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Philip Taffet Wins Travel Scholarship to Super Computing Conference

November 18, 2016

Philip Taffet at SC16

CS senior Philip Taffet won a travel award to attend a high performance computing conference, SC16, in Salt Lake City. This is Taffet's second SC trip.

In his first semester at Rice University, Taffet presented a research poster at SC13. While still in high school, he had begun research work for CS professor John Mellor-Crummey, an experience that helped shape Taffet's final college selection. He submitted his SC13 Research poster proposal even before he arrived at Rice for O-Week. Because he so enjoyed his first super computing conference, he responded quickly to an email invitation to apply for a travel award for SC16. 

At the conference, travel scholarship recipients were invited to talks organized specifically for their group. Taffet was joined by several international students, as well as students from a range of U.S. universities like Purdue, UC-Santa Barbara, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Southern Mississippi.

At Rice, he has split his free time between research and product development. He and two high schools friends - Jake Nyquist and  Brett  Gutstein, also CS majors - launched Steward Technology , an automotive industry app and won first place in the 2016 Owl Open , a Rice student startup competition.

"I'm going to do the 5 th year MS program at Rice," Taffet said, "so I'm starting to do more research. One highlight of the SC16 conference has been meeting so many people interested in high performance computing (HPC), and hearing their perspectives on new HPC technologies or problems we're facing."

Mellor-Crummey said, "The conference offered a great opportunity to interact with leaders in the field. The combination of listening to talks at the conference and subsequent discussions with their authors helped us develop a plan for some networking simulations that Philip may explore for his MS thesis."

Taffet encourages other Rice students to apply for the 2017 travel awards, particularly if they are interested in HPC. He said, "The application was not too long, and you'll learn an immense amount!"