A Teachable Moment at NVIDIA

by Andrea Hutchison

A teacher working over the summer?

While many teachers spend their summers traveling or relaxing at home, I spent mine working in NVIDIA’s marketing department in what turned out to be an eye-opening, rewarding and highly motivating experience.

I came to the role as part of an internship program sponsored by IISME (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education), a consortium of organizations that gives high school teachers the opportunity to work in industry for eight weeks.

Instead of spending time with family the last couple months, I’ve been interviewing leading-edge users of CUDA technology and writing articles for the CUDA Spotlight series, which will be published on the NVIDIA website over the next few weeks.

Through this project, I learned how GPU computing is used across a broad range of applications, from green urban planning and molecular dynamics to medical imaging and computational radiation physics (for future use in radiation therapy for cancer patients).

Social impact of the GPU: greening urban planning
Green urban planning is one of several
forthcoming CUDA Spotlights.

As a high school computer applications teacher, it’s been inspiring to see how technology is enabling scientists and researchers around the world to push the boundaries in their fields. I’ve also become more aware of the wide variety of career opportunities that my students can explore as they prepare for their future – keeping in mind, of course, that my students may end up working in areas that don’t yet exist!

I’m looking forward to returning to my classroom next week and sharing with my students what I’ve learned this summer.

I’ll be able to show how computing technology is being used in the real world to make a positive impact on society. And I anticipate that many of my students will get a kick out of learning that NVIDIA GPUs aren’t just for great graphics in video games.

Using the CUDA Spotlights as a teaching tool, my goal is to expose students to the exciting opportunities made possible by technology – and inspire them to pursue their dreams.

[Editor’s note: For more information on the IISME program at NVIDIA, contact Calisa Cole. Read about Andrea and NVIDIA’s participation in the IISME internship program in the Mercury News. ]