Supercomputing from Scratch

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Conversation with Ward Wheeler bounces haphazardly from hard facts to — well, whatever pops into his head. So when he declares that the American Museum of Natural History, where he’s worked for more than a decade, “was an insane asylum for 135 years until they decided to put stuffed animals into it,” it’s clear he’s teasing. And when he goes on to say that what might be one of the world’s fastest supercomputers is in its basement (right next to the carpentry shop), the joke seems obvious.

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