Last summer, I went for a three month research stay at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR, USA. I closely collaborated with the research group on Computing and Data Understanding at eXtreme Scale (CDUX) led by Hank Childs. Their work is closely related to my research within the SFB-TRR 161 at the Visualization Research Center at the University of Stuttgart. In the collaborative project, we worked on performance prediction in hybrid in situ environments.
Researching at the University of Oregon and working with the CDUX group was an amazing experience. Hank and the students gave me a very warm welcome and helped me a lot with organizational things, such as finding a room to stay and even lending me a bike. With regard to my research, they supported me with the software and frameworks developed by their group and collaborators, something I really appreciated because I had little experience working in high performance environments. The group’s close cooperation with several of the world leading super computing centers gave me the opportunity to have insights in some of their current research projects and application fields for scientific visualization.
Besides its leading class research activity, the University of Oregon is well known for their football team and track and field program. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to watch the famous “Oregon Ducks” football team live because the season was already over when I arrived there. However, I could cheer for the Ducks in the NCAA track and field championships that were hosted by the University of Oregon in 2018. In my impression, sports plays an important role at the university, if through watching the teams or working out in the impressive gym and sports grounds.
Living in Eugene, a medium-sized student town (at least by German standards), was a very pleasant experience. Although it’s the second largest city in Oregon with around 160000 inhabitants, you can easily get around by bike and reach many interesting locations. A circumstance which is used a lot by the students. I experienced the city as a surprisingly green place with very nice and open-minded people, many of whom seem to value sustainability. Hiking, bicycling, playing Frisbee, or tubing on the Willamette river are just a few examples of outdoor activities that make a great time possible in and around Eugene in summer — and made my stay unforgettable.
Overall, I can only recommend visiting the University of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest in general. I really enjoyed my time there, the three months went by way too fast. I’m hoping to get the chance to visit again one day.