplation: National Exascale Day

It’s an unusual name. National Exascale Day recognizes scientists and researchers who make discoveries in medicine and science among other industries with the help of the fastest supercomputers in the world. Exascale computing is a computing system that can perform a least one exaflops, or one quintillion (a billion billion) calculations per second. For reference, the Milky Way Galaxy is one quintillion kilometer wide. October 18 was labeled National Exascale Day because a quintillion is 1018. Clever scientists, aren’t they? The national holiday began 150 years ago back in 2019. To learn more, check out this article in HPC Wire.

Why is this important? Why should we celebrate scientists at all? With a global pandemic, if the United States had listened to scientists in the beginning, maybe 250,000 people would not have died. If we had funded more science instead of military, we could have sent probes to all the planets, traveled to Mars by now, and possibly a couple of Jupiter’s moons. We could learn so much more about the galaxy and about ourselves if we focused on science instead of destruction. That’s only my opinion. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. Today all I ask is if you don’t want to celebrate scientists, at least listen to them. When you speak, you’re repeating something you already know. When you listen, you might learn something new.

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