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HPC 2013-14 | Education

European Commission Governments

Technical institutions and associations Industry

Schools Universities Research institutes

Technical associations Scientific institutions Technology suppliers

Institutions Private / commercial education

High school Undergraduate

Postgraduate masters Doctoral

Research training Technologists Business leaders

Cross-domain scientists and engineers Lifelong/ongoing learning

Environment for HPC education Needs Target Deliverers

Education and training

Nations and regions Providers Subject

Techniques, methods and algorithms

Applying / using HPC Computer engineering Enablers Computer science

Software engineering and programming Data analysis and management System architecture / engineering I O systems and storage Communications and interconnects Generic


Business-oriented Technically oriented Multi-disciplinary

HPC technology suppliers HW, SW, ISV, etc Infrastructure or service providers Application software and tools developers

Domain users

Existing HPC users Potential users

Non-academic users

The ETP4HPC has established a working group to analyse the state of education and training

industry-led consortium that targets the growth of HPC technology supply and use within Europe. In its Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), it identifies education and training as a critical item for the HPC supply industry, the HPC system operators, current users, and for expanding the applications of HPC (and big data). Te organisation has established a working group to further analyse the state of education and training, its strengths and weaknesses, and identify where gaps (or chasms) can be filled. Te group is working very closely with the PRACE-RI team providing HPC education through PRACE Advanced Training Centres (PATC) ( and with the European Exascale Soſtware Initiative project (EESI2) ( Te group’s goals expand the scope beyond the HPC users to include the needs of the technology suppliers and the infrastructure providers themselves. Te work is not yet complete and the team is currently studying all areas of needs, targets, providers and subjects, as can be seen in the mind-map above. Our analysis can be expected to lay out

requirements for improvements in depth and breadth of the education and on- going training across the board, and will look at all the potential providers, be they governmental, commercial or institutional. All of these interest groups agree that there

must be significant changes in our education and training if we as a society are to reap the benefits that can be created from the effective provision and use of HPC technology. At the roots, we see a continued decline

in the level of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) with qualified school leavers and with first-degree qualified students. Beyond this, we must address the

“Tere must be significant changes in our education and training if we are to reap the benefits that can be created from the effective provision and use of HPC technology”

courses and qualifications suited to the HPC supply and user communities: here we see major problems with the content of computer science curricula and, even more critically, the need to address multidisciplinary skills pivotal to bridging the scientific or technological problems with the mathematical, simulation or analysis techniques suited to parallel computing, particularly as we extend toward the exascale era. For the technology industry the need for ‘computer engineers’ with suitable hardware

and soſtware skills to enable the next generation of suppliers is at a critical level, with far higher numbers of suitably qualified individuals coming out of China and India than European universities, and equally low levels of doctoral and research activity in Europe. We are hopeful that this will change as we re-emphasise the value of our industrial and scientific investments in HPC across Europe. It is not just about universities and

research institutes, though today they are oſten the primary users of HPC and increasingly recognise they will have to educate extensively to enable changes in their methods, algorithms and code to reach exascale. It is also critical that for our society to gain true wealth and prosperity we must look to apply the power of the supercomputer to our industrial and commercial enterprises much more than we do today. We must inspire the vision of organisations to see the opportunities that can be created and we must reduce the risks associated with applying HPC in their businesses. Tis can be aided by such multidisciplinary knowledge and skills where real problems can be transformed into the language of HPC.l

Malcolm Muggeridge is VP Emerging Technology at Xyratex


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