Specialist Workshops in Parallel Computing - SWPC2012

The use of computers in general and supercomputers in particular becomes ever more important in many fields of scientific research. High-performance computing (HPC) is becoming an important underpinning of many domains of research and evolves rapidly both in hardware and software. As a result, scientific computing goes beyond running self-made programs on a supercomputer. In order to utilize the available HPC infrastructure to its full potential, knowledge of different computing paradigms, including parallel computing and advanced data structures, is required. This series of workshops features seminars on important HPC topics, introduced by experts in the field. Topics include multithreading and multiprocessing, GPU programming, Message Passing Interface (MPI) and Google MapReduce and Hadoop.

Since Ghent University is making huge investments in providing supercomputing power to its researchers, more and more researchers take this opportunity into account when making their experimental design. This raises the barrier in the kinds of questions researchers dare to tackle, but usually comes with the need to overcome some technical issues about how to optimally parallelize existing or new software. This series of workshops attempts to fill the gap where most of these parallelization techniques have not yet found their way into regular courses taught at Ghent University or elsewhere in Belgium. In addition, the workshops also aim to be an excellent meeting ground and networking opportunity for PhD students making use of parallel computing techniques for their research.

This workshop is an organization of the Doctoral Schools Doctoral Schools of Natural Sciences, (Bioscience) Engineering and the Flemish Supercomputing Centre (VSC).


The 2012 series of specialist workshops in parallel computing has 1 two-day session and 3 one-day sessions. Workshops start at 9:00 and last until 17:00, with sandwich lunches at the workshop location.

Course material

Participants are asked to register on the "Specialist Workshops in Parallel Computing 2012" course site within the Ghent University electronic learning environment (http://zephyr.ugent.be). Lecture notes, additional reading and other teaching material will be made available through this environment. Practical announcements for the course will be sent out only to registered participants. Participants are invited to bring their own laptop computer for the hands-on sessions during each of the workshops.

Target audience and number of participants

The series of Specialist Workshops in Parallel Computing is especially targeting PhD students that have had a formal training in computer science, or have acquired the necessary technical computer science skills needed to take part in the hands-on sessions for each of the workshops. In particular, participants should have acquired an advanced level of programming skill, must be able to work on the Unix/Linux command line and have a general understanding of computer architecture. See the prior knowledge sections for each of the workshops for further details.

The subscription fee for taking part in the 4 workshops is €250 (if you only inscribe for one workshop the fee is still 250€), which also covers course material and sandwich lunches. For participants who are a member of the Doctoral Schools training program in Natural Sciences or (Bioscience) Engineering the Doctoral Schools will pay the complete subscription fee. For each workshop, 20 places will be reserved for Doctoral Schools students. Priority will be given to participants who subscribe for at least 3 out of 4 workshops and to members of the Doctoral Schools of Natural Sciences or (Bioscience) Engineering who follow this course as part of their minimum set of activities. Other participants (other than PhD students) are allowed but places are limited.

Credits (Doctoral Training Program 60 ECTS): 4


To register please send a mail to SWPC12@UGent.be containing:

  1. Name
  2. UGent email,
  3. HPC account-id (vsc40xxx, if you do not have an HPC account yet, please request one prior to registering),
  4. Doctoral School affiliation [Natural Sciences, Bioscience Engineering],
  5. Which sessions you want to attend [Multithreading & multiprocessing, Parallelizing with CUDA, MPI, MapReduce & Hadoop],
  6. Motivation ("Why do you want to attend these sessions?"),
  7. Short description of your IT knowledge.

Number of participants are limited for each session.

Organizing committee

  • Peter Dawyndt (Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, UGent)
  • Bart Mesuere (Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, UGent)
  • Michaël Vyverman (Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, UGent)
  • Ruben De Visscher (Master of Science in Mathematical Informatics, UGent)
  • Jan Fostier (Department of Information Technology, UGent)
  • Dries Decap (Department of Information Technology, UGent)
  • Kenneth Hoste (Department of Information and Communication Technology, UGent, VSC)
  • Stijn De Weirdt (Department of Information and Communication Technology, UGent, VSC)
  • Tom Kuppens (Department of Information and Communication Technology, UGent, VSC)

Contact information

Prof. Dr. Peter Dawyndt
Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science (Ghent University)
Krijgslaan 281 (building S9)
B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
phone: +32 9 264 4779
fax: +32 9 264 4995
email: Peter.Dawyndt@UGent.be

Prof. Dr. Jan Fostier
Department of Information Technology (Ghent University)
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41
B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
phone: +32 9 331 49 86
fax: +32 9 264 3593
email: Jan.Fostier@UGent.be

Dr. Tom Kuppens
Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum
Department of Information and Communication Technology (Ghent University)
Krijgslaan 281 (building S9)
B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
phone: +32 9 264 4716
email: Tom.Kuppens@UGent.be