A Career Discussion with Jose Monsalve Diaz

The Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has accelerated the delivery of a capable exascale computing ecosystem to provide breakthrough solutions for the nation’s most critical challenges. But the impacts of the project go beyond technology. The ECP has also provided tremendous opportunities for young researchers to develop knowledge and relationships within the high-performance computing (HPC) community by supporting continued individual and collaborative excellence in the field.

Jose Monsalve Diaz is a postdoctoral appointee at Argonne National Laboratory and a researcher on the ECP’s SOLLVE project. His group’s work has greatly improved the flexibility of on-node programming on next-generation supercomputers, a contribution that has proven crucial in supporting the progress of several other ECP projects.

Monsalve Diaz became interested in HPC in graduate school, where he merged his earlier focus on hardware and electronics with a desire to understand how modern computers function at a deeper level. “Ever since grad school I have been interested in understanding computer architectures and in thinking and theorizing about future architectures,” he explained. This interest and the skills he has cultivated while pursuing it have made Diaz a valued member of his team at Argonne, a position he greatly appreciates.

For Monsalve Diaz, working at Argonne has been the perfect environment to explore highly challenging problems with the advanced resources and creative team members needed to solve them. “For me, the ECP was a gateway to the Department of Energy,” he said. “I’m sitting in a privileged position between industry and academia, where I can communicate with both without issues. It is really hard to find so many excellent people in one space,” he added.

For early career scientists interested in HPC, Monsalve Diaz emphasized the importance of finding a group of like-minded people to work with. “Don’t go to conferences just for the academics; do it to form community. It’s really important to find ways to provide value to that community in order to integrate with it,” he said.