An informative and entertaining journey through how supercomputing is changing the world, one story at a time.

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Protecting Football Players' Brains
November 30, 2021
It hasn’t even been two decades since the discovery was made -- Small repetitive hits to the head over time accumulated in football games and practices can build up into something significant and scary: chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. But with no sign that American football is going away anytime soon, the question remains of what can be done to better protect players against life-altering injuries like this? In today’s episode, Jolie and Ernest speak to Tate Fonville of Liberty University about a new approach to designing a football helmet that is more likely to protect against damage to the brain -- by using computational simulation.
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At the Heart of Simulation (Part 2)
November 16, 2021
In the last episode, we were introduced to Tom -- a man who was flung into a medical twilight zone of heart issues and the procedures to fix them. In this continuation of the story, meet Steve Kreuzer -- an engineer from Exponent who specializes in assisting in the development of the very kind of technology that saved Tom’s life. Steve walks us through just what kind of technology it takes to create these life-saving devices, and how much more complex it is when you’re trying to predict how these devices will interact with human tissue.
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At the Heart of Simulation (Part 1)
November 2, 2021
Tom was a healthy, athletic man in his 50s when he was suddenly struck with an unexpected heart issue -- One that hundreds of thousands of people experience each year. And that one incident spiraled into a series of events that would dramatically alter the course of Tom’s life -- but at least he still had a life to live. Had it been only a couple decades earlier, Tom's story may not have continued at all. But thanks to a new medical device born out of computational engineering, thousands of people like Tom are still walking around us every day, and that number is only going to increase over time.
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Flying Cars: From Cloud to Cloud
October 19, 2021
For decades, mankind has been enamored with the idea of flying cars -- we’ve seen them in movies, read about them in books, and longed to see them in the skies. The Back to the Future movies even showed highways in the skies in the year 2015, giving society three decades to make that a reality. Welp, 2015 came and went, and cars were all still very much on the ground. BUT we can finally say that change is right around the corner. In this episode, Ernest and Jolie speak to Madhu Bhabuta, CIO of Vertical Aerospace -- an innovative company working to put flying cars (or eVTOLs, as they’re called) into the sky by 2024 -- potentially changing the way we travel forever.
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AI: Hollywood vs Reality (Part 2)
October 5, 2021
Is the singularity really around the corner? And when it hits, will we be surrounded by task-fulfilling artificial intelligence beings like in the 2004 movie, iRobot, or will we be shipped across space in hibernation pods reminiscent of 2016’s Passengers? Or… something else? In this second half of our discussion around artificial intelligence, Jolie and Ernest explore common themes in AI movies from the 1990s to today, and compare them to predictions and ideas from OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman. One thing is sure -- AI is going to change the world. The question is, how are we going to prepare for it?
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AI: Hollywood vs Reality (Part 1)
September 21, 2021
Beginning nearly a century ago, Hollywood movies have portrayed artificial intelligence on the big screen… er… at least what they thought of artificial intelligence. But just how much has cinema gotten right? We hear from AI expert Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, as he walks through his thoughts on where AI is really going, and what we need to do to prepare for it. Meanwhile, Ernest and Jolie explore a timeline of hilarious and fascinating AI-related blockbuster titles. From AI-gone-evil to AI learning to love, similar themes crop up again and again, demonstrating mankind’s obsession with the “what if.”
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Weathering Water on Mars
June 29, 2021
From reports of UFO (or UAP) sightings across the globe to scientists scouring the universe for signs of extraterrestrial life, humankind has been searching for proof that we are not alone in this universe. In this episode, we talk to “Mars meteorologist” Dr. Michael A. Mischna of JPL about new research that not only supports evidence that life-essential water flourished on Mars over history, but shows how that was possible on such a dry, sandy planet. And with Perseverance and Ingenuity physically traversing its sandy craters, NASA could be on the brink of unlocking never-before discovered secrets about our mysterious galactic neighbor, as well as what that might mean for us on Earth.
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Digital Twins Will Change the World
June 8, 2021
Imagine you had a digital twin -- a computational model of yourself with not only all of your physical and physiological characteristics uploaded into it in real time, but also your thought patterns, personality traits, and opinions. Suddenly, doctors would know exactly what treatments would be best customized for you if you got sick or experienced emotional trauma, or even what medical abnormalities could be in your future and how to prevent them in advance. While it’s the kind of material screenwriters latch on to for TV episodes and movies, the day may be on the horizon where we can drop the “fiction” in this type of “science fiction.” In fact, this kind of technology is already being used to track machines and systems in fields like aerospace, automotive, energy, utilities, and building design, with enormous advancements around the corner. In this episode, we speak to Dr. Karen E. Willcox -- an expert on digital twins -- about what digital twins can do for us in the present, and how they could greatly change the world in the future.
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Preventing Airplane Engine Explosions
May 18, 2021
We’ve seen it on the news multiple times -- Engines exploding mid-flight on commercial aircraft, raining metal debris on anything and anyone below. The cause is often the same -- fatigued fan blades hitting their last leg, snapping off and destroying the engine and its casing, while terrifying passengers on board. Some flights like United 328 out of Denver managed to land safely without passenger injuries, while others haven’t been so lucky. So why are these fan blades breaking apart and wreaking havoc on the skies, and are these incidents realistically preventable? In this episode, we speak to Reamonn Soto, CEO of Sensatek Propulsion Technology -- an innovative startup creating fan blade sensors that grant an inside view into exactly what’s happening to an engine in real time, forwarding goals of putting these fan blade accidents behind us for good.
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