Imperial CMSE provides a forum to advertise and promote news and events aligned with CMSE objectives. Find below a list of upcoming events.

ADER-DG - a high-order, compute-bound scheme for future supercomputers?


You are invited to a research talk by Michael Bader from Department of Informatics of the Technical University of Munich.  Prof Bader will be around all afternoon so please get in touch if you would like to have a meeting with him.


Date: December 15th, 2016
Time: 16:00 - 17:00
Venue: LT 311, Huxley  (building 13 on the map)
Campus: South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London



Supercomputers of the current petascale and future exascale class are posing new requirements on simulation software. Besides demands for energy efficiency or resiliency, a key requirement on exascale-ready numerical schemes is posed by the trend towards an increasing ratio between executed floating point operations and transferred bytes of memory - hence, numerical schemes with high arithmetic intensity will be privileged on future architectures.

This presentation will discuss two simulation packages that exploit the ADER-DG (Arbitrary high-order DERivative Discontinuous Galerkin) scheme. SeisSol simulates dynamic rupture processes and seismic wave propagation on adaptive tetrahedral meshes for a highly accurate physics-based modelling of earthquakes. It has achieved Multi-PFlop/s performance on several of the largest supercomputers. ExaHyPE (an Exascale Hyperbolic PDE Engine) is being developed as part of a respective Horizon 2020 to meet requirements of exascale hardware. The engine will solve hyperbolic PDEs using high-order ADER-DG on tree-structured Cartesian grids. The talk will discuss experiences with optimising SeisSol and introduce plans and first results for the ExaHyPE engine.


Michael Bader is Associate Professor at the Department of Informatics of the Technical University of Munich. He works on hardware-aware algorithms in computational science and engineering and in high performance computing.  His main focus is on the challenges imposed by the latest supercomputing platforms and the development of suitable efficient and scalable algorithms and software for simulation tasks in science and engineering.  His research group is located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center.



Program Analysis and Transformation for Scientific Computing 

You are warmly invited to a research talk on by Paul Hovland, Argonne National Laboratory.  If you would like to meet Paul, he is visiting Dec 2-6.

Date: December 5th, 2016
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Venue: Room 217, Huxley  (building 13 on the map)
Campus: South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London



We discuss several applications of program analysis and transformation in scientific computing.  We begin with a discussion of automatic empirical performance tuning (autotuning) techniques and strategies for dealing with multiple, competing objectives (such as time and power).  We continue with a discussion of automatic (also called algorithmic) differentiation techniques for computing the derivatives of functions defined by computer subprograms.  We conclude with a consideration of program verification, with an emphasis on proving the equivalence of two implementations.



Paul Hovland's research focuses on program analysis and transformation tools for high performance scientific computing applications. He holds a B.S. in computer engineering and an M.S. in computer science from Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. in computer science with a computational science and engineering option from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advised by Michael T. Heath.  He is a Senior Computer Scientist and the Strategic Lead for Applied Mathematics in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory (



High-Precision Anchored Accumulators for Reproducible Floating-Point Summation

You are invited to a talk by Neil Burgess (ARM, Cambridge) – it should be very interesting.  Neil will be around afterwards and is looking for research collaboration opportunities in this area.

Date: November 24th, 2016
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Venue: Room 217, Huxley  (building 13 on the map)
Campus: South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London


We propose a new datatype and new instructions that allow reproducible accumulation of floating-point (FP) numbers and products in a programmer-selectable range. The new datatype has a larger significand and a smaller range than existing floating- point formats and has much better arithmetic and computational properties. In particular, it is associative, parallelizable, reproducible, and correct. For the modest ranges that will accommodate most problems, it is also much faster: 3 to 12 times faster on a single 256-bit SIMD implementation, and potentially thousands of times faster for large multicore implementations.


Neil is a Principal Design Engineer at ARM, where he has worked (in Cambridge and Austin, Texas) since 2009.  Before that he worked as a Silicon Design at Icera.  He has a PhD in VLSI Design and Test from Southampton, and last year was recognised as an ARM Inventor of the Year. 



