Part 1: High-performance Code Journey? Everything You Need To Know

Part 1: High-performance Code Journey? Everything You Need To Know

Hey there and welcome to my blog, but is this really everything you need to know? probably not, but you’re here and I appreciate it and we can always fill in the blanks over the next 2 months. Over the summer I’ll get into many of the aspects of writing a coding project meant for a supercomputer and it’ll be done from scratch. As this blog goes live I’ve completed the training week along with many other eager individuals. I’m participating in the Summer of High-performance Computing (SoHPC) held by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE). I’ll do my best to post something interesting about this process and the project I’ll be working on throughout the summer. I’ll be answering any questions from you along the way to the best of my capabilities and invite you to partake in this journey (I may even write a post to give an in-depth answer, so ask away!) and for what comes next.

Welcome to my slice of life

Happy wife, Happy life – Ice cream is mandatory

My name is Morten and I am 32 years old. I am happily married and we live in the suburbs of Copenhagen and like most of the world, have been in zoom meetings every day and work from home. I’ve graduated with a degree in quantum physics and currently, I’m a masters student in computational physics at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen.

In one of my recent courses, my professor recommended that I applied for this SoHPC opportunity. The application process was straight forward and after sending in a small coding challenge, CV and motivation letter I was happy to receive an acceptance letter. My hope is to end this experience by contributing my work, dedication and expertise into a useful end result that will be applied in academia and in the process expand on my own skillset.

Outside my academic interests, I thoroughly enjoy exploring nature. Through my studies, I’ve spent far too much time sitting down and there is nothing better than a long hike. Waking up in a tent and looking out at the early rays of the sun and taking in a view and drinking a hard-earned cup of coffee is pretty great. Overall I like finding the beauty in the details and have explored photography a lot where I get to experience and delve into these moments. Under the pandemic, I’ve also had time to refine baking a bit, after all, following a recipe is a bit like programming. It is a set of instructions to follow and execute and sometimes you end up with a surprisingly well-executed code/or baking good and other times it’s a dense mess in all shapes and sizes and you don’t know where you went wrong.

From hiking to photography to baking I try to enjoy life

So what exactly comes next you ask?

Good question!
To make a long story short (and telling that story properly in a future post) I will along with my partner in crime, Tiziano Barberi, have access to a supercomputer at the Hartree centre and write some code, that’s about it.
This is where I hear you say “but Morten.. you could just code it on your own computer right?”. And yeah, I could technically program it on my computer, but it would properly catch on fire along the way. This is where a supercomputer comes into the picture, as it’s at least twice as good as my setup.. and maybe closer to 40.000 times as good.

My inferior desktop setup with 4 processor cores vs IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer (not the one I’ll be using) “Intrepid” at Argonne National Laboratory with 164,000 processor cores

While we’re not accessing the entire system, we can use so-called compute time for a subset of the supercomputer. This enables us to do crazy cool parallel coding that performs much faster than what my computer could accomplish alone. So far it has also been pretty easy to log in and use these computers and run the code.

The friendly log in message from the kay supercomputer in Ireland during our training week, sometimes it just nice to know that something works.

Thank you very much for reading my scribbles thus far, I hope you’ll want to follow my journey and next time I’ll tell you about the finer details of the project and give some further insight into how clever the entire setup and algorithm is.
Meanwhile, you can also check out some of the other people writing their own blogs and all of the projects that are involved in this SoHPC

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