Tuesday 9th October 2018

RSE Webinar: Meltdown for Dummies

David Henty, EPCC

Date: 1300 BST, Wed 10 October 2018

Connection URL:

Abstract: News of the Meltdown Security Vulnerability caused a big stir at the start of 2018. This was not surprising as it meant that any user could read any memory on almost any modern system, bypassing all security measures! In this webinar I will try and explain the origin of Meltdown from a dummy’s point of view (i.e. my own), using an everyday analogy of accessing documents from a lawyer’s office. Even if you’re not that concerned with IT security, I hope that this talk will help explain how modern multi-user computers actually work.

Bio: David Henty has worked at EPCC for over 20 years focussing on HPC training and parallel application development. His training work has covered delivering courses for the national HPC services such as ARCHER, online training and MOOCs, and running EPCC’s MSc in HPC programmes. On the technical side he has mainly worked on performance programming for CPUs and GPUs, parallel programming models and parallel IO.

These webinars are free to join, and you do not need to register in advance. Full details including the link to join the webinar are available below.

For more information on the RSE webinar series, including information on how to propose a webinar and information on upcoming webinars, please see:

This page also has recordings of the previous webinars.

GPU Programming with CUDA

Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) were originally developed for computer gaming and other graphical tasks, but for many years have been exploited for general purpose computing in a number of areas. They offer advantages over traditional CPUs because they have greater computational capability, and use high-bandwidth memory systems (memory bandwidth is the main bottleneck for many scientific applications).

This introductory course will describe GPUs, and the advantages they offer. It will teach participants how to start to program GPUs, which cannot be used in isolation, but are usually used in conjunction with CPUs. Important issues affecting performance will be covered.

The course focuses on NVIDIA GPUs, and the CUDA programming language (an extension to C/C++ or Fortran). Please note the course is aimed at application programmers; it does not consider machine learning or any of the packages available in the machine learning arena.

Full details and registration :

TPLS and the Use of PETSc webinar

Wednesday 31st October 3pm GMT

David Scott, EPCC
The capabilities of a program called TPLS (Two Phase Level Set) will be described with particular emphasis on how PETSc (Portable, Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation) is used in the code.

Supercomputing MOOC

Began 24th Sepetember 2018 and runs for 5 weeks. You can join at any point during the course.

Discover how supercomputers work and the real-life scientific breakthroughs made possible by today's computer simulations.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Registration open now

  • Supercomputing MOOC, Online, Starts 24 Sept 2018 for 5 weeks - join any time
  • OpenMP, Online, Wednesday afternoons 13:30 24th October - 14th November
  • GPU Programming with CUDA London 26-27 Nov 2018
  • Message-passing Programming with MPI, Newcastle, 28-30 Nov 2018
  • HPC Carpentry, ATI London, 6-7 Dec 2018
  • Scientific Programming with Python, Newcastle, 6-7 Dec 2018

Full details and registration at