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Introduction to HPC

Course overview

The Introduction to High Performance Computing (HPC) course introduces fundamental HPC principles and techniques that can be used to address problems in computational science and engineering domains.

After motivating the use of HPC as a complement to theory and experiment and introducing the basic concepts of parallel computing, we outline the hardware design of modern HPC platforms and the parallel programming models that they support. The principal methods of measuring and characterising serial and parallel performance are then covered.

This course is taught using a mix of presentations and hands-on practical sessions. The practical session covers, logging into the ICHEC systems, code compilation, makefiles, batch job submission, speed-up measurement and the use of a taskfarm, optimization flags, libraries and debuggers.

Learning Outcomes

After the practical session, users should be able to

  • Gain access to the ICHEC Stokes cluster during and after the course
  • Compile code and use Makefiles
  • Utilise the available libraries and optimisation flags
  • Load software packages installed on the system via the module environment
  • Submit a PBS batch job to the queue
  • Use taskfarm to tackle trivially-parallel problems
  • Calculate speed-up using sequential and MPI codes


  • Some basic Linux/Unix knowledge and an interest in High Performance Computing.

Course Timetable

Day 1
09:30 What is HPC?
09:45 The Fundamentals of Computer Architectures
10.00 HPC Architectures
10:15 HPC in Ireland & Europe
10:30 Coffee break
11.00 Parallel Programming Paradigms
11.40 Parallel performance
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Introduction to the ICHEC systems
14:00 Practical session on the ICHEC system
15:30 Tea break
16:30 Practical session on the ICHEC system
17:00 Close


The course slides are currently unavailable.

Further Information

For further information please contact us at training@ichec.ie