Accelerating Scientific Python code with Numba

You are warmly invited to this talk by Graham Markall, one of the PhD graduates behind the Firedrake Project.  The is based on his work at Continuum Analytics, a key player in the scientific Python and PyData worlds:

Date: November 17th, 2016
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Venue: Room 217, Huxley  (building 13 on the map)
Campus: South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London


Scaling up the performance of Python applications without having to resort to writing the performance-critical sections in native code can be challenging. Numba is a tool that solves this problem by JIT-compiling user-selected Python functions using LLVM to deliver execution speed on a par with languages more traditionally used in scientific computing, such as Fortran and C++. As well as supporting CPU targets, Numba includes CUDA and HSA GPU backends that allow offloading of vectorised operations with little programmer effort. For more complicated GPU workloads, Numba provides similar capabilities to CUDA C within Python, and debugging tools that integrate with Python debugging tools such as pdb and pub.

This talk discusses the implementation of Numba and provides guidance for getting the best performance out of Numba-compiled code. Some examples of real-world applications that use Numba will be presented.

Speaker bio:

Graham Markall came to Imperial for our MSc in Advanced Computing in 2008, and stayed to do a PhD on “Multilayered Abstractions for Partial Differential Equations” – work which formed the foundation for the Firedrake Project ( Since graduating, Graham has worked at OpenGamma and Continuum Analytics, and is currently a compiler engineer at Embecosm.



Title image 

You are cordially invited to attend Drop Impact: from Coalescence to Splashing, a one-day meeting bringing together specialists in the areas of drop impact onto liquid and solid surfaces. 

The event has attracted very strong participation from institutions across the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. Speakers from varied backgrounds developing analytical, computational as well as experimental methods will present their recent work on this fascinating subject. 

The meeting is to be held on Friday November 11th in the Imperial College Business School (ICBS 300 LT3). The scientific programme consists of four sessions of contributed talks, separated by sponsored coffee breaks and lunch. We encourage you to take advantage of the free registration in order to facilitate logistics and catering.
For further information please consult the meeting website: 

The event is generously supported by the Centre for Computational Methods in Science and Engineering of Imperial College London.

We are looking forward to welcoming you on the day.

The Organising Committee
Dr. Radu Cimpeanu
Dr. Matthew Moore
Prof. Demetrios Papageorgiou
Department of Mathematics
Imperial College London


HPC summer school 2016

September 26 - 30, 2016

The second instalment of the HPC summer school starts on Monday September 26th and lasts one week.

The programme includes a code optimisation tutorial, one day of performance tuning for cx2 (helen) and a two day MPI class.  On Friday, we'll host six community sessions on imaging, research software engineering, computational molecular sciences, genomics, research data management and simulation methods. The event concludes with a keynote lecture on compilers, HPC prize announcement and a reception.

You can register for separate workshops or community sessions.  All are welcome!



10 years of HPC at Imperial

The HPC Service group at the College is pleased to invite you to their 10th birthday celebration.  You are welcome to join us and celebrate with exciting presentations and refreshments.

We'll start with messages from the HPC champion Professor Peter Haynes, from the Dean of Faculty of Engineering Professor Jeff Magee and from the HPC manager Simon Burbidge.  Next, we'll have scientific presentations from Professor Robert Glen from the Department of Surgery and Cancer and Professor Spencer Sherwin from the Department of Aeronautics.  The Imperial students will be represented by Ioan Hadade from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.  Finally, we'll have the pleasure to welcome Dr. Eng Lim Goh, the Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer of SGI.  The event will conclude with a reception. 

 We encourage all to bring posters showing their research that was supported by HPC.

Date: July 7th, 2016
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Venue: Room 340, Huxley  (building 13 on the map)
Campus: South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London
Registration: Please register here.



