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NCSA offers a variety of events throughout the year for the community to assist the community in learning about computational and data enabled science and engineering methods, tools, and resources. The training goal is to prepare the community to make effective use of petascale computing resources, including those provided by the Blue Waters project.  

The events include webinars, workshops, symposia, tutorials, presentations, and other related activities.

If there is a topic you wish to have covered in a future workshop send an email to the Blue Waters Education, Outreach and Training team at

Blue Waters GPU Hackathon

The NCSA Blue Waters GPU Hackathon will take place September 10-14, 2018 at NCSA. The deadline to apply is June 18, 2018. Prior GPU experience is not required, as those selected will be paired with experienced mentors who will teach them how to leverage accelerated computing in their own applications or further optimize their codes.

The hackathons are intended to help new and existing GPU programmers to optimize their applications. It is a great opportunity for graduate students and postdocs. Any and all GPU programming paradigms are welcome.

There will be pre-workshop training opportunities as well as intensive mentoring during this five-day hands-on workshop to ensure that the teams leave with applications running on GPUs, or at least with a clear roadmap of how to get there. Each team will be assigned mentors who have extensive experience in programming GPUs, many of whom are from NVIDIA and Dr. Wen-mei Hwu's lab and are knowledgeable in developing GPU-capable compilers and helping define standards such as OpenACC. Programming experience with OpenACC or CUDA is not a requirement.

We are looking for teams of 3-8 developers, ideally graduate students and/or postdocs, with a scalable application to port to (or optimize on) the GPU accelerators available at the University of Illinois, including the Blue Waters system at NCSA and systems supported by the IBM-Illinois Center for Cognitive Computing Systems Research. Collectively, the team should know the application intimately. If the application is to address a suite of applications, no more than two applications per team is allowed and a minimum of two people per application must attend.

Those interested may apply here by June 18, 2018. Selected teams will be notified within two weeks after the deadline closes. Learn more here. Questions? Ask us at

Past Workshops & Symposia

Multi-site XSEDE & VSCSE Events

Blue Waters User Teleconference Presentations

Blue Waters webinars are scheduled the third Monday of each month. Materials for each webinar (or teleconference) will be posted here shortly before each event. You will need to log in to the portal to access the content attached to this page.

Check the calendar for the next meeting.

  • Monday, October 15th, 2018 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, September 17th, 2018 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, August 20th, 2018 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, July 17th, 2018 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, June 18th, 2018 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, May 21st, 2018 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, April 16th, 2018 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, March 19th, 2018 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Tuesday, February 19th, 2018 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 - Presentation (PDF), TensorFlow (PDF)
  • Monday, Decermber 18th, 2017 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, Novermber 20th, 2017 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, October 16th, 2017 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, September 25, 2017 - Presentation (PDF), Audio (mp3)
  • Friday, August 25, 2017 - Presentation (PDF), Audio (mp3)
  • Monday, July 17, 2017  - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, June 19, 2017  - Presentation (PDF),
  • Monday, May 15, 2017 - Cancelled due to annual Blue Waters Symposium.
  • Monday, April 17, 2017 - Presentation (PDF), used Skype for Business/Lync webinar software
  • Monday, March 27, 2017 - Presentation (PDF) - used webinar software.
  • Monday, February 20, 2017 - Presentation (PDF), Shifter (PDF)  
  • Monday, January 23, 2017 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, December 19, 2016 - Presentation (PDF), Topology Special Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, November 28, 2016 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, October 17, 2016 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, September 19, 2016 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, August 15, 2016 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, July 2016 - Cancelled
  • Monday, June 20, 2016 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, April 18, 2016 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, March 21, 2016 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Friday, December 18, 2015 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, October 19, 2015 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, September 21, 2015 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, August 17, 2015 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, July 20, 2015 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, June 22, 2015 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, May 16, 2015 - Presenattion (PDF)
  • Monday, April 20, 2015 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, March 16, 2015 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Monday, February 16, 2015 - Presentation (PDF)
  • Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - Presentation (PDF, Audio (MP3)
  • Monday, December 15, 2014 - Presentation (PDF, PDF, URL, Audio (MP3)
  • Monday, November 17, 2014 - Cancelled due to SC14.
  • Monday, October 20, 2014 - Presentation (PDF, Audio (MP3)
  • Monday, September 15, 2014 - Presentation (PDF1, PDF2, Audio (MP3)
  • Monday, August 18, 2014 - Presentation (PDF, Audio (MP3)
  • Monday, July 21, 2014 - Presentation (PDF1,PDF2), Audio (MP3)
  • Monday, June 23, 2014 - Presentation (PDF), Audio (MP3)
  • Monday, May 19, 2014 - No teleconference (BW Symposium)
  • Monday, April 21, 2014 - Presentation (PDF1,PDF2), Audio (MP3)
  • Monday, March 17, 2014 - Presentation (PDF), Audio (MP3)
  • Monday February 17, 2014 - Presentation (PDF), Audio (MP3).
  • Tuesday January 21, 2014 - Presentation (PDF, PDF), Audio (MP3).
  • Monday, December 09, 2013 - Presentation (PDF1, PDF2), Audio (MP3).
  • Monday, October 21, 2013 - Presentation (PDF1, PDF2), Audio (MP3).
  • Monday, September 16, 2013 - No teleconference (cancelled).
  • Monday, August 19, 2013 - Presentation (PDF), Audio (MP3)
  • Monday, July 15, 2013 - No teleconference (middle of 3 week XK upgrade)
  • Monday, June 24, 2013 - Presentation (PDF), Special Presentation (PDF), Audio (MP3)
  • Monday, May 20, 2013 - Presentation (PDF), Audio (MP3) - No audio recording due to operator error.
  • Monday, April 15, 2013 - Presentation (PDF), Audio (MP3)

Vendor Events

  • Cray and Nvidia  webinar focusing on the use of OpenACC 2.0 with the latest Cray Compilation Environment release.
  • Older Nvidia and Cray OpenACC webinar.

Online Tutorials


Cyberinfrastructure Tutor, or CI-Tutor, is the web-based training site for high-performance computing and cyberinfrastructure topics hosted at NCSA. To view a listing of available tutorials see the CI-Tutor Course Catalog.

Available on the CI-Tutor site is the tutorial BigSim: Simulating PetaFLOPS Supercomputers. This tutorial introduces the basic concepts of using BigSim to model and predict the performance of your application(s).

Note: To access the course you must first register for an account in CI-Tutor.

HPC University

The HPC University (HPCU) is a virtual organization whose primary goal is to provide a cohesive, persistent, and sustainable online environment to share educational and training materials for a continuum of high performance computing environments that span desktop computing capabilities to the highest-end of computing facilities offered by HPC centers. HPC University's resources will guide researchers, educators and students to 1) choose successful paths for HPC learning and workforce development, and 2) contribute high-quality and pedagogically effective materials that allow individuals at all levels and in all fields of study to advance scientific discovery.

Cornell Virtual Workshop

The Cornell Virtual Workshop covers High Performance Computing (HPC) topics, including system architecture, parallel programming with MPI and OpenMP, code optimization for performance and scalability, parallel code debugging, basic visualization, and data management. You may begin at any time, and explore the topics you choose.