The Top 10 HPC Accounts To Follow On Twitter
By Christine Wong
High Performance Computing (HPC) may not yet enjoy as high a profile on social media as some other areas of technology, like smartphones and apps, but the growing body of experts on Twitter may help change that.
Social media services often do two things exceptionally well: build new communities and strengthen existing ones, no matter how small or outside the noisier mainstream they happen to be. This list is here to help the HPC community on both counts.
In the spirit of Lionel Gibbons’s past post on the 12 Best HPC Blogs to Follow, we’re pointing you towards 10 Twitter accounts to check out from the HPC world. Some of them have tens of thousands of followers; some are still establishing a following. Just as the HPC community itself continues to grow in size and influence, so does its Twitter presence. Here are our picks, in no particular order:
1) @iSupercomputing: Okay, so this is one of the 3,000 Twitter news streams curated by SNS Analytics on an astounding assortment of topics. But it delivers exactly what it promises: “Breaking news about supercomputing.” Plus, unlike some other accounts, you won’t have to sift through personal tweets of vacation photos and recipes to get to the core HPC content. This one seems to have more of an international scope than similar HPC-themed Twitter accounts.
2) @addisonsnell: Addison Snell tweets often about HPC data and trends. A former HPC analyst at IDC, he’s now the CEO of Intersect360, a research and consulting firm specializing in HPC. Snell was named one of HPCwire’s People to Watch in 2010.
3) @insideHPC: Rich Brueckner certainly is an industry insider. After 25 years of working in the HPC trenches for the likes of Cray, SGI, and Sun Microsystems, Brueckner bought the insideHPC.com news site in 2010. His tweets are like a curated version of his website, quickly pointing you to the staggering amount of HPC content he keeps tabs on in print, online, video, and audio formats. In 2012, Forbes listed Brueckner as one of the top 20 influencers in big data.
4) @Top500Supercomp: Best known for its twice-yearly rankings of the 500 most powerful computers on the planet. The rankings also provide various other statistical data about supercomputers.
5) @HPCwire: Already a mainstay for many in the industry, this really is like a social wire service for HPC news. A clearinghouse of headlines from various media outlets, updated throughout the day. Besides breaking news, you’ll also find links to longer feature stories, corporate deals, and financial results.
6) @NCSAatIllinois: Don’t let that awkward Twitter handle scare you. It’s just the National Center for Supercomputing Applications based at the University of Illinois—yes, the same NCSA that brought us our first glimpses of the nascent World Wide Web through the lens of the Mosaic browser. This government-funded institute brings together HPC scholars and scientists from across the U.S. Its vendor-neutral tweets will lead you to HPC research, event listings, and an impressive number of job postings.
7) @simonmcs: Find out about the latest cutting edge research from one of the world’s leading HPC academics. Simon McIntosh-Smith focuses on HPC, GPU computing, and energy efficiency. He played a key role in the creation of Archer, the UK’s most powerful supercomputer. As head of the microelectronics group at Bristol University, he sheds light on HPC innovation across the pond.
8) @SCWmagazine: Scientific Computing World is a British magazine covering HPC, informatics, and application software. Although its target readers are “scientists, researchers, and engineers who use computing in their work,” the writing is journalistic and immensely readable. Tweets cover a range of HPC topics, not just links to SCW stories.
9) @HPCcouncil: If you want a more global take on HPC, follow the HPC Advisory Council. It promotes the use of HPC in government, industry, and education around the world. Provides lots of updates on international conferences, forums, and other events.
10) @BrightComputing: Okay, so this was probably obvious, but if you’re not already following us, this is a good reminder to do so—it’ll be another way to keep up with all the blogs, articles, and in-depth features on HPC, OpenStack, and Hadoop that you’ll find regularly in this space.
So go forth. Tweet, click, read, and retweet. You’ll be more informed and better connected because of it. Please help us add to this list. What have we missed? What others can you suggest? Let us know in the comments below.
Christine Wong has written about technology for ITBusiness.ca, CanadianCIO, and many other publications. She lives in Toronto.