ADSC Hosted Successful Course on High-Performance Computing
The Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Institute of High Performance Computing, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and A*STAR Computational Resource Centre worked together to host a month-long intensive course on High Performance Computing that concluded at the end of July.
July 2011 High-Performance Computing class attendees
The course, which was sponsored by IBM, Fujitsu, and SGI, provided a foundation for scientists and engineers wanting to incorporate high-performance computing into their work. Using lectures and hands-on experiences, University of Illinois professors, ADSC researchers, and visiting presenters taught attendees the fundamental characteristics of sequential, shared-memory, and distributed-memory computer architectures that affect run-time performance.
"For me, the most beneficial aspect of the course was hands-on learning in a cluster, with knowledgeable people nearby to guide you while doing it," said Eason Kwaku, a Research Scientist II at the Data Storage Institute who attended the class. "This was a 'homerun' strategy. I learned much about hardware architecture relevant to parallel computing, which I did not know before, and I learned how to optimize serial codes, and use OpenMP, MPI, and a little CUDA-C, for parallel programming. It's amazing that I was able to do all of this in four weeks."
An HPC course presentation
Participants learned how to parallelize and optimize their codes using popular high-performance computing paradigms, such as OpenMP, MPI, CUDA, and OpenMP + MPI. The attendees came away with the knowledge they need in order to visualize and optimize the performance of their codes, the ability to compare different approaches, and the tools necessary to develop a parallel program ideal for their environment.
"I write most of my own code doing simulations dealing with micromagnetics," Kwaku said. "This information is very useful for me to more efficiently compute aspects of my programs."
Illinois faculty teaching the course included Professor of Computational Science and Engineering Michael Heath and Professor of Computer Science William Gropp, along with Illinois Senior Research Scientist Volodymyr Kindratenko, Illinois researcher Mark Gates, and ADSC Research Scientist Kyle Rupnow.
"Illinois is a leader in parallel computing research, with major contributions ranging all the way from petascale supercomputers to parallel computing for mobile, client, and desktop systems," Winslett said. "Illinois has also led the way in devising cutting-edge applications for these parallel environments, including highly accurate simulations of extremely complex physical systems. During the course, students had the opportunity to learn under some of the University of Illinois's top computer science researchers in this area."
The course was attended by scientists or engineers from NTU, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research of Singapore (A*STAR), the Institute of High Performance Computing, the Data Storage Institute, and the National University of Singapore, as well as several employees from local companies.
ADSC is a research facility located in Singapore that focuses on breakthrough innovations in the world of information technology. As a collaboration between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and A*STAR, ADSC has been key in new developments in the areas of interactive digital media, adaptive cyber infrastructure, and information technology for the power grid.