By the end of 2022, the amount of data in the digital world reached almost 100 zettabytes, or 100 billion terabytes; more than double the volume of 2019. Capabilities in coding, computing and computational science are critical to access
value from this vast amount of scientific, environmental and societal data that we are producing.
South Africa’s supercomputing facility, the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), annually co-hosts a summer school with NITheCS. This year, the 13th CHPC Coding Summer School and the 5th NITheCS Summer School on the Foundations of Theoretical and Computational Science took place for the first time in hybrid form, from 30 January to 10 February.
Around 800 postgraduate students from 29 research institutes were in attendance, with institutes outside of South Africa given the opportunity to participate virtually, making it the first time that a coding training event of this scale was conducted in a hybrid format in South Africa.
Live lectures on topics including data visualisation, data analysis, modeling and simulation, machine learning, software management as well as quantum computing were conducted via online video platform. The lectures and interactive tutorials were delivered by a team of a team of CHPC and NITheCS associates and international experts, with students attending in a range of university locations nationwide. This hybrid format enabled students to engage with their peers and campus facilitators in person, as well as with the course presenters and the broader network of participants, virtually.
The aim of the summer school was to expose the students to the Linux terminal for scientific programming, to introduce them to the Python programming language and its applications in data analysis, and ultimately to bridge the gap between theoretical studies and high performance computing in various fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“The Coding Summer School 2023 was a significant success, and we are grateful to the CHPC and the NITheCS for jointly organising this summer school. It was the first attempt to do a hybrid physical and virtual hosted event at this scale and the experience will ensure even more successful hosting of future events. We want to thank all the participating institutes, lecturers and students for making this landmark summer school a success. We look forward to the next coding training event and the opportunity to continue to broaden the coding skills of participants” said Dr Werner
Janse van Rensburg, CHPC Research Manager.