The National Institute for Computational Sciences

Event Fosters HPC Education, Collaboration

Over 100 People from 19 Countries Gain HPC Skills at Fifth Annual International HPC Summer School

A total of 80 graduate students and post-docs—25 percent of them women—representing 28 nationalities and five continents were selected from more than 500 applicants from educational and research institutions in Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United States to attend the Fifth Annual International Summer School on HPC (high-performance computing) Challenges in Computational Sciences, held June 1–6, at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Budapest, Hungary.

The summer school was jointly sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation's Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), the European Union Seventh Framework Program's Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe Implementation Phase Project (PRACE-3IP), Japan's RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (RIKEN AICS), and Compute/Calcul Canada. Leading Canadian, European, Japanese, and United States computational scientists and HPC technologists offered instruction and advice on a variety of topics, including:

  • Access to European, U.S., Japanese, and Canadian cyberinfrastructure
  • HPC challenges in disciplines such as biophysics, materials science, chemistry, Earth sciences, engineering, and astro- and plasma physics
  • HPC programming proficiencies
  • Algorithmic approaches and numerical libraries
  • Data-intensive computing
  • Scientific visualization

In addition to promoting knowledge of HPC and its applications, by bringing together participants and presenters from 19 countries, the workshop also encourages international collaborations and friendships. The multidisciplinary nature of computational sciences, together with important HPC aspects from computer science and the strong interactions between mentors and menthes from all over the world, form the uniqueness of this annual HPC summer school.

Following are a few excerpts from participant evaluations:

"The program uniquely matches together the right set of instructors with the participants that will most likely benefit from the interaction."

"The program was very well organized, and the mentoring aspects of it in particular worked impressively well, with well-defined activities and sufficient time devoted for that purpose. I think follow-ups with the students would show that this summer school has had a positive, long-lasting effect on their careers, as well as on their mentoring of others throughout their careers."

"It is unique in bringing together students worldwide from many different computational science areas with HPC needs and offering a wide range of presentations and tutorials covering many HPC-related fields."

The time actually dedicated to hands-on exercises really reinforces learning. So many other trainings are more pure lecture-style. It's very easy for material in that style to not actually be learned. The hands-on time was key."

"I found the cross-disciplinary and international nature of this program to be extremely valuable."

This was the fifth in an ongoing series of summer schools, jointly organized this year by XSEDE, Compute/Calcul Canada, PRACE, and RIKEN. Planning has begun for the sixth summer school, to be held during the summer of 2015 in North America.

Additional information about the event is available here.

About XSEDE:

The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) is the most advanced, powerful, and robust collection of integrated digital resources and services in the world. It is a single virtual system that scientists can use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise. XSEDE accelerates scientific discovery by enhancing the productivity of researchers, engineers, and scholars by deepening and extending the use of XSEDE's ecosystem of advanced digital services and by advancing and sustaining the XSEDE advanced digital infrastructure. XSEDE is a five-year, $121-million project supported by the National Science Foundation. More information is available here.

About Compute/Calcul Canada:

Compute Canada / Calcul Canada (CC) provides Canadian researchers with a national platform for advanced computing. Working with research institutions and regional organizations across the country, CC provides a wide range of computing and data resources, services, and expertise to advance scientific knowledge and innovation across multiple disciplines and sectors. More information is available here.


The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) is an international nonprofit association with its seat in Brussels. The PRACE Research infrastructure provides a persistent world-class high-performance computing service for scientists and researchers from academia and industry in Europe. The computer systems and their operations accessible through PRACE are provided by four PRACE members (BSC, representing Spain; CINECA, representing Italy; GCS, representing Germany; and GENCI, representing France). The Implementation Phase of PRACE receives funding from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreements RI-283493 and RI-312763. More information is available here.


RIKEN is one of Japan's largest research organizations, with institutes and centers in locations throughout Japan. The Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) strives to create an international center of excellence dedicated to generating world-leading results through the use of its world-class supercomputer, "K computer." It serves as the core of the "innovative high-performance computer infrastructure" project promoted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. More information is available here.