Meet the RC Staff- Pete Ruprecht

            Pete Ruprecht’s educational background is in atomic and optical physics. He first experienced the power of computational science when he wrote a program in BASIC to model the behavior of a laser he built for an undergraduate project. He says that “It was kind of amazing to see that the equations predicted exactly the results that were coming out of the experiment!”

Over the years, Ruprecht has built on that experience to work on progressively larger computer systems. He came to CU Boulder to support the computational needs of scientists at JILA, an interdisciplinary research institute on campus. When a position opened with Research Computing, he says, “I jumped at the chance to do similar work on a much larger scale.” In his current position, Ruprecht helps his team maintain Janus and the PetaLibrary. Over the past few months, he has been focused on the design and procurement of the new Summit supercomputer. This process has involved learning the details of several cutting-edge technologies and understanding how to integrate those with more established components.

Ruprecht also aids in the development of new systems and services to support computational scientists at CU. He considers this the most exciting part of his job, saying, “I get a big thrill when I have helped a researcher to develop a new computational workflow and he or she goes on to make an important discovery using it.”

The immediate goal of Ruprecht’s work is to get Summit installed and running smoothly before the hardware in Janus stops working. In the longer term, he would like to find ways to make high-performance computing accessible to a wider range of researchers.


Outside of work, Ruprecht enjoys “hiking, biking, and all kinds of human-powered boating.” He lives with his family in Superior, Colorado. Given the chance to travel anywhere in the world, Ruprecht would visit “Remote islands such as South Georgia or Socotra, because of their stark beauty, surprising biodiversity, and lack of cell phone connectivity.”