EU, ASEAN launch high-performance computing school

The EU and ASEAN announced the “EU-ASEAN High-Performance Computing (HPC) Virtual School: System Design and HPC Applications,” which will be held for the first time from 5 to 9 July 2021.

This innovative new school will bring together top international experts in the HPC field to share their expertise and knowledge with students from ASEAN Member States. The school is hosted by NSTDA Supercomputer center (ThaiSC) and organised by the ASEAN HPC Task Force, under the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI). Fabrizio Gagliardi, an HPC pioneer and international expert, will be the Director of this first virtual school.

After a competitive application process, 60 students with the most appropriate educational and technical backgrounds in all ten ASEAN Member States were selected from a larger number of submissions. These students will learn about the fundamentals of HPC design and applications to critical domains from international luminaries from Europe, ASEAN and Japan through virtual formal and practical courses.

The group of lecturers and speakers represents leading HPC organisations, such as the A*STAR Computational Resource Centre, Singapore; the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU); the Finnish National Supercomputing Centre; LuxProvide High-Performance Computing Centre, Luxembourg; the BioExcel European Centre of Excellence; the National Barcelona Supercomputing Centre in Spain and the RIKEN Center for Computational Science, Japan.

The school’s hands-on curriculum starts with the fundamentals of HPC design and programming, and an overview of HPC systems and software. School subjects will include HPC applications to COVID-19 research, urgent computing for earthquake and tsunami simulations, and other critical strategic applications to climate science and computational science.

Interspersed through the modules will be the following events:

  • Opening Event – 5 July 2021 (For registered students only)

The school will be officially opened with remarks from EU and ASEAN representatives to welcome students on the first day.

  • Invited Talk: Opportunities for Researcher Career Development in Europe – 5 July 2021 (For registered students only)

A presentation by the EU’s flagship funding programme, the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions, which provides grants for all stages of researchers’ careers; the European Research Council, a public body for funding of scientific and technological research; and EURAXESS, a pan-European initiative that supports researcher mobility and career development, while enhancing scientific collaboration between Europe and the world.

  • Closing Virtual Panel Discussion: The Future of High Performance Computing (HPC) – 9 July 2021, 16:00-17:30 (GMT+7) (Open to the public)

A virtual panel discussion about the future of high-performance computing and its current trends, livestreamed on the ASEAN Secretariat Youtube Channel and EU in ASEAN Facebook page and open to the public, will conclude the school. Prestigious scientists, responsible for the design of some of the top supercomputers in the world, and pioneers of new HPC technology, such as quantum technology, will debate the current trends to overcome the Moore Law limit and explore the future of HPC.

  • Closing Event – 9 July 2021, 17:30-18:30 (GMT+7) (Open to the public)

A special award ceremony for participating students with a digital certificate of excellence delivered to the top ten students in the school. Closing remarks will be delivered by EU Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Igor Driesmans and Satvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economic Community.

“The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking is public-private partnership set up between the European Union, European countries, and private partners to develop a world-class supercomputing ecosystem in Europe,’’ remarked Anders Dam Jensen, Executive director of the EuroHPC joint undertaking and moderator for the EU-ASEAN Virtual HPC School Closing Event’s Virtual Panel Discussion. ‘’The EU-ASEAN High-Performance Computing Virtual School is another example of outstanding international collaboration in HPC and paves the way for future partnerships in science, research, and innovation.  As experts from across Europe and Asia come together to share knowledge, the EuroHPC JU is proud to be part of this initiative,” he concluded.

Piyawut Srichaikul, co-Chair of the ASEAN HPC Taskforce and School Coordinator, stated that “meaningful HPC capacity requires sufficient and accessible HPC infrastructure, essential applications, and most importantly, the people to drive and make use of it.”

“The School in ASEAN for HPC and its applications to critical domains is an important step to foster a rapid adoption of HPC technology in the region, especially with the new generation of computing and computational science practitioners,’’ noted Satoshi Matsuoka, Director, RIKEN Center for Computational Science and EU-ASEAN Virtual HPC School Keynote Lecturer. ‘’RIKEN R-CCS is happy to collaborate with ASEAN HPC and EuroHPC to contribute its knowledge and its experience in supporting critical HPC applications for the wider scientific community and in training students with an established programme of topical schools so that they can advance their respective domains.”

The school was a demand-driven outcome in line with the 1 December 2020 EU-ASEAN Joint Ministerial Statement on Connectivity.

The “EU-ASEAN High-Performance Computing Virtual School: System Design and HPC Applications” will provide a deep dive into the fast-paced and strategic field of HPC, as well as give motivated students an excellent starting point for developing knowledge for practical applications.

Students will also have a great opportunity for personal networking with international experts and other students in the region. After this first school, the possibility of organising an in-person annual curriculum, rotating among the ASEAN Member States, for the future will be considered, once again developed with the strength of cross-regional collaboration.

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967. The ASEAN Member States are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. On 31 December 2015, the ASEAN Community was formally established. The ASEAN Secretariat is based in Jakarta.

The European Union (EU) is the economic and political union of 27 Member States. Together, the European Union has built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development while maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedom.

The Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI) is a development cooperation instrument that facilitates cooperation and dialogue between the EU and ASEAN in policy areas of joint interest. Drawing on the EU’s experience of regional integration, E-READI further strengthens both the ASEAN regional integration process as well as the overall ASEAN-EU strategic partnership.