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Introduction to High-Performance Computing 2021

Friday, 12. March 2021 ► 11:00 - 16:30

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 2021. 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 will be online.

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

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

Detailed Agenda and Course Materials 

Part I

11:00 – 11:30 HPC_Architecture_Basics Tim Cramer
11:30 – 12:00 Storage_Strategy_for_Users Philipp Martin
12:00 – 12:30 HPC Resources and Computing Projects Dieter an Mey
12:30 – 14:00 Break

Part II

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


The detailled participation information including the Zoom link was sent to registered participants. If you did not receive the information, please contact

Travel Information

Very short travel this year – it needs a walk to your laptop at home.



Friday, 12. March 2021
11:00 - 16:30


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