Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Jim Simons, the Numbers King | The New Yorker

A visit to a scientific-research center usually begins at a star
professor’s laboratory that is abuzz with a dozen postdocs collaborating
on various experiments. But when I recently toured the Flatiron
Institute, which formally opened in September, in lower Manhattan, I was
taken straight to a computer room. The only sound came from a
susurrating climate-control system. I was surrounded by rows of black
metal cages outfitted, from floor to ceiling, with black metal shelves
filled with black server nodes: boxes with small, twinkling lights and
protruding multicolored wires. Tags dangled from some of the wires,
notes that the tech staff had written to themselves. I realized that I’d
seen a facility like this only in movies. Nick Carriero, one of the
directors of what the institute calls its “scientific-computing core,”
walked me around the space. He pointed to a cage with empty shelves.
“We’re waiting for the quantum-physics people to start showing up,” he
said.



Jim Simons, the Numbers King | The New Yorker

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