Introduction to MPI

Introduction to a standardized library specification for message passing between different processes

The Message Passing Interface (MPI) is a standardized library specification for message passing between different processes. In layman's terms: MPI provides mechanisms for handling the data communication in a parallel program. It is particularly suited for computational clusters, where the workstations are connected by an interconnection network (e.g. Infiniband, Gigabit Ethernet).


Wednesday 30 May 2018 from 9:00 to 18:00

Topics covered

(subject to change)

In this workshop, the applicability of MPI will be compared to other parallel programming paradigms such as OpenMP, Cuda and MapReduce. Next, the basic principles of MPI will be gradually introduced (point-to-point communication, collective communication, MPI datatypes, etc). Hands-on exercises allow the participants to immediately turn the newly acquired skills into practice. Finally, some more theoretical considerations regarding scalability of algorithms are presented.


Multimediaroom, building S9, Campus De Sterre, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Gent

A sandwich lunch will be provided, along with water & coffee/tea, for all registered attendees (free of charge).

Organization and trainer

Workshop organised in collaboration with Flemish Supercomputing Center (VSC), all Flemish Universities and their Doctoral Schools.

Lecturer is Dr. Jan Fostier

Jan received his MS and PhD degree in physical engineering from Ghent University in 2005 and 2009 respectively. Currently, he is appointed assistant professor in the department of Information Technology (INTEC) at the same university. His main research interests are (parallel) algorithms for biological sciences, high performance computing and computational electromagnetics.


Follow this link to register for the next session:

Target audience

This workshop is especially targeting PhD students.

Postdocs, staff members or non-academic interested parties can also participate depending on availability.

Priority will be given to PhD students.

Course prerequisites

Participants should be able to work on the Unix/Linux command line, have a minimal level of programming skills (Fortran or C), and have a general understanding of computer architecture.

Participants are strongly encouraged:

  • to bring their own laptop, which is able to connect to the WiFi (eduroam)
  • to have an active VSC account and a working public/private ssh key pair

Please follow these instructions to request a VSC account and correctly set up a connection with an ssh key pair

Course material

Presentation slides and exercises will be supplied to participants

Download the presentation from a previous session

Doctoral Schools Training Program

This course can be followed as part of the Ghent University Doctoral Schools Training Program - specialist courses.

Students should also attend the Introduction to multithreading and OpenMP training in order to include both in their curriculum as one specialist course.

When this condition is met, the course will be automatically added to the curriculum of the participating PhD students.

All participants can receive a certificate of attendance upon request via .