IT Center Blog

HPC Events – This was PPCES 2023

April 12th, 2023 | by
Ausdruck mit Namen der Veranstaltung vor dem Cateringbuffet

PPCES2023 (
Source: Own illustration

2023 – the year that promises a turnaround to normality again after Corona pandemic.
At least for us at the IT Center!
Indeed, the first events are already taking place again on site.

Continuing education together. The charm of face-to-face events is back!
Source: Own illustration

After a very successful Introduction to HPC on 07.03.2023, which preceded as a preparation and introduction event to High performance computing (HPC) at the IT Center, we were allowed to host the PPCES for you again a good month ago from 13.03. – 17.03.2023.

In contrast to the last 2 years even in presence!

We look back on an exciting week for all participants and those involved. Characterized by strikes in the public transport, we also did not let ourselves be irritated by the various weather conditions from storm, rain, snow to sunshine during this week.

We were able to impart valuable knowledge to all our participants in our three thematic blocks around the basics of parallel programming with OpenMP and MPI in Fortran and C/C++. We also took first steps towards performance tuning and covered current topics in the field of AI/machine learning.

To ensure that the participants could count on reinforcements between these exciting lectures and practical exercises, our sponsor NEC, the supplier of the second stage of the CLAIX high-performance computer, financed the catering both for the HPC Introduction and for the PPCES.

Day 1 and 2 – OpenMP

The event days with the focus on OpenMP dealt with the programming model “Shared Memory”, i.e. scenarios where several processor cores are installed in the same machine. Christian Terboven and Jannis Klinkenberg addressed the basics, explained tasking and also touched on offloading to graphics cards.

Christian Terboven (Deputy Head of Division & Head of HPC Group & Academic Senior Councillor, IT Center) on OpenMP Basics.
Source: Own illustration

Our guest speaker from the PPCES, Mr. Ruud van der Pas, who is well known from the last years, gave the participants a lot of tips on how to optimize OpenMP programs. All sessions were accompanied by practical exercises, where the participants could make use of the expertise of our chair.

Day 3 and 4 – MPI

MPI (or: Message Passing Interface), in contrast to OpenMP, deals with the “distributed memory” model, i.e. situations where several processors are distributed on different computers, which send messages to each other and thus perform calculations together.

Marc-André Hermanns gave extensive explanations of blocking and non-blocking point-to-point communication, collective communication, and data types. The advanced topic of hybrid programming was also addressed. Participants could also benefit from exercises on the CLAIX18 supercomputer.

Day 5 – Machine Learning

The Machine Learning talk was live but remote for our attendees.
Source: Own illustration

Mr. Georg Zitzlsberger from IT 4 Innovations was another returning guest and speaker at PPCES. As an Nvidia-certified instructor for machine learning and artificial intelligence, he guided participants on the last day of the event through various technologies to apply machine learning and deep learning on HPC systems.

Namely, the technologies were scikit-learn, TensorFlow / Keras and PyTorch, covering the main players. Participants were provided with an environment to compute with one or more GPUs on CLAIX18. This part was supported by the EuroCC project.


As we continue the tradition of both events, the combination of Introduction to HPC as well as PPCES will take place again next year.

So mark your calendars for spring 2024 and keep an eye on our IT Center events.

Registration for both events will be open at the beginning of 2024. However, if you regularly browse our social media channels as well as our blog, you certainly won’t miss it!

Responsible for the content of this article are Dunja Gath and Philipp Martin.

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