Japan and Australia Visit
By stern on May 08, 2007
I'm halfway through a seven-day, around the world (on one and a half axes) trip that has me visiting half of our sales headquarters in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Left NYC on Saturday, landed in rainy Tokyo on Sunday afternoon and basically shifted the body clock twelve hours. Monday took me to the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TiTech), home of the TSUBAME supercomputer, currently number 9 in the world and the leader of the Asia pac(k). It's both humbling and exciting to tour a room full of your own company's equipment, humming and thrumming along, in what was perhaps the neatest machine room I've ever toured. The challenge faced by the TSUBAME team is making the grid more interesting and accessible to more of their research population, which means finding new expressions of high performance computing. They've already expanded beyond the usual matrix manipulations and fluid flow problems into social sciences and environmental studies.
Day two of the tour took me straight down (that half-axis thing) to Australia, where I spent some time with our customer engineering teams and some government customers, enjoying the best of Australia modulo Vegemite and brekkie pies. Got to see recently highlighted SunStar Paul Hatfield in his native element (working on Telstra's technical strategy, not sailing).
Funniest travel vignette so far: in transit between Japan and Sydney, I was wearing my one of my favorite bright orange Princeton t-shirts. My seat mate on the flight was a fellow Princeton alum and familiar with Sun from his work with KKR. Nothing like having two edges of the social graph overlap; technically we should have sounded the locomotive cheer but we both slept through the opportunity.
Next stop: Bangalore.