Hands-On Introduction to High Performance Computing

2-3 July 2018

This course provides a general introduction to High Performance Computing (HPC) using the UK national HPC service, ARCHER, and/or Cirrus as the platforms for the exercises.

Familiarity with desktop computers is presumed but no programming, Linux or HPC experience is required. Programmers can however gain extra benefit from the course as source code for all the practicals will be provided.

Trainer


David Henty

David teaches on a wide range of EPCC's technical training courses, including MPI and OpenMP, and is overall course organiser for EPCC's MSc in High Performance Computing.

 


Neelofer Banglawala

Neelofer is a course organiser for Scientific Python and is also involved in teaching MPI, HPC and Software Carpentry courses.

 


Arno Proeme

Arno has taught on and organised a range of High Performance Computing and Software Carpentry courses, including training in HPC aimed at meeting the needs of researchers in the life sciences. He organises an annual ARCHER workshop on porting and optimisation, and is also a course organiser on EPCC's MSc in High Performance Computing.

 


Gordon Gibb


 


Mark Filipiak


 

Details

High-performance computing (HPC) is a fundamental technology used in solving scientific problems. Many of the grand challenges of science depend on simulations and models run on HPC facilities to make progress, for example: protein folding, the search for the Higgs boson, and developing nuclear fusion.

The course will run for 2 days. The first day covers the the basic concepts underlying the drivers for HPC development, HPC hardware, software, programming models and applications. The second day will provide an opportunity for more practical experience, information on performance and the future of HPC. This foundation will give the you ability to appreciate the relevance of HPC in your field and also equip you with the tools to start making effective use of HPC facilities yourself.

On completion of the course, we expect that attendees will be in a position to undertake the ARCHER Driving Test, and potentially qualify for an account and CPU time on ARCHER.

The course is delivered using a mixture of lectures and practical sessions and has a very practical focus. During the practical sessions you will get the chance to use ARCHER with HPC experts on-hand to answer your questions and provide insight.

This course is free to all academics.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this course students should be able to explain:

  • Why HPC? - What are the drivers and motivation? Who uses it?
  • HPC Hardware - Building blocks and architectures
  • Parallel computing - Programming models and implementations
  • Using HPC systems - Access, compilers, resource allocation and performance
  • The Future of HPC
  • Undertake the ARCHER Driving Test

Pre-requisites

Attendees are expected to have experience of using desktop computers, but no programming, Linux or HPC experience is necessary.

Attendees should bring their own laptop (Windows/Mac/Linux) and will need the following software installed:

  • ssh client - on Mac/Linux then Terminal is fine, on Windows we recommend putty from https://www.putty.org/
  • web browser - e.g. Firefox or Chrome
  • pdf viewer - e.g. Firefox, Adobe Acrobat
  • text file editor - e.g. vi, vim, emacs, notepad
  • xming graphics viewer for Windows https://xming.en.softonic.com/ is useful if the course uses graphics

Timetable

Details are subject to change, but start, end and break times will stay the same.

Day 1

  • 09:30 Welcome, Overview and Syllabus
  • 09:45 LECTURE: Why learn about HPC?
  • 10:15 LECTURE: Image Sharpening?
  • 10:30 PRACTICAL: Sharpen example
  • 11:00 BREAK: Coffee
  • 11:30 LECTURE: Parallel Programming
  • 12:15 PRACTICAL: Sharpen (cont.)
  • 13:00 BREAK: Lunch
  • 14:00 LECTURE: Building Blocks (CPU/Memory/Accelerators)
  • 14:30 LECTURE: Building Blocks (OS/Process/Threads)
  • 15:00 LECTURE: Fractals
  • 15:10 PRACTICAL: Fractal example
  • 15:30 BREAK: Tea
  • 16:00 LECTURE: Parallel programming models
  • 16:45 PRACTICAL: Fractals (cont.)
  • 17:30 Finish

Day 2

  • 09:30 LECTURE: HPC Architectures
  • 10:15 LECTURE: Batch systems
  • 10:45 PRACTICAL: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
  • 11:00 BREAK: Coffee
  • 11:30 PRACTICAL: CFD (cont.)
  • 12:30 LECTURE: Compilers
  • 13:00 BREAK: Lunch
  • 14:00 PRACTICAL: Compilers (CFD cont.)
  • 14:30 LECTURE: Parallel Libraries
  • 15:00 LECTURE: Future of HPC
  • 15:30 BREAK: Tea
  • 16:00 LECTURE: Summary
  • 16:15 PRACTICAL: Finish exercises
  • 17:00 Finish

Lunch and refreshments will NOT be provided but there are places locally where these can be purchased.

Course Materials

Links to the Slides and exercise material for this course.

Location

The course will be held at University of Edinburgh, Patterson's Land

Registration

Please use the registration page to register for ARCHER courses.

Questions?

If you have any questions please contact the ARCHER Helpdesk.