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I’m on the Steering Committee for SC10,
the annual high-performance computing (HPC) conference, which is this
week in New Orleans. The conference brings together an extraordinary
group of scientists, engineers, educators, software developers and
government leaders to share and experience the latest in
high-performance computing hardware, software and applications. It’s
the place to be.
From a personal perspective, it is always an exciting event, given my long background in HPC.
I can rarely walk more than twenty feet without meeting an old friend, a
former student, a past or present collaborator, or friendly competitor.
It is also a privilege for me to again chair the IEEE awards committee
for the Sidney Fernbach and Seymour Cray awards, which will be presented during the conference.
The theme of this year’s conference is The Future of Discovery. That also seems to capture the spirit of our work at Microsoft to democratize research and accelerate discovery with client plus cloud technology.
Today, in almost all domains, scientists and engineers are being
inundated by a data tsunami. In astronomy, new instruments capture more
data in days or weeks than had previously been captured in decades or
even centuries. In biology, high throughput gene sequencers and other
instruments are producing data at unprecedented rates. Simply put,
science is in transition from data poverty to data plethora. The
implication is that future advantage will accrue to those who can best
extract insights from this data tsunami.
Today is the kickoff of American Education Week with the purpose of shining a spotlight on the importance that every student has a basic right to receive an excellent public education and highlighting the need for everyone to get involved in improving the education system in the United States. To help celebrate, we are in Raleigh, North Carolina announcing a new partnership with North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to bring IT training to every high school student in the state.
With the national unemployment rate at 9.6%, and 16.6% for recent college grads, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that 77% of American jobs will require technology skills in the next decade, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure high school seniors graduate college and career ready and equipped with 21st century skills to be able to compete in a tech-savvy workforce.
The Partners in Learning Worldwide Innovation Education Forum in Cape Town is a celebration of all the incredible teachers and education leaders. Throughout our week in Cape Town there were so many inspirational and thought provoking moments.
The stakes are high for students around the world today. Acquiring knowledge is no longer enough. Throughout the week we discussed how we must prepare students for jobs that don't yet exist and these teachers are making great strides to do just that. Technology, when used the right way can provide students with a personalized path for success.
Throughout the week we saw amazing projects that connected students across oceans, tackled environmental cleanup in Africa, and enabled anywhere anytime learning in the Cloud, just to mention a few.
The 125 teachers who came to Cape Town from around the world understand the critical importance of giving students the skills they need to meet the untold demands of the next decade’s job market. This exceptional group started amongst a pool of 200,000 competing and winning at country and regional levels.
All of these educators are inspiring examples of teachers that learn for their peers and development amazing lessons to provide students with the skills they’ll need to be successful in 21st Century job market.