There’s a world behind IT

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A conversation with Aurora D’Aprile

On the one hand, a precise and organized scientist who does not postpone anything. On the other hand, a curious personality with a thousand interests. Getting to know with Silvia Mocavero, computer scientist at ASC Division – Advanced Scientific Computing.

What’s your job at the CMCC Foundation?
I’m in charge of optimizing the performance of climate models on supercomputing architectures. In simpler words, I research ICT solutions to reduce the execution time of the simulation models used by the other CMCC research divisions.

Which road led you to CMCC?
I graduated in Computer Engineering and I obtained a PhD in Lecce. For a few years I worked at the University of Salento, before becoming a CMCC researcher. It was an honor to be among the first researchers of the CMCC Foundation, it gave me the chance to enjoy its growth during its first decade.

Is your current job the one you had dreamed of when you were a child?

Not exactly. I’d always dreamed of working in the field of science, but not in computer science. I would’ve liked to become a mathematician or a psychologist (I’m fascinated by the human mind and by interpersonal dynamics). Two very different jobs that reflect the two sides of my personality: precision and curiosity.

Could you tell us the most beautiful moment in your life as CMCC researcher?

Among many exciting moments, those I remember most fondly are my first meeting with all CMCC researchers, when I realized the heterogeneity of skills that the CMCC has (a real Tower of Babel at the beginning!), and the release of the first parallel model used by the community.

What’s on your workstation?

Obviously, all the tech tools useful for work, but also the good old notebook, paper and pen because they stimulate the reasoning process, some personal objects that make me feel at home, and a Galilean thermometer, which reminds me how great our predecessors were.

What’s the ritual never missing in your work day?

Update the to-do list (even several times a day). Despite many unpredictable events, it’s a great satisfaction to arrive at the end of the day without postponing anything of what I had planned. I also try to spare some time for a coffee break and a cigarette with colleagues: it’s the moment when the exchange reaches the highest levels and new ideas emerge.

How do you travel to work?

I reach the outskirts of Lecce by car and I walk for about 15 minutes to CMCC headquarters, in the city center.

What do you do in your spare time?

I like drama and thriller movies, and listening to Italian singer-songwriters. I follow sports and I dabbled in many: dance, figure skating, swimming. From time to time, I can’t help but sing a song out loud, to nurture my old dream of becoming a soul singer, and relax.

Cinema or literature: give us a title and explain why you chose it.

The movie “Dead Poets Society”. I think it changed my life, or at least it helped me to look at it from different angles. I have learned how to listen to and understand different opinions, and to show my weaknesses.

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