Professor Hans Vandierendonck is Professor of High-Performance and Data-Intensive Computing in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology.
Tell us about your research
I am interested in high-performance computing. In particular, I am aiming to understand how to write software such that it achieves the best possible speed by taking into account the operation of the computing hardware. I am also trying to understand the relationship between precision (the level of detail), accuracy and speed of computation, and how we can design software where precision can be adapted on the fly to meet speed and accuracy constraints.
What first attracted you to your research field?
I first learned to program computers when I was about 12-13 years old. I became interested in how computers work and read too many books on computers and on programming. One thing led to another.
What impact is your research having on people's lives?
The impact of my research is rather indirect because high-performance computing is an enabling discipline for many other fields, including computational sciences and medicine. The real impacts are created by others, and my work allows others to achieve more.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
It is always rewarding to publish a paper that tops results from MIT or Stanford, however, the most rewarding part of the job is working with students, undergraduate and postgraduate, and helping them to shift their own boundaries.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I used to play chess at club level in a distant past. These days I tend to spend my little spare time doing odd jobs around the house, such as putting a lick of paint, or fixing a broken switch.
What is your favourite app?
There’s no such thing as my favourite app. It’s probably a professional deformation but I resent the bugginess of apps, lack of user-friendliness, and any shortcomings broadly.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?
What are you most proud of?
My children, Alex and Noor.