29 January 2024 to 9 February 2024
Africa/Johannesburg timezone

The 14th CHPC Coding Summer School


The 6th NITheCS Summer School on the Foundations of Theoretical and Computational Science

29 January - 9 February 2024

The Coding Summer School takes place in a physical form at various university and research locations around South Africa and Southern Africa. Students are required to attend one of the designated locations.

Representation from 2023 CSS:

See all the research institutes that took place in 2023:



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 (National Institute for Theoretical Physics) into a national institute/centre for theoretical and computational science.

Aim of the School:

"Train researchers across South Africa and Southern Africa the fundamentals of programming, data science, HPC, and computational sciences."


The school's structure included daily lectures, interactive tutorials, notes, quizzes and assignments. Experts from a range of domains will also present STEM talks, exposing participants to the varied applications of the coding skills being taught. Zoom is used to live-stream the lectures, and Slack is used as the official communication medium. Canvas is used as the learning management system for hosting course notes and assignments.


  • Lectures/tutorials occur Monday to Friday
  • Lecture/tutorial times: 09:30 - 16:00 with breaks each day
  • PDF notes, exercises, and YouTube videos provided
  • Certificates awarded to qualifying students

Week 1:

During week one, participants will learn the fundamentals of Python and data science which will allow them to analyse and manipulate various datasets. They will also be introduced to Linux and Bash in order to learn HPC skills.
Week 1, main topics:

  • Python Basics

  • Data Visualization

  • Data Analysis

  • Data Management

  • Bash Basics


Week 2:

In week two, participants are exposed to advanced Python applications, covering machine learning, computational sciences, and domain specific topics.

Week 2 main topics:

  • Machine Learning

  • Probability Theory and Statistics

Week 2 additional topics:

  • Numerical Computations: Numpy Introduction

  • Biomedical / Bioinformatics Sciences (TBC)

  • Computational Chemistry / Material science

  • Common Astronomy Software Applications: CASA Introduction

  • ODEs & Monte Carlo Simulation


Main Python libraries covered:

- Pandas, Matplotlib, Seaborn, Numpy, Sympy, Scikit-learn/TenosrFlow...

In-person tutorials and workshops will be held to put the 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!


CHPC: Mr Binjamin Barsch, Dr Kevin Colville, Mr Mthetho Sovara, 

NITheCS: Prof Francesco Petruccione, Prof Ilya Sinayskiy

Application and Registration:

The CHPC and NITheCS calls for all talented students registered for a postgraduate degree or if your a researcher in industry, to submit their applications.

The registration fee is free for all successful applicants, however the students must attend the designated university locations. 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. A background of programming skills and basic Linux will be an advantage. 

Registration is required for students to partake in the CSS, that includes receiving any type of certificate or letter of participation.


Please take note:

- No accommodation and no travel costs will be covered.

- Light snacks, tea and coffee will be provided


Certificate of Completion:

Students attended their university venue in person: Week 1 – 80%, Week 2 – 60%
Students completed all quizzes in the given time frame
Students completed the CSS project
Final mark at least 50%

Letter of Participation:

Students attended online or did not meet physical attendance criterion
Students completed all quizzes in the given time frame
Students completed the CSS project
Final mark at least 50%


Registration dates:

Starting date for registration:  4 July 2023

Closing date for registration: 10 December 2023

Notification of Successful Candidates: will be notified latest by 10 November 2023

Note: Limited space is available at each venue. If capacity has been reached by late registrations then students will need to attend online.


School Dates:

School start and Orientation: Monday 29 January 2024 @ 09:30 AM

School end: Friday 9 February 2023


School Organizing Committee:

Prof Francesco Petruccione (UKZN & NITheCS)

Dr Werner Janse van Rensburg (CSIR, NICIS-CHPC)

Mr Binjamin Barsch (CSIR, NICIS-CHPC)

University Champions & Contact Email:

CPUT: Dr Thifhelimbilu Bucher (buchert@cput.ac.za)

DUT: Ms Ayogeboh Epizitone (ayogebohe@dut.ac.za)

iThemba Labs: Dr. Mahmood Akbari (makbari@tlabs.ac.za)

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT): Prof Alfred Msomi (Alfred@mut.ac.za)

Nelson Mandela University: Dr Adeniyi Ogunlaja (Adeniyi.Ogunlaja@mandela.ac.za)

North-West University (Potch): Dr Daniel Moeketsi (daniel.moeketsi@nwu.ac.za) / Dr Katlego Moloto (Katlego.moloto@nwu.ac.za)

North-West University (Mahikeng): Mr, Ayanda, Zungu (arzngu@gmail.com)

North-West University (Vaal): Dr Japie Greeff, (japie.greeff@nwu.ac.za)

Rhodes University: Dr Taremekdzwa Allan Sanyanga (asanyanga@gmail.com)

SAMRC: Dr Pritika Ramharack (pritika.ramharack@mrc.ac.za)

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University: Mr. Lesego Miya (lesego.miya@smu.ac.za)

Sol Plaatje University: Dr Alfred J Mwanza (alfred.mwanza@spu.ac.za)

Stellenbosch University (Main): Dr Kim Martin (kcmartin@sun.ac.za)

Tshwane University of Technology: Dr Nangamso Nyangiwe (NyangiweNN@tut.ac.za)

UWC: Dr Frederic Isingizwe (frederic.isingizwe@gmail.com)

UCT (Main): Mr Binjamin Barsch (bbarsch@csir.co.za)

University of Free-State: Mr Albert Van Eck (VanEckA@ufs.ac.za)

University of Fort Hare: Mr Siyabulela Dyakalashe (SDyakalashe@ufh.ac.za)

University of Johannesburg (DFC): Dr Krishna Govender (krishnag@uj.ac.za) / Dr Thokozani Kunene (tkunene@uj.ac.za)

University of Johannesburg (APK): Dr Adedapo Adeyinka (aadeyinka@uj.ac.za)

University of KwaZulu-Natal (PMB Campus): Dr Nkosinathi Dlamini (nkosi.dlamini@gmail.com)

University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville): Prof Sivakumar Venkataraman (Venkataramans@ukzn.ac.za)

University of Limpopo: Mahlodi Mercy Moila (moilammercy1@gmail.com)

University of Pretoria: Dr Edwin Mapasha (edwin.mapasha@up.ac.za)

University of South Africa: Mr Tajudeen Akinosho (tajuakins1@gmail.com)

University of the Witwatersrand: Mrs Refilwe Kai-Sikhakhane (rflwkai@gmail.com)

University of Venda: Mr Lutendo Phuthu (phutulutendo@gmail.com)

University of Zululand (Main): Mr. Phathizwe Majozi (majozipp@unizulu.ac.za)

Walter Sisulu University: Mr Musa Lonwabo Kwetana (musakwetana1@yahoo.com)

Vaal University of Technology: Prof. Tranos Zuva (tranosz@vut.ac.za)


SADC Countries:

Kenya: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology: Cynthia Awuor (cynthiaawuor18@gmail.com)


General Inquiries:

For general inquiries please contact: training.chpc@csir.co.za

Important: Privacy

In compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) No. 4 of 2013, please read the CSIR's Privacy Notice: https://www.csir.co.za/csir-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);