28 August 2023 to 8 September 2023
Africa/Johannesburg timezone

This online course will introduce African HPC users to the systems at the CHPC and help you develop practical skills in using the cluster for your scientific work. Attendees will learn the basics of using the CHPC Lengau cluster along with how to convert the computational intensive parts of their scientific workflow into a job script suitable for the CHPC. The Practical HPC course is 2 weeks long and will need about 4 hours per day.


  • CHPC Hardware
  • The CHPC Systems
  • Job Scripts and the PBSPro Scheduler
  • How to Fix Errors
  • Scaling & Performance
  • Applications—from Workflow to Job Script
  • Installing Your Own Software

The online Winter School for 2023 is presented in collaboration with PRACE and EPCC, and the first 3 weeks of the PRACE Supercomputing MOOC provide the necessary foundational information and concepts for the Practical HPC course.

PRACE Supercomputing MOOC

This MOOC is a focussed introduction to High Performance Computing and the prerequisite for the CHPC Practical HPC online course. This course is 5 weeks long and requires around 4 hours per week. The first 3 weeks are needed for the CHPC Winter School that follows.

Note that you will only have access to the Supercomputing MOOC at no cost for 7 weeks.


  1. Supercomputers — introduction to HPC
  2. Parallel Computers — the hardware
  3. Parallel Computing — programming supercomputers
  4. Computer Simulations
  5. Case Studies
Weeks 4 and 5 are optional but may help with understanding HPC applications. .

In-Person Practical Sessions

Some universities may provide physical practical sessions.  The venues will be announced closer to the start of the course.  Please indicate in the form if you would like to attend practical sessions in-person.  Note that these are optional and attendance of either the virtual or physical practical sessions is expected.

How to sign up:

First sign up for the SC MOOC:

You should compete the first 2 weeks of the SC MOOC before the CHPC course starts, and then complete the 3rd week of the SC MOOC before the 2nd week of the CHPC course.

Apply for the Practical HPC Winter School  here (see the menu on the left).


Applications to enroll in the Winter School are moderated and will take 1 to 3 business days to process.  Once your application is approved you will be enrolled from 24 August 2023 in the online course and receive login details via email.

You will need to complete all of the first 3 weeks of the Supercomputing MOOC to be fully prepared for all the topics in the CHPC Practical HPC course.

Who May Apply

The CHPC Winter School is open to all CHPC users as well as students, postdocs and staff of teaching and research institutions from South Africa, SADC, the SKA Partner countries, and other African partner countries of the CHPC.

Limited Places

The 2023 Winter School has limited resources and and will only be able to include 80 students.  Preference will be given to new CHPC users and those with genuine need.  Successful applicants will be fully enrolled in the course and have access to the interactive sessions, quizzes and assignments during the supervised learning period.

Unsuccessful applicants may request access to the lecture notes and other non-interactive course material for self-study.


Registration: 25 July to 28 August 2023

Course: 28 August to 8 September 2023 for supervised learning

Assignment deadline and close of course: 15 September 2023

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 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);