Start for Supercomputing Academy
Training programme for handling high-performance computers

Ulm University

Electric cars, quieter airplanes, increased-efficiency power plants - many of today's developments are inconceivable without the use of supercomputers. High-performance computers play a crucial role in product development and design. Engineers use supercomputers for simulation calculations with highly complex requirements. The application fields of such simulations are widespread: meteorology, wind energy and medicine, to name a few. Using and programming supercomputers, however, is anything but trivial.

The experts at the High Performance Computing Center at Stuttgart University (HLRS) are aware of this, too. HLRS runs one of the highest performing supercomputers in the world, and it was HLRS who developed the idea of a supercomputing training programme to be meet industrial needs. Sponsored by the EU and the state of Baden-Württemberg, a joint project is currently under development in cooperation with the universities of Freiburg and Ulm as well as Sicos BW GmbH. The Supercomputing Academy is a unique training programme that is attractive for both large corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Starting in April 2018, engineers and computer scientists will have the opportunity to acquire supercomputing skills while remaining in full-time employment. Continual skills development will also be possible. A particular advantage is that the Supercomputing Academy has a blended-learning design. This means that only a small part of the training takes place at the University. In about 80% of the training period, students can study online in a flexible format, significantly reducing travel expenses.

On 19 April 2018, the Academy will be starting off with the first module, called "Parallel Programming". Over a period of 15 weeks, the students will then be learning online via interactive scripts, animation, programming exercises and explanatory videos. Virtual meetings will give students the opportunity to discuss questions with their instructors. This module focuses on code development on parallel systems for application programmers. Contents include architecture of parallel systems and programming models, such as MPI or OpenMP, as well as the ability to efficiently utilise programming libraries and central parallelisation concepts.

The following modules are being prepared within the course of this training programme on high performance computing:

Performance optimisation
Cluster, cloud and supercomputing
Ecology and economics
Data management

This project is being funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration Baden-Württemberg with funds from the European Social Fund, as well as the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg. So if you are driving around in your car today or sitting in an airplane, it is because engineers and computer scientists are busy taming supercomputers and are able to utilise them for calculating complex simulations.