2008: Parallel Computing
The second national winter school in eScience is organized the week 20-25 January 2008 at Dr. Holms Hotel, Geilo, Norway. Through the winter schools (four planned in the years 2007-2010) we wish to develop a supplementary forum for dissemination of modern theory and methods in mathematics, statistics and computer science. The winter schools will be given on a national basis, and will therefore contribute to a broader contact between students at the different universities and researchers in the institutes and the industry. The winter schools are also open to participants from outside Norway.

Parallel computing

For many decades the speed of computers has doubled every 1.5-2 years, which has meant that a program runs 50-100 times faster ten years after it was first written, without any change to the code itself. This is not likely to be the case in the future. Today, the main source of increased speed is that computers are gaining more processors so that they can perform several operations in parallel. In addition, specialised resources like graphics cards which are available in all computers are increasingly being exploited for general purpose scientific computations. To make full use of these resources you must change your code and perhaps even change your algorithm. So while parallel computing in the past has been of interest only to those who need to utilise the most powerful computers, parallel techniques are now becoming essential for anybody who wishes to fully make use of their desktop or laptop computer. This development also brings with it new approaches to parallel computing and it is not at all clear that the classical supercomputing approach is the best way to exploit the resources in your laptop.

The 2008 Winter School will provide an introduction to this technological development in a nontechnical way that should be accessible to anyone with a background in the mathematical sciences and an elementary knowledge of algorithms and programming. The aim is that the participants should gain a general understanding both of the emerging technology itself and the kinds of algorithms which will work well with this technology.

Main topics for the week:

  1. Introduction to parallel algorithms and parallel computers for non-specialists.
  2. The status and future direction of high performance computing.
  3. Parallel computing on your laptop - multicore computing.
  4. Parallel computing on your laptop - streambased computing (GPGPU, Cell BE, etc)
  5. Other approaches to parallel computing

Scientific organizer of the winter school is Knut Mørken (University of Oslo). All lectures will be in English. List of speakers: David Keyes, Arne Maus, Sverker Holmgren, Henrik LöfXing Cai, Knut Mørken, Trond Runar Hagen, André Rigland Brodtkorb, Christopher Dyken, and  Johan Seland.

A detailed plan of the lectures and links to the slides presented can be found on a separate page. 

Overview of the Week

Time  Activity Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
07:00-09:00 Breakfast            
09:00-10:30 Lecture   SM SM  MCC SBC Misc
10:30-12:30 Lecture   SM/HPC SM break break Misc
12:30-14:00 Lunch   lunch lunch lunch lunch lunch
14:00-14:45 Break   break break break break end
15:00-16:30 Lecture  Intro SM HPC MCC SBC  
16:30-17:00 Coffee break            
17:00-18:30 Lecture  Intro SM HPC MCC SBC  
19:30 - Dinner            

Intro = introduction to parallel computing

HPC = (traditional) high-performance computing SBC = stream-based computing
SM = scientific meeting MCC = multicore computing Misc = miscellaneous (Cell BE etc)


During the middle of the day, there is a break so that the participants may work, exercise (the hotel is almost on-top-of the alpine slopes) or relax. Lunch is served between 12:30 and 14:00. A lunch voucher can be obtained in the hotel reception for those who prefer the alpine slopes or the cross-country trails.

On Friday, the lectures end before lunch, so that you can eat lunch at the hotel before you catch a train back to Bergen or Oslo.


Deadline: December 7 2007.

The participants are expected to stay at  Dr. Holms Hotel, where the organizers have booked a number of rooms. Please state in the registration form wether you want a single or double room. (Notice that cancellations after the deadline is subject to a certain cancellation fee).

Published September 8, 2006