A Global View
SUSE’s Jeff Reser can bring together his love of computers and astrophysics into his day job.
By Valerie Dennis Craven04/03/2017
Growing up in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania, away from lights, allowed Jeff Reser a spectacular view of the sky. From an early age, this ignited his interest in astronomy, eventually leading him to pursue a Bachelor of Science in astrophysics and computer science from Pennsylvania State University.
Faced with either attending graduate school for astrophysics or accepting a paying job with his computer science degree, Reser began his career with computers. After a short internship with the Naval Research Laboratory, he started working at IBM, where he helped architect what became IBM WebSphere* technology, among other projects. Now global product and solutions marketing manager at SUSE for almost a year, Reser is strategically responsible for SUSE Linux* for IBM z Systems* and LinuxONE*, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for high-performance computing (HPC). “HPC affords me the opportunity to work with supercomputing centers and research organizations around the world,” he states. “With a passion for space research, I now get to work with leading-edge research facilities running calculation-intensive tasks. These jobs afford me the opportunity to talk scientifically with research organizations in interesting areas.”
“My scientific background helps me every day in identifying computing and application needs for what’s important in today’s market.”—Jeff Reser, global product and solutions marketing manager, SUSE
Reser first got into astronomy during the early days of the IBM mainframe—a time when NASA was using the platform to solve complex computational problems for space flight, capturing his two interests. While some of the space research workloads have moved, “the IBM mainframe maintains its corner of the market for highly transactional applications found in banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, and more,” he says.
Reser attributes his scientific and analytic background to helping him succeed throughout his career: “One of the leading opportunity areas today is in big data and predictive analytics. I truly believe my scientific background helps me every day in identifying computing and application needs for what’s important in today’s market.”
Outside of work, Reser stays current on astrophysics through online space-related forums and groups, and reading articles about SpaceX, NASA and general astronomy. And he enjoys reading “scientific” science fiction from authors with an astronomy background, such as Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds and Kim Stanley Robinson.
“Space research affects all of us in some way or another—whether it’s predicting solar electromagnetic activity that will affect telecommunications on Earth, botany experimentation on the International Space Station or technology created for space travel with applications on Earth,” he says. “It’s inspiring and innovative. With additional scientific understanding comes the ability to ‘see further’ into what’s possible.”
Valerie Dennis Craven is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor.
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