GPU CodeCamp Itinerary

Due to the varied group of participants it has been decided that the first day will focus on CUDA python and the second day on C/C++ with OpenACC.

The CUDA python program

will follow the standard NVIDIA one day course “Fundamentals of Accelerated Computing with CUDA Python”. This course explores how to use Numba—the just-in-time, type-specializing Python function compiler—to accelerate Python programs to run on massively parallel NVIDIA GPUs. You’ll learn how to:

  • Use Numba to compile CUDA kernels from NumPy universal functions (ufuncs).
  • Use Numba to create and launch custom CUDA kernels.
  • Apply key GPU memory management techniques.

Upon completion, you’ll be able to use Numba to compile and launch CUDA kernels to accelerate your Python applications on NVIDIA GPUs.

The OpenACC program

will follow the Linux Academy “Introduction to OpenACC – NVIDIA OpenACC Online Lab” ., Amazon Web Services, NVIDIA, and Linux Academy have organized the Introduction to OpenACC lab. This lab consists of three instructor-led classes that include interactive lectures, dedicated Q&A sessions, and hands-on exercises. The lab covers analyzing performance, parallelizing, and optimizing code.

Experience programming in C, C++, or Fortran is helpful but not required. You do not need any prior experience with OpenACC directives or GPU programming to complete this lab.

Day 1

10:00 am Introduction to CUDA with Numba

12:30 pm Lunch

13:30 pm Custom CUDA Kernels in Python with Numba

15:30 pm Multidimensional Grids and Shared Memory for CUDA Python with Numba

19:30 Evening Meal

Day 2

09:00 am Introduction to OpenACC – NVIDIA OpenACC Online Lab

12:30 Lunch

13:30 pm Participants work on their codes

16:30 pm Feedback

17:00 pm The End


GPU CodeCamp Event Information

Who will attend

There will be a mix of local/DiRAC researchers, supported by a NVidia trainer. All you need is a laptop and a willingness to learn.

Image result for NVIDIA trainer


The hackathon is located in the beautiful city of Durham at the Ogden Centre, Durham University, South Road DH1 3LE. The event will be held in room OCW017.


DiRAC will support any DiRAC researchers wishing to attend this even by paying for their accommodation. Individuals will pay for the room themselves and then claim the cost back. DiRAC will only accept accommodation and breakfast costs from the approved hotel below:

travelodge Durham

Staying at this venue is highly preferred, since it maximises networking opportunities and ensure all participants can get the most out of the event.

Travel & Meals

Participants are expected to cover their travel.


0754 034 2450
Paddy’s Taxis
0191 386 6662
Sherburn Taxis
0191 372 3388

As sponsor NVidia has agreed to cover the costs of all meals during this event.

Important dates

  • 22nd November application deadline.
  • 25th November successful applicants will get a n email confirming there place at the event.
  • 11th December Event Welcome


If you need any addition information, please do not hesitate to contact DiRAC’s Training Manager: Richard Regan.

  • Tel: 0191 3343632
  • email:

GPU CodeCamp

What is CodeCamp

CodeCamp is an opportunity for the novice user to enhance their skill set and practice these new skills with their own code. During the event there will be dedicated instructor lead periods, where participants will work on specific examples that highlight aspects of GPU development. There will also be periods where participants are expected to work on their own codes implementing these techniques, and assessing the relevance to their project.

Why GPUs

GPUs give researchers access to high volume data processing capability, due to having thousands of cores, and specialized hardware enabling fast tensor processing.

Where is the Event

This December, DiRAC with support from Nvidia is holding a GPU CodeCamp in Durham on the 11-12th.

How do I Get involved

If you are interested in participating please complete the form below

send it to your application form need to be received by Sunday the 17th of November. All successful applicants will be notified by 25th November. Deadline extended to noon on Friday the 22th of November.


Director’s Time

This Call closed on 30th January 2019

Special Call for DiRAC-2.5y Director’s Discretionary proposals 

The DiRAC Director invites the UK theory and modelling communities in Astrophysics, Particle Physics and Nuclear Physics to apply for discretionary computational resources on the STFC DiRAC HPC Facility.


