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Lecture Introduction to High Performance Computing: Architecture Features and Practical Parallel Programming

Lecturer Prof. Dr. Estela Suarez, represented in WS24-25 by
Dr. Bartosz Kostrzewa, Dr. Carolin Penke, Dr. Ujjwal Sinha
Module (BASIS) MA-INF-1108
eCampus eCampus_MA-INF-1108
Type of Lecture Lecture with Exercises
Credits 6 CP
Exam admission (Studienleistungen) Exercises (>50%) must be successfully solved by the student (individually) to attend the exam
Research Area High Performance Computing
Language English


Subject When Where Start Lecturer
Lectures Friday 14-16 Friedrich-Hirzebruch Allee 5 - Hörsaal 7 13.10.2023 Dr. Bartosz Kostrzewa,
Dr. Carolin Penke,
Dr. Ujjwal Sinha
Exercises Friday 16-18 Friedrich-Hirzebruch Allee 5 - Hörsaal 7 13.10.2023 Dr. Bartosz Kostrzewa,
Dr. Carolin Penke,
Dr. Ujjwal Sinha


We will learn the major aspects of High Performance Computing, describe the different components in the architecture of modern supercomputers, and give an introduction on how these are programmed. The application through practical exercises will strengthen the content.

  • Computer architectures, system components (CPU, memory, network) and their interrelation.
  • Software environment
  • Access to HPC compute resources at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre
  • Practical use of parallel programming paradigms (MPI, OpenMP, CUDA)
  • Performance of applications and scaling behaviour, understanding and strategies for improvement
  • Current challenges in HPC

Skills and Prerequisites

  • Technical: Understanding principles of computer architecture of modern HPC systems at component (processor, accelerators) and system level (system architecture, network, memory hierarchy) and their implication for application programming. Ability to program parallel computers, employing multi-core and multi-node features. programming CPU and GPUs. understanding the quality of performance and scaling behaviour, and applying the measures needed to improve them.
  • Soft skills: Ability to select a specific HPC topic and present it in a clear and comprehensive manner suitable for a lightning talk (10min)
  • Prerequisites:
    • Knowledge of a modern programming language (ideally C/C++).
    • Interest in High Performance Computing
    • Recommended: Bachelor Lecture “Computerarchitektur”
  • Exam Admission (Studienleistungen):
    • At least 50% of the exercises must be solved individually to attend the exam. The students shall present their solution during the tutories.


Unless the amount of registered students makes it unfeasible, the exam will be oral. You will need to prepare a 10-min presentation on a topic of the lecture (some topics will be suggested). You have to show that you do not merely copy the content shown in the lecture, but have reasoned about it, extended it, and prepared and present it in your own way. The 10-min presentation will be followed by 10-min questions from the lecturer, related not only to your presentation but to any topic discussed during the lecture.


  • John L. Hennessy, David A. Patterson. Computer Architecture - A Quantitative Approach. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2012
  • David A. Patterson, John L. Hennessy. Computer Organization and Design - The Hardware-Software Interface. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2013
  • Message Passing Interface Forum. MPI: A Message-Passing Interface Standard, Version 3.1
  • OpenMP Application Programming Interface, Version 4.5, November 2015
teaching/hpc-lecture.txt · Last modified: 2024/06/24 16:49 by estela.suarez

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