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High Performance Computing Autumn Academy

Unfortunately, the Academy will not be running in 2024 for logistical reasons. We intend to restart the Academy in 2025.

Aim: To teach scientific computing techniques from C++/Fortran programming, to parallelism and numerical methods used in CFD and Atomistic modelling.

Location: Maxwell Building, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge, U.K.
(A remote-access option is also available, with access to lectures only.)

Contact details:

The overall aim of this course is to provide course attendees with a strong background in programming techniques suitable for general scientific programming. At the end of the course they should be able to write a range of simple algorithms in C++ or Fortran, understand what issues affect the performance of the code, and be familiar with methods of utilising multiple CPU cores. They will also have been introduced to a range of topics suited to high-performance software development, including command-line Linux, version control, data structures, and super-computer cluster queuing systems. Lecturers and demonstrators will be available to give assistance with the practical work.

There will also be opportunities to attend seminars on a range of academic and industrial applications of these techniques and to learn how they are used in practice. The attendees will also work together on small projects, with the chance for networking opportunities with their peers and leaders in HPC fields.

Please see the lecture schedule for more information. The course will be held in Cambridge, U.K., although there is also a remote-learning option, which will give access to live-streamed lectures and all of the course material, but not access to computing facilities, nor demonstrator support.

Suitability for the course

The course is suitable for participants with a University Degree in Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, or Computer Science.

Participants should have experience with a modern scientific programming language, such as Python, Matlab, C++, or Fortran. For example, they should be able to use this language to write a function to multiply two matrices (input from a file or keyboard), without using any of the language’s built-in matrix-manipulation functionality. Experience with a command-line based OS, such as Linux or Mac OS X, would also be helpful.

Note for international applicants: All the course lectures and tutorials will be in English, therefore a high standard of fluency in English is required. If English is not your first language, you may be asked to demonstrate your English language proficiency—this is usually through the provision of an English Language test certificate, either IELTS or TOEFL. For more information visit this link.


Applications for a place on the HPC Autumn Academy are on a first-come-first-served basis. Early registration is recommended. To apply follow this link.

Technical Requirements

If you are able to bring your own laptop to work on, that would be appreciated, although we do have spare Linux laptops for loan if necessary.

Please note the following technical requirements if you intend to bring your own laptop:

  • Linux or Mac OS X operating system (Microsoft Windows will be supported, but will be more complex to set up)
  • Internet connection capable of streaming video and sound (Remote access only)

If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact the Academy Director, Dr Philip Blakely (