The Supercomputing-Akademie: a New HPC Training Program Opens

19 April 2018

Using a "blended learning" approach, the Supercomputing-Akademie will provide engineers and computer scientists with skills necessary for high-performance computing.

From electric cars, to quieter airplanes, to more efficient power plants — many technical advances are unimaginable without supercomputers. Indeed, high-performance computers play a decisive role in product development and design, and simulation offers crucial applications across a wide range of fields. At the same time, however, the challenges that arise when using and programming supercomputers are anything but trivial.

Recognizing this fact, experts at the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) have been developing a new continuing professional education program called the Supercomputing-Akademie (Supercomputing Academy), which is specially designed to meet the needs of those who work in industry. On April 19, the Supercomputing-Akademie launched its first course, offering professionals the opportunity to gain and continue to develop supercomputing skills alongside their normal work.

Targeting the needs of HPC users in industry

With funding from the European Union and the State of Baden-Württemberg, HLRS has been developing the Supercomputing-Akademie in collaboration with the University of Freiburg and University of Ulm, and in partnership with SICOS BW, an organization that promotes access to high-performance computing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Supercomputing-Akademie aims to provide a one-of-a-kind continuting education program that is attractive for both large and small companies.

A unique feature of the Supercomputing-Akademie is that its courses are conceived using a "blended learning" format. This means that only a small part of the training actually takes place in a classroom. Approximately 80% of a participant's time spent learning can be done online, making the program highly flexible and reducing the need to travel to participate.

Supercomputing-Akademie courses will be held in the German language, focusing particularly on the needs of the high-tech precision technology community in the south of the country.

Addressing key topics in HPC

The Supercomputing-Akademie launched with a first module focusing on parallel programming. Following an initial meeting at HLRS, the 15-week course will include interactive online content, animations, programming exercizes, and explanatory videos. Participants will also have regular opportunities to discuss their questions with instructors in virtual online meetings.

The curriculum of the first module focuses on providing application programmers with essential skills needed for code development on parallel computing systems. It will explain the architecture of parallel systems and programming models such as MPI and OpenMP, and teach participants how to use programming libraries and key parallelization concepts efficiently.

The Supercomputing-Akademie's training program will continue to develop and the following additional modules are currently being planned:

  • Simulation
  • Visualization
  • Performance Optimization
  • Cluster, Cloud and High-Performance Computing
  • Ecology and Economics of Supercomputing
  • Data Management 

The Supercomputing-Akademie is supported by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration through the European Social Fund, and by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research, and Art.

For additional information about the Supercomputing-Akademie, please visit http://www.supercomputing-akademie.de.