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Introduction to High-Performance Computing 2020

Tuesday, 3. March 2020


Short Introduction to High-Performance-Computing

                       Tuesday, March 3,  2020

11:00 – 16:30 h
IT  Center RWTH Aachen University

Kopernikusstraße 6

Seminar Room 3 + 4

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Follow-up event PPCES 2020 here >>

Introduction to High-Performance Computing (HPC)

This introduction provides basic information about high-performance computing (HPC)  at the RWTH Aachen University’s IT Center for different target groups and needs. It is the basis for the follow-up event PPCES. It is focused on CLAIX-2018 the cluster that has been installed end of 2018 and extended in 2019 at the RWTH Aachen University’s IT Center in addition to CLAIX-2016, which has been installed late 2016.

The event is split into two parts:

The first part provides basic information about HPC resources and targets not only HPC users but also decision makers. It provides information for the participants to take strategic decisions concerningemployment of HPC resources and filing applications for computing projects consuming a decent amount of resources. No prior knowledge is required to attend.

The second part is aimed at those who (want to) use HPC resources and those who (want to) program HPC resources (developers). It will enable participants  to get a better understanding of the skill set they need. Furthermore, it will enable admins and supporters to improve their support of HPC users by having a better understanding of HPC activities. You will particularly learn about the most important details on using CLAIX-2018. Those who use to run their computing applications on local machines will learn how to run those applications on the RWTH Compute Cluster – provided the necessary software licencies are in place. Generally, this event is also meant to teach the HPC basics that are needed to take part in our more in-depth event “PPCES” and to help take decisions on which part of PPCES might be interesting for you. We expect participants to have a basic knowledge of Linux and experience with their applications on any other computing devices.

All presentations will be given in English.

Course Information & Registration 

Part 1 (Morning Session) 11:00 – ~12:30

Target: Enable participants to make decisions concerning the employment of HPC resources and to file applications for computing projects

Target groups: HPC decision makers, supporters, domain scientists, developers, users, admins and students.


  • High performance computer architecture basics
  • CLAIX 2016 + 2018
  • Storage for HPC
  • Application software availability
  • Access, project categories and submission
Registration closed!

Part 2 (Afternoon Session) 14:00 – ~16:30

Target: provide the basic knowledge to use the new cluster, give a better understanding of the skill set needed for develop HPC applications,  enable admins and supporters to better help and understand HPC users

Target groups: HPC supporters, domain scientists, developers, users, admins and students.

Content overview

  • Short introduction to parallel programming
  • Overview on OpenMP, MPI and GPU-Programming
  • Performance metrics and measurements
  • Compiler optimizations and switches
  • Batch job submission
  • Process and thread allocation in batch jobs
  • Outlook on follow-up events: PPCES and aiXcelerate
Registration closed!
Course Materials 
11:00 – 11:30 HPC Architecture Basics Tim Cramer
11:30 – 12:00 Storage Strategy for HPC users Thomas Eifert
12:00 – 12:30 HPC Resources and Computing Projects Dieter an Mey
12:30 – 14:00 Break  
14:00 – 14:45 Parallel Programming Overview Tim Cramer
14:45 – 15:30 Performance Metrics & Measurements Daniel Schürhoff
15:30 – 15:40 Break  
15:40 – 16:00 Cluster Software Environment HPC Daniel Schürhoff
16:00 – 16:25 Introduction to Slurm Marcus Wagner
16:25 – 16:30 Closing Session Tim Cramer
Travel Information

Please make your own hotel reservation. You may find a list of hotels in Aachen on the web pages of Aachen Tourist Service.  We recommend that you try to book a room at the Novotel Aachen CityMercure am Graben or Aachen Best Western Regence hotels. These are nice hotels with reasonable prices within walking distance (20-30 minutes, see city map) from the IT Center through the old city of Aachen. An alternative is the IBIS Aachen Marschiertor hotel, located close to the main station, which is convenient if you are traveling by train and also prefer to commute to the IT Center by train (4 trains per hour, 2 stops). Please, download a sketch of the city (pdf, 415 KB) with some points of interest marked. You may find a description of how to reach us by plane, train or car here. Bus lines 33 and 73 connect the city (central bus station) and the Mies-van-der-Rohe-Straße bus stop 6 times per hour. Most trains between Aachen and Düsseldorf stop at station Aachen West, which is 10 minutes walk away from the IT Center. From the bus stop and the train station just walk up Seffenter Weg. The first building on the left side at the junction with Kopernikusstraße is the IT Center of RWTH Aachen University. The event will take place in the extension building located at Kopernikusstraße 6. The weather in Aachen is usually unpredictable. It is always a good idea to carry an umbrella. If you’ll bring one, it might be sunny.




Tuesday, 3. March 2020
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