People - Written by on March 25, 2013

Workshop Prepares Users to Run on Titan

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Second training event of the year gives more users a chance to learn about supercomputing at the OLCF

Attendees at the East Coast Titan Users and Developers Workshop and Users Meeting listen as OLCF Director of Science Jack Wells discusses Titan.

Attendees at the East Coast Titan Users and Developers Workshop and Users Meeting listen as OLCF Director of Science Jack Wells discusses Titan.

Prospective Titan users gathered in Knoxville, Tennessee, February 19-21, for the East Coast Titan Users and Developers Workshop and Users Meeting. Hosted by the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), the workshop mirrors a January event held in California. In total 65 attendees were on-site while 51 logged in to participate remotely.

Attendees picked up skills for running on Titan, from parallelization techniques to debugging. The first day of the workshop was a users’ meeting, which introduced users to the OLCF and Titan basics. The rest of the workshop focused on preparing users to work on Titan’s CPU-GPU architecture. A live webcast was provided for those unable to attend.

Long-time OLCF user Stephane Ethier, a computational physicist from Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, said of his experience with the live webcast, “The presentations were excellent and very useful for all levels of users. Introductions to the various methods of programming GPUs were especially relevant.”

New this year to the training workshops was a focus on hands-on activities. Attendees reported via feedback form that they found the activities helpful in preparing them to work at the OLCF. The Titan training team plans to incorporate more activities in future workshops and to post in-depth tutorials for users to view online.

A popular topic at the workshop was CUDA, a parallel computing platform and programming model created by NVIDIA that runs on the GPUs in Titan. There was a lecture on the subject as well as a hands-on lab featuring CUDA.

Users reported that they left the workshop prepared to work on Titan in the future and with greater interest in the topics covered. —by Leah Moore