1-6 July 2019
University of Pretoria
Africa/Johannesburg timezone
Applications extended to include Monday 17 June 2019.

CHPC High Performance Computing Winter School 2019

1 – 6 July 2019


In 2019 the CHPC is running the online course “Introduction to High Performance Computing” for South African graduate students whose studies include HPC or research topics which would potentially rely on HPC techniques. This course is a broad introduction to this important topic aimed at all users of HPC.

The 6-day CHPC Winter School follows on from the introduction and covers the practical hands-on portion of the course, how to construct a parallel job script for your workflow, including domain specific tips and tricks, and OpenMP for parallel computers.

The CHPC Winter School is hosted by the University of Pretoria (UP) and the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

The CHPC gratefully acknowledges Professor Thomas Sterling and Dr Matthew Anderson of Indiana University for permission to use lectures and teaching materials from their online course “Introduction to High Performance Computing”.


The CHPC Winter School is aimed at new M.Sc or Ph.D. students in the fields of computational chemistry, applied mathematics, physics, computational biology, bioinformatics, computer science, engineering or related subjects with a strong computing content. Students need to have second year mathematics or applied mathematics (or equivalent) and basic familiarity with the Linux command line.

The course will cover the use of the CHPC cluster super-computer, from how to write, run and debug job scripts, how to build and install parallel software, and how to turn your scientific workflow into an HPC job script.  This will include the use of GNU parallel for high throughput computing, and the options for parallel execution of R, python, and Octave.

After the 3-day HPC foundation, the course splits into a choice of separate parallel modules:

  • HPC computational chemistry and material science;
  • HPC computational mechanics, CFD and related codes;
  • OpenMP  programming for multi-core computers, using the C programming language (some examples will be available in Fortran), this requires applicants be competent in programming in at least C, C++ or Fortran.

All CHPC Winter School candidates must participate in the online course "Introduction to High Performance Computing" and make satisfactory progress by 14 June 2019 as a prerequisite.

There are no fees for successful applicants.

The CHPC is able to offer accommodation during the CHPC Winter School for applicants from outside Pretoria. Limited support is also available for local return air/bus travel for qualifying students from outside the Gauteng province as needed.


The necessary background in HPC is provided by the online course that precedes the CHPC Winter School.

During the 6-day CHPC School interactive lectures and computer tutorials will introduce students to a range of key aspects of HPC and further illustrate how these tools are currently being applied to address research problems.

  • Cluster Environment; Compilers, Shell Scripting and Job Submission.

  • Planning and scripting an HPC workflow

  • GNU parallel

  • Either: Domain-specific HPC tips and tricks:

    • chemistry and material science

    • mechanics and CFD

  • Or: Introduction to Programming Shared Memory Multicore & SMP Systems with OpenMP.

  • Evaluation: test and/or mini-project.

Application Procedure

Firstly, sign up for the online course. Then complete the application  form.

Eligible applicants should be registered at a South African University in 2019 for graduate study ― proof of registration must be provided with your evaluation form ― including a letter of recommendation from your supervisor.

Course content will assume a reasonable background in Mathematics (at least including multivariate calculus and linear algebra) along with basic competence in the Linux command line.

The OpenMP portion of the course requires programming ability in a high level language (C or Fortran) as well as 2nd year in at least one of Physics, Applied Maths, Maths, Computer Science, Statistics, or Engineering.

A full academic transcript must be included with your evaluation form.

Accommodation, and full board will be provided. Owing to budgetary constraints, only limited places are available for suitably qualified students.

Transport from outside Gauteng is available on application.

Should you wish to become one of the participants, please complete the application form and register online before the closing date. Successful candidates will be notified from 18 June 2019.

The CHPC calls for all talented students to submit their applications. As a publicly funded institution, the CHPC supports the transformation of South Africa and thus the workshop organisers highly encourage students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to submit their applications.

For general enquiries please email workshop@chpc.ac.za.

Applications will close at 09h00 on Tuesday 18 June 2019.

Applications for accommodation and/or travel must be received before 14 June 2019.

University of Pretoria
Computer Science