Foundations of Theoretical and Computational Science School


The 12th CHPC Introductory Programming School


The 4th NITheCS Summer School on the Foundations of Theoretical and Computational Science

31 January - 25 February 2022

The School will take on a fully virtual form. 

The Summer School is jointly organised by the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the National Institute for Theoretical  Computational Science (NITheCS). This joint effort was specifically motivated by a concept paper of the South African Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) that explores the possibility to broaden the scope of NITheP into a national institute/centre for theoretical and computational science.

Aim of the School:

The School is aimed at postgraduate students in the fields of physics, chemistry, mathematics, applied mathematics, biology, bioinformatics, computer science, engineering with an interest in both theoretical and computational science. In particular, the School aims at bridging the gap between theoretical studies and High Performance Computing.

The School will start with a Basic Scientific Programming Course to introduce students to Linux (Ubuntu) Command line and bash scripting and the Python programming language. This will be followed by introductions to Foundations of Theoretical and Computational Science on topics such as:

  • Mathematics.
  • Atmospheric Science.
  • Quantitative Biology.
  • Statistics.
  • Quantitative Finance.

and advanced online tutorials and workshops to put the theoretical material into practice. The School is structured in such a way to encourage students to actively solve challenging problems that the lectures will pose. Students should be prepared to learn on their own!

School Syllabus:

The School syllabus will cover:

The first week of Introduction to Linux. It will cover a basic introduction to Linux command line, bash scripting, and Introduction to PBS Pro and job submission at CHPC (Dr Krishna Govender, Centre for High Performance Computing, CSIR).

The second week of Introduction to Python Programming: It will cover the basics of python and syntax, advanced functions and using Matplotlib with python, and the use of advanced mathematical packages such as Numpy and Scipy (Dr Andrew Gill, Centre for High Performance Computing, CSIR).

The remaining two weeks will cover topics related to:

  • A Python-based Introduction to Mathematical Proofs: Prof Zurab Janelidze (SU).
  • Earth Systems Modelling & Climate Change Modelling: Dr Mary-Jane Bopape (South African Weather Service).
  • Machine learning for Bioacoustics: Dr Emmanuel Dufourq (SU/AIMS).
  • Introduction to Statistics using R: Prof Freedom Gumedze (UCT).
  • Introduction to Quantitative Finance: (TBA).

Application and Registration:

The CHPC and NITheCS call for all talented students registered for Honours, Masters, PhD including postdoc in South Africa to submit their applications. The registration fee is free for all successful Applicants. As public-funded institutions, the CHPC and NITheCS support the transformation of South Africa and thus the School organizers highly encourage students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to submit their applications. There will be no scholarship for successful applicants as the school will be hosted on a virtual platform. However, a background of scientific programming skills and basic Linux will be an advantage. 

Important dates:

School start:  31 January 2022

Closing date for scholarship applications: 23h59 Friday, 31 December 2021

Notification of Successful Candidates: will be notified by 21 January 2022

School end: 25 February 2022

School Organizing Committee:

Dr. Daniel Moeketsi (CSIR, NICIS-CHPC))

Prof Francesco Petruccione (UKZN & NITheCS)

Binjamin Barsch (CSIR, NICIS-CHPC)

Prof Zurab Janelidze (SU)

General Inquiries:

For general inquiries please contact: Dr. Daniel Moeketsi at and Prof. Francesco Petruccione at

Important: Privacy

In compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) No. 4 of 2013, please read the CSIR's Privacy Notice:

Purpose for the collection of personal data:

  • To make contact with you with any matters regarding this course;
  • Information on your academic background is used by the organisers to determine if you are eligible to participate in this event;
  • To report to the Departments of Higher Education and Training, Science and Innovation, and the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA);


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