Snellius, the national supercomputer – background

If all goes according to plan, SURF will pull the plug from Cartesius on September 1. He. She High performance computingThe system will have loyal computing service for more than eight years as the national supercomputer of the Netherlands. In this capacity, scholars can rely on Cartesius to perform the complex calculations required for their research. As of September 1, they can still go to the national supercomputer for this purpose, but that title will then be carried by a completely different system. This system is named Snellius and is building it by Lenovo on behalf of SURF.

The name Snellius comes from the name of Willebrord Snel van Royen, a prominent mathematician who lived from 1580 to 1626. Like many scientists at the time, he was also at home in other fields of research, including surveying, navigation, hydrography, and astronomy. He gained widespread fame in the field of optics, with Snell’s law, named by his Latin name, indicating how light rays are refracted when moving from one medium to another. In France they talk about Descartes’ law, which described the law of refraction independently of Snellius. The Latin name for Descartes is Cartesius, the name of the former national supercomputer. All this is independent of the choice of the name Snellius; Chosen in part because of its association with “fast”.

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