To celebrate the commissioning of the new DiRAC-2.5y Data Intensive and Memory Intensive services, the Director has decided to make a number of large discretionary awards of DiRAC time on these services during the period January-March 2019. These awards will be made to proposals of outstanding scientific interest and timeliness and which can demonstrate significant benefit from concurrent access to large numbers of nodes during the period prior to commencement of the RAC 11 awards. 

Proposals should be ambitious in scope – this is an opportunity to carry out large and/or calculations that might not fit within your existing RAC allocations. 

All codes used must have undergone a technical review as part of the RAC process. Codes which have not done so will be requested to submit a technical case prior to the application being considered. 

All awarded time must be used by March 31st 2019 and no requests to extend beyond this date will be accepted. 

Application process: proposals should be submitted using the DiRAC-2.5y Director’s Discretionary Call application form. The form is attached to this e-mail and will also be available from the DiRAC website.

You must include the application number where the required technical case associated with the software to be used in this application can be obtained. You do not need to resubmit technical information that you have already provided – however, you may be asked to provide evidence of the scalability of your codes if you will be using the code at a larger scale than was previously requested.

Assessment process: Proposals will be reviewed by the Director, the RAC chairs and the Technical Manager. 

Closing date: the initial closing date will be 5pm on 18th January 2019. However, proposals will continue to be accepted after this date until all Friday 22nd February or until available resources have been awarded, whichever is the earlier. 

Assessment criteria: Proposals will be assessed based on the following criteria: 

1. Scientific impact – 60% 
2. Track record of user/group – 20% 
3. Timeliness/urgency – why would performing this calculation in Jan-Mar 2019 enhance the impact of your science? – 20%

A pdf version of the Application Form is available here.

And a word copy of the Application Form is available here.

Please send the form to  (You will receive a mail from JISC requesting positive confirmation that the email did originate with you (to cut down on spam).  Simply click on the link in Jisc’s email to approve the message for delivery.)


Seedcorn Time

Access to DiRAC is co-ordinated by The STFC’s DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee, which puts out an annual Call for Proposals to request time for a Full Project Allocation and also operates a Seedcorn Time programme.

Seedcorn Time Programme

For researchers who would like to try the DiRAC resources, get a feel for HPC, test codes, benchmark or see what the DiRAC resources can do for you before making a full application for resources, an application can be made for seedcorn time.

Existing users may also apply for seedcorn allocations to enable code development/testing on a service which is not currently part of their project allocation.

You can apply for seedcorn time at any time.

Seedcorn Application

The maximum allocation of seedcorn time will be 50,000 x86 core hours or 1,000 GPU hours or 1,000 KNL node hours. Your hours can be used at any time within three months from the date it is allocated.

An overview of the DiRAC hardware resources can be found here.

If you would like to apply please fill in this simple “Seedcorn” Application Form and send it to  (You will receive a mail from JISC requesting positive confirmation that the email did originate with you (to cut down on spam).  Simply click on the link in Jisc’s email to approve the message for delivery.)

You will need to provide your personal details, the codes that you intend to run and what libraries and tools are required for you to run the code, if known. We also would like to know what you intend to achieve with your allocation and of course which of the four DiRAC systems you would like to use.

You should be able to complete the form in around 15 minutes.

The decision process for Seedcorn applications is streamlined and should take no more that 1 week.


Research Symposium

SuperComputing Wales Research Symposium 2018
13th September
Swansea University

The Swansea Academy of Advanced Computing (SA2C) are hosting this event to bring together the Supercomputing Wales community and give users a forum to showcase their research to the wider HPC community and network with other supercomputing specialists.

Whilst primarily aimed at the Swansea community, this event is open to all DiRAC HPC users who would like to present their research. The event will include research talks, a poster session, and opportunities for discussion about HPC, the Supercomputing Wales project and their SUNBIRD machine.

