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The Blue Waters project collaborates with the Shodor Education Foundation, Inc., and the National Computational Science Institute (NCSI) and other national HPC programs to prepare current and future faculty and both undergraduate and graduate students to gain the knowledge and skill sets necessary to capitalize on high-performance computing resources. Activities include education allocations, institutes, webinars, training sessions and workshops for faculty and students. Blue Waters also provides undergraduate internships, and graduate fellowships.

Education Allocations

Each year Blue Waters devotes up to 1.8 million node-hours to educational activities. These allocations provide a unique learning experience for students across the nation by enabling them to use the extraordinary capability of Blue Waters to broaden their knowledge and develop their own interests in a wide array of disciplines, from the traditional areas of science and engineering to emerging areas in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
Read more about Education Allocations.


Blue Waters provides a series of free webinars throughout the year. The webinars are conducted almost every Wednesday, with a few exceptions to avoid conflicts with major HPC events, such as the Blue Waters annual Symposium. Most sessions will be an hour in length, although some will go longer. Each session will start at 8 AM Pacific - 9 AM Mountain - 10 AM Central - 11 AM Eastern - 4 PM GMT.

All sessions will be broadcast on Youtube live, and recorded for subsequent playback. To receive the Youtube live web address for each session, please register for each live session you wish to attend. All sessions are free, and you may register for as many sessions as you like.

Participants may join the webinars from their own web-enabled device. We also encourage people to meet together as a group to promote active discussions among the local participants.

Details about each session including abstracts, presenters, intended audience, and prerequisites are provided with the corresponding track summaries at

Petascale Institutes

The Blue Waters project at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) collaborates with other national organizations to deliver petascale training via free week-long institutes. During 2019, a Petascale Computing Institute is being offered that builds on the lessons learned from the "SCALING TO PETASCALE" Institute held in 2017. Collaborators include Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), the Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), SciNet at the University of Toronto, Stony Brook University, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

The goal is to prepare participants to scale simulations and data analytics programs to petascale-class computing systems in support of computational and data-enabled discovery for all fields of study. Registration is required to attend at one of the Host Sites or to view a broadcast of the institute sessions via YouTube Live.


Blue Waters conducts Hackathons as a multi-day coding event in which teams of developers port their applications and optimize their applications to run more efficiently on petascale class systems. Each team consists of three or more developers who are intimately familiar with (some part of) their application, and they work alongside mentors with appropriate expertise for the nature of the Hackathon. The mentors come from universities, national laboratories, supercomputing centers, government institutions, and vendors.

The goal is to improve the performance of their research codes, while also preparing their team members to be more proficient at scaling simulations and data analytics programs to petascale-class computing systems in support of discovery for all fields of study. Registration is required to attend the Hackathons.


The Blue Waters Internship program focuses on motivating and training the next generation of supercomputing researchers, the program is sponsoring about 20 undergraduate research interns each year. The goal is to engage undergraduate students in petascale computing research and development projects. The program provides each student a stipend totaling $5,000, a two-week intensive high-performance computing workshop, and an education allocation on the Blue Waters system. Select students will travel to The Blue Waters Symposium. This program includes support for undergraduate internship activities at any accredited degree granting institution in the United States. The internships awarded through this program may be for students working with a faculty mentor on their home campus, or at another campus. Interested faculty can work with a particular student that they identify, or may select a qualified student with Blue Waters support through our program.

Students and faculty who are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM are strongly encouraged to participate in the program.

Interns submit articles about their research for publication in the Journal of Computational Science Education, described below.

Graduate Fellowships

Blue Waters Graduate Fellowships provide PhD students with a year of support, including a $38,000 stipend, up to $12,000 in tuition allowance, an allocation of up to 50,000 node-hours on the powerful Blue Waters petascale computing system, and funds for travel to a Blue Waters Symposium to present research progress and results.

Education and Training Resources

The HPC University portal provides access to peer-reviewed training and education materials, including Undergraduate Petascale Curriculum Modules available for download. These materials support the teaching and learning of parallel and high-performance scientific computing in multiple fields of study.

Journal of Computational Science Education

The Journal of Computational Science Education (JOCSE) is a peer-reviewed online journal that accepts articles describing contributions to the teaching of computational science. Regular articles report the results of computational science instructional materials, projects, and approaches in educational settings. Articles may also include the results of formal or informal assessments of the materials or programs on learning outcomes, on the diffusion and adoption of computational science programs, and the workforce and career development. Students may publish the results of their research and internship experiences and the impacts of those activities on their academic and future career outlook. The journal and instructions to authors can be found at

For more information about Blue Waters training and educational events and opportunities contact the Blue Waters Education, Outreach, and Training team at