High performance computing

What is High performance computing?

High performance computing (HPC) is the use of extremely powerful computers for running complex computational tasks that would take days, months or even years to complete on a standard computer. It may refer to the use of a supercomputer, a single high-powered unit with many processors, or a group of powerful computers linked together to form a 'cluster'.

Programs that run on supercomputers or clusters can be split up into many smaller programs which can run separately on each individual processor core, all at the same time. This is known as 'parallel computing'. Specialised programming is required to configure programs to run in this way so that they can make full use of the combined processing power available.

What is HPC useful for?

HPC is typically used for extremely intensive computing tasks, such as:

  • Generating high-fidelity three-dimensional models of complex phenomena like black holes
  • Simulating the climate of a specific region over a long time period (i.e. 30 years)
  • Using advanced machine learning techniques on vast quantities of data to make predictions

At the end of this course, users will have an understanding of the concepts of High Performance Computing, will know what to expect to find in a HPC cluster. They will also get experience running parallel programs on a small cluster with a Slurm scheduler.

How can I use it?

Researchers at Monash can access a variety of high-powered computing equipment. For more information, see the Monash eResearch Centre.

HPC workshops

HPC events run regularly throughout the year and include the following workshops:

  • Introduction to HPC  (Note: experience with the Unix command line is required for this workshop.)

Registering for a workshop

Workshop registration is available through myDevelopment. This aligns with myPlan and training records for staff, and enables more streamlined processes for assigning credit towards the Monash Doctoral Program for Graduate Research students.

To search for upcoming Data Fluency workshops log into myDevelopment from your myMonash portal. Type "Data Fluency" or the software you are interested in (eg. "python") into the search box to find a list of available workshops.

No access to myDevelopment?

If you do not have access to myDevelopment, please complete the relevant form:

Staff Development will validate and approve access. This process will take one business day to complete. An email will be sent to users confirming access details.

Where else to find training

You can find more online training materials for this tool via the Library. Visit LinkedIn Learning or Safari to access a range of videos, eBooks and online courses, or try using Library Search to find other resources to help you master this tool.

If you're still not sure where to start, use the details below to get in touch with the Data Fluency community.

Find out more

For further information or advice come to the weekly drop-in session, join the community discussion on Slack, subscribe to our mailing list or email datafluency@monash.edu.

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High performance computing

Can be used for:
  • Advanced computing techniques

View our workshop materials on GitHub