SAC2 facilitates Swansea researchers in using HPC technologies by enabling access to a HPC computing platform and Research Software Engineers (RSEs) to assist in its use. These resources are funded via the Supercomputing Wales project (SCW).

Registration for this event is via Eventbrite and can be accessed here. The Eventbrite page also has a Preliminary Agenda for the day, which will be updated closer to the event. Accomodation booking on the University Campus is available through Swansea’s DiRAC Day website.



NVidia Hackathon
9th, 10th & 11th September
Swansea University

Call for Team Applications

We are pleased to announce that Nvidia have generously agreed to sponsor a 3-day GPU hackathon in Swansea prior to DiRAC Day 2018. This team event will provide the DiRAC community with the opportunity to explore the potential for GPUs in supporting their science.

The Hackathon is open to all DiRAC HPC users and we expect to be able to offer places to 5 or 6 teams of between 3 and 5 people each. Over the three days, we hope that several major DiRAC science codes will be ported to GPUs and that the teams who attend will gain the skills to assist other DiRAC researchers to port additional codes in the future. This is part of our on-going work to ensure that DiRAC provides the most appropriate hardware for your science and the hackathon will help provide input to discussions on the design of future DiRAC systems.

No prior experience of GPU programming is required – there will be online training material in advance of the hackathon itself to provide an introduction. Teams of 3-5 people can apply with 1 or 2 codes to be worked on. It’s important that all those who attend are familiar with the code that their team will be working on.

Download the Application Form and return it to the DiRAC Project Office by the 23rd July 2018. We will contact all applicants with the results in early August.

Accomodation booking is available through Swansea University’s DiRAC Day website. Some funding for a small number of students to help with accomodation may be available and if you or your team members would like to apply for this, please indicate numbers on your Application Form at Q11.


Data Privacy

Data Privacy at DiRAC

At DiRAC we are completely committed to respecting and protecting your data whilst it is in our care. We have strict procedures in place to protect your personal data when you give it to us and we store all your data on UK-based secure servers.

What information do we collect?

You provide some of the information yourself – to register for a training account and the Essentials Level test you need to give us your personal contact details:

  • name;
  • email address;
  • afflilitation.

We collect some information automatically:

  • technical information, like the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the internet and your unique identifier;
  • information about your visit, including the URL clickstream to, through and from our training site, pages you viewed and length of visits to certain pages.

What do we do with your information?

We use the information you provide to improve the DiRAC training experience for you and for everyone. That includes:

  • notifying you about things you have asked as about, such as internal or external training opportunities and events that might be useful to you;
  • notifying you of test results;
  • getting in touch if we need to tell you about something, like a change to our policies;
  • using the technical information about your visit to iterate and adjust our training offering (by looking at things like which pages are most popular compared to those which receive very little traffic etc.)

Information we receive that is not classified as personal data, such as that from the survey at the end of the Essentials Level Test is shared only internally with our small training team and used solely to improve our training offering. Any personal information that could identify you is removed or changed before any analysis is carried out.

Do we share your information with other organisations?

  • we only use your information to improve your experience. We do not share your information with any external organisations unless you give us your permission to share it, for example, with other training organisations or HPC-Special Interest Groups.

In exceptional circumstances, we might share your information without your permission if we reasonably believe you might be breaking the law, for example using hate speech on one of our forums, and such disclosure is allowed under the relevant laws, including the data protection law.

How long do we keep your information?

  • we will only hold your personal contact information for a period of three years from the date you give it to us, for example when you register for either a training account or for the Essentials Level test. While your information is with us, it is stored on UK-based secure servers;
  • we may close your account if you havnt used it in a long time. We’ll always send you an email to tell you that we plan to do this before we delete anything.

You will always be asked to consent to us storing your data, and you can withdraw that consent, or request that your data is deleted at any time by emailing DiRAC Support.

Keep your login credentials secure. If you have any reason to suspect these have been compromised, you should either Contact Us or change them immediately.



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