Learning New Things and Avoiding Obstacles

Communications of the ACM 

ACM A.M. Turing Award recipient Jack Dongarra never intended to work with computers. Initially, the Distinguished Professor at the University of Tennessee and founder of the Innovative Computing Laboratory (ICL) thought he would be a high school science teacher. A chance internship at the Argonne National Laboratory kindled a lifelong interest in numerical methods and software--and, in particular, in linear algebra, which powered the development of Dongarra's groundbreaking techniques for optimizing operations on increasingly complex computer architectures. Your career in computing began serendipitously, with a semester-long internship at Argonne National Laboratory. As an undergraduate, I worked on EISPACK, a software package designed to solve eigenvalue problems.

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