GAPSTI provided scholarships for Greek scientists to attend the Autumn High Performance Computing (HPC) Academy.
The Centre for Scientific Computing at the University of Cambridge annually hosts the Autumn High Performance Computing Academy. The overall aim of this two-week course is to provide attendees with a strong background in elements of high performance computing techniques suitable for general science and technology projects.
The course is taught by experts from several universities and HPC organisations across the United Kingdom who introduce the students to a range of topics suited to high performance software development, including command-line Linux, version control, data structures, and super-computer cluster queueing systems. Topics include Introduction to Linux, Scientific Programming in C++ and Fortran, Performance Programming, Parallel Architectures, OpenMP, MPI (Message Passing Interface) and Software Development.
There were additional seminars from academics and industrialists on how HPC is helping their research and development and their operations. These included Dr JB Bell and Dr AS Almgren (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Dr F Monmont (Schlumberger), Dr J Jones (Cray) and Dr J Martin (MathWorks – MATLAB).
The course is very much hands-on, with several practical sessions where the participants work in groups on their assignments and are tutored by the lecturers. The groups have to present their results to the rest of the participants. As a result, at the end of this very intensive course, attendees are able to write a range of numerical algorithms in C++, understand what issues affect the performance of the code, and become familiar with methods of utilising multiple CPU cores.
GAPSTI offered 16 scholarships to Greek graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff members of Greece-based SMEs (small/medium-size enterprises) so that they could travel to Cambridge and take part in this course. The scholarships covered their travel and subsistence expenses, as well as the course fees.
HPC Academy lectures and seminars took place at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, a modern set of buildings that are home to the Faculty of Mathematics, the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics (DPMMS), the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), the Isaac Newton Institute and the Betty and Gordon Moore Library.
All of the GAPSTI-sponsored students were accommodated at Selwyn College, a historical building dating from 1882, which is situated a short walk from the city centre. They also had the chance to visit Newnham, a women’s college established in 1871, a time when women were not allowed to attend the University. Newnham hosted a seminar and the end-of-course dinner, where students enjoyed a formal dinner with some of the course organisers, lecturers and seminar speakers.