This course provides students of computational sciences an introduction to the basic skills required to operate in the modern high performance computing (HPC) environment offered at the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center (ARSC). Topics include an introduction to HPC, basic Unix/batch/scripting skills, performance programming, shared and distributed memory parallelism, code profiling and debugging, data storage and management, and data visualization.


PHYS 608 as ARSC User Training

In the past, components of this class have been regularly offered as individual training sessions by the staff at ARSC. The impetus for creation of the ‘core skills’ class was to provide a more intensive training environment for new student users, while still providing distinct modules for more advanced researchers to refresh/update skills.

As such, the PHYS 608 lectures are open to any interested individuals. While the structure, lectures, labs and grading policies of this course are designed for UAF students enrolled in the course for credit, the course doubles as ARSC user training. ARSC users and prospective ARSC users are strongly encouraged to attend any lectures they would find beneficial. There will be no other formal ARSC user training on these topics offered this fall.



This course will be taught by several instructors including Arctic Region Supercomputing Center staff, UAF Physics department faculty and guest speakers.


Contacting Us

The primary points of contact for the class are:

Tom Logan, Elvey 511-D, 474-5789,
ARSC Help Desk, WRRB 105, 450-8602,


Links to Course Syllabus, Homework, and References


In approaching this (and all) classes, please note the following ancient chinese proverb: Teachers can open the door, but you must enter by yourself.



Graduate standing in physical sciences; experience with FORTRAN or C programming language; or permission of instructor.


Lectures/Lab Meeting Time and Place

West Ridge Research Building 009, Tuesday/Thursday, 9:15 - 11:15am



The course grade will consist of the following components

Homeworks 40 %
Semester project 30 %
Mid-term 20 %
Attendance and Participation 10 %


Grading Components

Homework: There will be approximately one homework assignment per week. The assignment will be given out and posted on the web. These assignments help in assessing your understanding of the material, and will count as a major part of your final grade.

Project: There will be a semester project, which will require a final presentation and paper.

Mid-term Exam: A mid-term exam will be given.


Special Needs

The Office of Disability Services implements the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and insures that UAF students have equal access to the campus and course materials. We will work with the Office of Disabilities Services (203 WHIT, 474-7043) to provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities.




Plagiarism and cheating are matters of serious concern for students and academic institutions. This is true in this class as well. The UAF Honor Code (or Student Code of Conduct) defines academic standards expected at the University of Alaska Fairbanks which will be followed in this class. (Taken from the UAF plagiarism web site, which has many links with good information about this topic)

Complaints and Concerns

You are always welcome to talk to the instructors about anything, however, if you have a non-subject matter question or concern that cannot be resolved by the instructors contact the department chair, Dr. Szuberla, Physics Department Office, room 110 Reichardt.

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