SDSC Webinars

Upcoming Webinars*

Date Time (all times PST) Topic Presenter Machine(s)
11/21/19       - No training this week:  Supercomputing 2019 in Denver.  SDSC Staff Comet
12/12/19 11:00-12:00 PDT Data Visualization Using Python and Jupyter Notebooks Jeff Sale Comet
01/16/20 11:00-12:00 PDT Using NVIDIA Rapids Toolkit on Comet Marty Kandes Comet

*Tentative, subject to change 


Past Webinars

A Quick Introduction to Machine Learning With Comet

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Presenter: Paul Rodriguez

 Machine learning is an interdisciplinary field focused on the study and construction of computer systems that can learn from data without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning techniques can be used to uncover patterns in your data and gain insights into your problem. This webinar provides an overview of the fundamental machine learning algorithms and techniques used to explore, analyze, and leverage data to construct data-driven solutions applicable to any domain. Topics covered include the machine learning process, data exploration, data preparation, classification, and cluster analysis. Concepts and algorithms will be introduced, followed by examples to allow hands-on experience using R and RStudio.

This webinar will use the Zoom conferencing system. You should receive an email with connection details a few days prior to the event. Please send any questions to

View a recording of this webinar.

Download slides for this webinar. 

Introduction to Scientific Visualization with VisIt

Monday, June 10, 2019

Hybrid Format: in-person and online

Presenter: Amit Chourasia

Visualization is largely understood and used as an excellent communication tool by researchers. This narrow view often keeps scientists from fully using and developing their visualization skillset. This tutorial will provide a “from the ground up” understanding of visualization and its utility in error diagnostics and exploration of data for scientific insight. When used effectively visualization can provide a complementary and effective toolset for data analysis, which is one of the most challenging problems in computational domains. In this tutorial we plan to bridge these gaps by providing end users with fundamental visualization concepts, execution tools, customization and usage examples. The tutorial will be focused on visualization techniques for mesh-based data such as rectilinear grids.

The tutorial consists of three closely related sessions as follows:

  • Visualization fundamentals: Lecture – Assay of standard techniques and their utility (45 min)
  • Hands on Visualization with VisIt software on your computer/laptop (80 mins).
  • Remote visualization with VisIt software on Comet cluster at SDSC. (30 mins)

Distributed Parallel Computing With Python

Presented on May 14, 2019 by Andrea Zonca

This webinar provides an introduction to distributed computing with Python, we will show how to modify a standard Python script to use multiple CPU cores using the concurrent.futures module from the Python standard library and then the dask package. Then we will leverage dask workers running on other machines to distribute a data processing task and monitor its execution through the live dask dashboard. You will understand the difference between threads and processes, how the Global Interpreter Lock works and principles of distributed computing. All material will be available as Jupyter Notebooks.

View a recording of this webinar.

View the slides for this webinar. 

Github Repo for this tutorial. 

GPU Computing and Programming

Presented on April 9, 2019 by Andreas Goetz.

This webinar provides an introduction to massively parallel computing with graphics processing units (GPUs) on the SDSC Comet supercomputer. The use of GPUs is becoming increasingly popular across all scientific domains since GPUs can significantly accelerate time to solution for many computational tasks. In this webinar, participants will learn how to access Comet GPU nodes, how to launch GPU jobs on Comet, and get introduced to GPU programming. The webinar will cover the essential background of GPU chip architectures and the basics of programming GPUs via the use of libraries, OpenACC compiler directives, and the CUDA programming language. The participants will thus acquire the foundation to use and develop GPU aware applications. 

View a recording of this webinar.

Download slides for this webinar. 

Working With File Systems on Comet

Presented on March 12, 2019 by Manu Shantharam.

In this webinar, we will learn about the file systems that are part of the SDSC's Comet supercomputer. First, we will provide a brief overview of the Comet File System and introduce the various file systems within Comet. We will discuss the pros and cons of using these file systems in terms of I/O performance, storage capacity, shared access, backup and so on. Additionally, we will illustrate the basic usage of the Lustre File System, Comet's high-performance parallel file system.

No recording for this webinar. 

Download slides for this webinar. 

Introduction to Singularity: Containers For High-Performance Computing

Presented on February 12, 2019 by Marty Kandes.


This 2-hour webinar provides an introduction to running Singularity containers on Comet for users currently using Comet and those who want to know more about running Singularity on Comet. SDSC's computational scientist Marty Kandes provides an in-depth review of the important issues pertaining to running Singularity in the Comet high-performance ecosystem and includes several useful container examples for you to explore.

View a previous recording of this webinar from 2018 (jump ahead to 19:30). 

Download slides for this webinar.

Introduction to Running Jobs on Comet

Presented on January 8, 2019 by Mary Thomas.


This webinar covers the basics of accessing the SDSC Comet supercomputer, managing the user environment, compiling and running jobs on Comet, where to run them, and how to run batch jobs. It is assumed that you have mastered the basics skills of logging onto Comet and running basic Unix commands. The webinar will include access to training material.

View a recording of this webinar. 

Download slides for this webinar.

Understanding Performance and Obtaining Hardware Information

Presented on December 11, 2018 by Bob Sinkovits.


In this webinar we start by describing how to obtain hardware and system information such as CPU specifications, memory quantity, cache configuration, mounted file systems and their usage, peripheral storage devices and GPU properties. This information is useful for anyone who is interested in how hardware specs influence performance or who needs to report benchmarking data. We then cover the use of top for monitoring systems usage and gprof for basic code profiling. We conclude with a description of the memory hierarchy (registers, cache, memory, external storage) and show how an understanding of cache can be used to write more efficient code.

View a recording of this webinar.

Download slides for this webinar.

Running Singularity Containers on SDSC's Comet Supercomputer

Presented on June 14, 2018 by Marty Kandes.

“Singularity enables users to have full control of their environment. Singularity containers can be used to package entire scientific workflows, software and libraries, and even data. This means that you don’t have to ask your cluster admin to install anything for you - you can put it in a Singularity container and run.” [*from the Singularity website]

This 2-hour webinar provides an introduction to running Singularity containers on Comet for users currently using Comet and those who want to know more about containerization on Comet. Marty Kandes provides an in-depth review of the important issues pertaining to running Singularity in the Comet high-performance environment including live demonstrations.

A Quick Introduction to Machine Learning with Comet

Presented on April 6, 2018 by Paul Rodriguez, Ph.D..

Machine Learning covers a variety of statistical techniques that are useful for data analysis and central to the recent developments in deep learning and AI.

This 2-hour webinar will try to organize and introduce the plethora of terms and concepts that comprise machine learning, describe how machine learning can be used on Comet HPC resources using R, and demonstrate with a quick tutorial how a simple deep learning model works using Python.

Below is a brief agenda:

- Overview of Concepts and Terms for Machine Learning
- The main activities of applying machine learning models.
- Scaling models
- Deep learning basics

Introduction to SDSC's Comet Supercomputer

Presented on February 15, 2018 by Mahidhar Tatineni.

This webinar provides a brief introduction and some hands-on instruction for users who are relatively new to SDSC’s Comet supercomputer as well as for those who need a refresher. Join SDSC’s User Support Group Lead, Dr. Mahidhar Tatineni, for an introduction to Comet, including an overview of the underlying architecture, available software, running jobs, file management, and more.