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High Performance Computing in Luxembourg

UL HPC School 2019

UL HPC School 2019

The 9th edition of the High Performance Computing (HPC) School was held on June 20-21, 2019 and gathered more than 100 participants in Belval. On this occasion, the HPC team welcomed Filip Kučerák, winner of the Computational Science Award at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) 2018.

Having a High Performance Computing platform available for the UL researchers and PhD students is a chance to deeply accelerate their workflow and analysis, however the effective usage of such a complex system requires both talent and system skills to understand the impact of its personal workflow on the global performances of the system.

In this context, the new edition of the HPC School was again the opportunity to offer for both beginners and advanced users an up-to-date overview of the HPC (High Performance Computing) developments recently performed within the University and abroad, as well as instructions and practical sessions on a variety of topics representative of research activities and domains present at the university that benefit from HPC, including:

  • Access to and interaction with the UL HPC infrastructures
  • Monitoring, Debugging & Profiling
  • HPC workflow management (for sequential and parallel tasks)
  • HPC programming and usage of the main software available on the platform, with dedicated sessions directed towards Scalable Science (OpenMP/MPI, Computational Physics, Chemistry & Engineering apps, GPU programming), MATLAB/Mathematica, R, Python, Big Data analytics, Bioinformatic workflows, Deep and Machine learning, Mixed-Integer Programming (MIP) optimization with CPLEX and Gurobi etc.
  • Virtualisation with Singularity containers on the clusters

 

The traditional inaugural keynote presented by Dr. Varrette offered an up-to-date overview of the HPC and Big Data (BD) strategic developments within the University but also at the national and European level, especially with regards the definition of a National HPC Competence Center and the official announcement of the Meluxina supercomputer in Luxembourg1.

A second keynote delivered the second day by Sarah Peter covered the data management aspects (of particular importance with the release of the GDPR regulation and the incoming decommissioning of the old HPC facilities enforcing the migration of data and computational workflows toward the current flagship production system (named iris)).

Otherwise, most of the time was dedicated to 18 practical parallel sessions (including several brand new ones) ) lectured by the HPC team together with leading computational scientists of the University of Luxembourg and HPC technologists (namely Dr. Varrette, Valentin Plugaru, Sarah Peter, Hyacinthe Cartiaux, Clément Parisot, Dr. Frederic Pinel, Dr. Emmanuel Kieffer, Dr. Xavier Besseron and Dr. Aurélien Ginolhac).

It is worth to note that following the Open Science paradigm, the material of all proposed tutorials is publicly available since the very first edition on github and on http://ulhpc-tutorials.readthedocs.io/.

Finally, as indicated above, young Slovak Filip Kučerák used his prize to visit the University’s HPC facility (on the left picture with Hyacinthe Cartiaux, on the right with part of the HPC team welcoming him on Wednesday, i.e. from left to right, Clément Parisot, Frederic Pinel, Hyacinthe Cartiaux, Filip Kučerák and Emmanuel Kieffer) and attended the two-day event as winner of the Computational Science Award for his project “Trevo: Trees as a results of an algorithm” during the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS 2018) which took place in September 2018 in Dublin. This award is sponsored by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) in which Luxembourg is represented by delegates and advisors from the University of Luxembourg since October 2017.

  1. Elaborated by a consortium lead by Luxconnect SA and involving the University HPC team, LIST, the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) and Par-Tec, Meluxina was a proposal by Luxembourg to answer the EuroHPC JU call for Petascale Supercomputers that was accepted on June 7, 2019. Luxembourg is thus one of the 8 sites selected across 8 different European Member States to host one of the new European supercomputing system