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Remembering Rich Brueckner

A sad, one-year commemoration occurred today. It was a year ago that Rich Brueckner, the long-time editor-in-chief of insideHPC (and creator of insideBIGDATA) and one of the most popular and respected people in the HPC community, died.

The news was met with shock and grief across the industry, and it was a fitting reflection of the regard with which Rich was held that Dan Olds of HPC industry analyst firm Intersect360 Research and Timothy Prickett Morgan of The Next Platform wrote a moving eulogy that well-captured Rich’s spirit.

“Rich was an institution in the HPC community,” wrote Olds and Morgan. “You couldn’t go to an event without seeing his red hat bobbing in the crowd, usually trailed by a fast-moving video crew. He’d be darting into booths, conducting interviews, and then speeding away to his next appointment. But Rich would never be too busy to exchange a back-slap or hug with friends as he traveled the show floor.”

Later last year, Olds announced the first Winter Classic Student Cluster Competition, which included a GoFundMe scholarship fund in Rich’s memory.  As Olds said in his December 3 announcement of the competition, the goal was to raise $5,000 for two $2,500 scholarships for the outstanding male and female competitors.

“Rich was a huge proponent of HPC education and a big fan of student cluster competitions,” Olds said, “so we believe it is only fitting that we put together a scholarship fund in his name… If we raise more money, we will bestow more awards to more students.”

It was heartwarming – though not surprising – that the HPC community rallied to the call and blew past scholarship fund goals. As it happened, $6,000 was raised, enabling distribution of six $1,000 awards. The competition took place earlier this month, the results were announced and the scholarships were awarded.

We think it’s entirely appropriate that a year to the month after losing Rich, the HPC community gave thousands of dollars in his name for the educations of future HPC community members. That’s quite a legacy. As Olds said in December: “Rich is looking down and smiling right now.”

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