14:05 Welcome
Professor Peter Haynes, Head of the Department of Materials and the HPC champion
14:10 Message from the Dean
Professor Jeff Magee, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering
14:20 Celebrating a Decade of HPC at Imperial - looking to the future
Simon Burbidge, HPC Manager
14:30 From Molecules to Man - HPC accelerates discovery
Professor Robert Glen, Department of Surgery and Cancer
14:45 Algorithms, Arteries & Automobiles
Professor Spencer Sherwin, Department of Aeronautics
15:00 Turbomachinery CFD on Modern Multicore and Manycore Architectures
Ioan Hadade, Department of Mechanical Engineering
15:15 HPC and Beyond
Dr. Eng Lim Goh, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of SGI
16:00 - 17:00 Celebration with food, drinks and cake 



Nektar++ Workshop 2016

Date: June 7th - 8th, 2016
Venue: Room 207, Skempton building
Campus: South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London
Registration: Please register here.

The event is organised in association with the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics across Scales, and PRISM.

The purpose of this meeting is to bring together the Nektar++ developers and design time with users of any experience level within the broader community.  This two day workshop will feature talks providing an overview of Nektar++, discussions on the current design roadmap, tutorials on how to use some of the more recently added and/or requested features within Nektar++ (such as high-order mesh generation and parallelism), and presentations by those adapting and using Nektar++ for pushing the boundaries of their own scientific and engineering disciplines.

The programme and the details can be found here.


Numbers to the rescue: can maths save the planet?

Date: Wednesday 18 May, 2016
Time: 18:00 - 19:00 
Venue: Room G34, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College London
Campus: South Kensington Campus (#33 on the map)
Registration: Please register here by May 16th.


The Grantham Institute and the Mathematics of Planet Earth Centre for Doctoral Training invite members of the business community to attend a panel discussion at Imperial College London where experts will discuss how mathematics can combat environmental problems, and their impact on society and business.

The panel discussion will be chaired by Imperial's Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, an esteemed meteorologist and member of the UK Committee on Climate Change. Following the discussion, we would like to offer you the opportunity to meet our academics and PhD students, and see examples of what our research in climate modelling, uncertainty, data assimilation and computational science can do for you.

The lecture will be followed by networking and a research exhibition.


Should you have any enquiries, please email Chloe Stockford (

PRISM Event: Workshop on Embracing Accelerators 

Date: Monday 18 April, 2016
Time: 10:00 - 17:00 
Venue: Lecture Theatre 201, Skempton Building
Campus: South Kensington Campus
Registration: The event is free and open to all but registration is essential.  Please register here.
Speakers: Alex Heinecke (Intel), Karl Rupp and members of the Imperial College


Members of PRISM community are delighted to invite you to Imperial College on Monday 18th April for an event that explores the use of accelerators with finite element methods. We will cover CG vs DG, higher-order versus lower-order methods in CFD and the tradeoffs between implicit and explicit methods in the context of manycore and GPU hardware developments.

The event will consist of speakers from Imperial College and we are pleased to have Alex Heinecke (Intel) and Karl Rupp as guest speakers.


10:00: Coffee

10:30: Alex Heinecke (Intel) 
Fighting B/F Ratios in Scientific Computing by Solving PDEs in High Order

11:30: Short talks (TBC)

12:30: Lunch and posters

14:00: Karl Rupp
FEM Integration with Quadrature and Preconditioners on GPUs

15:00: Futher talks (TBC) plus primer for discussion panel on implicit vs explicit methods on accelerators.

15:45: Discussion: Implicit vs explicit methods on accelerators.

16:15: Networking Drinks 

Speaker Biographies and Abstracts:

Alex Heinecke
Fighting B/F Ratios in Scientific Computing by Solving PDEs in High Order

Today’s and tomorrow’s architectures follow a common trend: wider vector instructions which offer denser arithmetic intensity, but constant and therefore relatively lower bandwidth. When solving PDEs, high-order methods are a possible candidate for adopting to this hardware development. Their computing cost increases with higher order due to the higher arithmetic intensity, while relatively reducing the required memory bandwidth. Therefore, they offer an adjustable trade-off between the computational costs, required bandwidth and the accuracy delivered per degree of freedom. In this talk we examine the impact of convergence order, clock frequency, vector instruction sets, alignment and chip-level parallelism for higher order discretization on their time to solution, more precisely their time to accuracy, with respect to yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s CPU architectures. From a performance perspective, especially on state-of-the-art and future architectures, the shift from a memory- to a compute-bound scheme and the need for double precision arithmetic with increasing order describes a compelling path for modern PDE solvers.

