A real life episode of the Big Bang theory: European Edition
I just went to a kick-off meeting to start my PhD held at the Cyprus Institute and it was a great experience. For those of you who routinely subscribe to Science channels like Veritasium, Numberphile or Sci Show, with a visual diet of TED talks, BBC Horizon, et al. the meeting was like a three-day binge on that stuff, but in real life. And as a result I am now best-friends with the cast of Big Bang Theory, Europe-edition: the HPC-LEAP fellows.
Everyone I met at the meeting were from such varied backgrounds, both Scientifically and Geographically. From physicists who would be studying the conditions of our early universe, engineers and mathematicians investigating one of the most complex and mystifying natural phenomena, turbulence, and Biologists aiming to uncover the hidden workings behind the spread of one world's deadliest diseases, malaria.
The thought of participating in the kick-off meeting was quite nerve-wracking at first, owing to the high concentration of world-renowned leaders in academic science and science industry superstars (see: Supervisors, Mentors). However, after a few coffees and a meze, it was as clear as plain sight how nice and Human this breed of Homo sapiens actually were. Indeed, it was a great honour to hear, in the flesh, contemporary visionaries talk about their research; to glimpse into what these experts see as the new frontiers of cutting edge scientific research. Above all, the kick-off meeting gave me an opportunity to discuss the role I might play, in the effort to embrace upcoming supercomputing technologies for tackling some of mankind’s unanswered questions.
With respect to the other fellows, I was curious to observe whether or not members of different fields would mix: would the physicists, biologists, chemists and mathematicians cluster amongst their own kind or will we all mix well? Indeed, it was the latter that proved to be true! I have realised we all have a lot in common and we can talk for ages about topics we specialize in. I believe this is what interdisciplinary cooperation is all about, allowing each other to fill-in gaps in our knowledge and compensate for each other's weaknesses.
From some very inspiring conversations I had with the other fellows and my eminent supervisors, Professor George Christophides and Professor Paulo Carloni and industry mentor Jim Kallarackal (Oaklabs), I am hopeful that the plans we devised during the kick-off meeting would be successfully be turned into reality -- making exciting new discoveries on the way. Many cheers to Konstantinos Kleovoulou, Professor Constantia Alexandrou, and everybody else who made the Kick-off meeting such a pleasant success.