Alexander Heinecke studied Computer Science and Finance and Information Management at Technische Universität München, Germany. In 2010 and 2012, he completed internships at Intel in Munich, Germany and at Intel Labs Santa Clara, CA, USA. In 2013 he completed his Ph.D. studies at TUM and joined Intel’s Parallel Computing in Santa Clara in 2014. His core research topic is the use of multi- and many-core architectures in advanced scientific computing applications.
Awards: Alexander Heinecke was awarded the Intel Doctoral Student Honor Programme Award  in 2012. In Nov. 2012 he was part of a team which placed the Beacon System #1 on the Green500 list. In 2013 and 2014 he and his co-authors received the PRACE ISC Award for achieving peta-scale performance in the fields of molecular dynamics and seismic hazard modelling on more than 140,000 cores. In 2014, he and his co-authors were additional selected as Gordon Bell finalists for running multi-physics earthquake simulations at multi-petaflop performance on more than 1.5 million of cores.

Karl Rupp
FEM Integration with Quadrature and Preconditioners on GPUs

Efficient integration of low-order elements on a GPU has proven difficult. Former work has shown how to integrate a differential form (such as Laplace or elasticity) efficiently using algebraic simplification and exact integration. This, however, breaks down for multilinear forms or when using a coefficient. In this talk, I present results from joint work with M. Knepley and A. Terrel on how to efficiently integrate an arbitrary form using quadrature. The key is a technique we call “thread transposition” which matches the work done during evaluation at quadrature points to that done during basis coefficient evaluation. We are able to achieve more than 300GF/s for the variable-coefficient Laplacian, and provide a performance model to explain these results.
The second part of the talk discusses performance aspects of preconditioners for GPUs, in particular algebraic multigrid. While the preconditioner application maps well to the fine-grained parallelism provided by GPUs, our benchmarks indicate that GPUs have to be paired with powerful CPUs to obtain best performance.

Karl Rupp holds master’s degrees in microelectronics and in technical mathematics from the TU Wien and completed his doctoral degree on deterministic numerical solutions of the Boltzmann transport equation in 2011. During his doctoral studies, he started several interacting free open source projects, including the GPU-accelerated linear algebra library ViennaCL. After a one-year postdoctoral research position working with the PETSc-team at the Argonne National Laboratory, USA, and a research project on improving the efficiency of semiconductor device simulators at TU Wien, he is now a freelance scientist. His current activities include the GPU-acceleration of large-scale geodynamics simulations.

Allinea Forge/DDT graphical debugger hands-on tutorial

Date: 11 February 2016
Time: 10:00-17:00
Venue: Huxley 410
Campus: South Kensington Campus
Audience: Open to all staff and students, please register at
Speaker: Florent Lebeau

The HPC group has recently acquired Allinea Forge/DDT graphical debugger for use on all the HPC systems. Florent Lebeau, a technical expert from Allinea, is coming to Imperial to give a full day tutorial for all interested students and staff. Please refer to HPC wiki for details and registration. The class is highly recommended to those who develop their own code in C, C++ and Fortran, including MPI and threaded parallel code.

AMMP Colloquium

Professor Michael Siegel: Analysis and computations of the initial value problem for hydroelastic waves

Date: 18 Dec 2015
Time: 15:00-16:30
Venue: Huxley 139
Campus: South Kensington Campus
Audience: Open to all
Speaker: Professor Michael Siegel, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA
Contact: Pavel Berloff, Demetrios Papageorgiou

The hydroelastic problem describes the evolution of a thin elastic membrane in potential flow. It arises in many applications, including the dynamics of flapping flags and ice sheets in the ocean. An efficient, non-stiff boundary integral method for the 3D hydroelastic problem is presented. The stiffness is removed by a small-scale decomposition, following prior work on 2D interfacial flow with surface tension. A convergence proof for a version the numerical method will be discussed (joint work with David Ambrose and Yang Liu).