CSCS-ICS-DADSi Summer School: Accelerating Data Science with HPC

CHF 160.00

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), the Institute of Computational Sciences (ICS) at USI (Università della Svizzera italiana), and the Data Analytics and Data-Driven Simulations program (DADSi, part of FoMICS) are delighted to invite you to participate in the Summer School on “Accelerating Data Science with HPC” taking place at CSCS in Lugano from September 4 to 6, 2017.

Content and Motivation

Inquisitive minds want to know what causes the universe to expand, how M-theory binds the smallest of the small particles or how social dynamics can lead to revolutions. In recent centuries, developments in science and technology brought us closer to explore the expanding universe, discover unknown particles like bosons or find out how and why a society interacts and reacts. To explain the fascinating phenomena of nature, Natural scientists develop complex 'mechanistic models' of deterministic or stochastic nature. But the hard question is how to choose the best model for our data or how to calibrate the model given the data.

The way that statisticians answer these questions is with Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC), which we learn on the first day of the summer school and which we combine with High Performance Computing (HPC). The second day focuses on a popular machine learning approach 'Deep-learning' which mimics the deep neural network structure in our brain, in order to predict complex phenomena of nature. The summer school takes a route of open discussion and brainstorming sessions where we explore two cornerstones of today's data-science, ABC and Deep Learning being accelerated by HPC with hands on examples and exercises.

We are ready to start with you a journey towards unveiling the mysteries of nature, sharing and integrating ideas from ABC and Deep Learning.


The summer school is dedicated to undergraduate students, Ph.D. students, Postdocs and Researchers. Applicants should have knowledge of the Python programming language and should be familiar with basic programming environment tools (terminals, editors). Participants will need to bring their own laptop for practical sessions.

Deadline for registration: Sunday, August 27, 2017

Please note that the workshop can take place only if there are sufficient confirmed registrations received by the deadline. The minimum number of participants is 8. In the unlikely case that the event should be cancelled, registrees will be informed one week prior to the start of the course.

Registration Fee

The registration fee is CHF 160, which includes two lunches and coffee breaks throughout the two-and-a-half day event. Registration fees are final and, unless the course is cancelled by the organizers, they cannot be reimbursed.


Payment for the course has to be made via credit card by clicking on the “register now” button on the top of this page. Once payment is completed, you will receive an email automated by the system confirming the registration and the amount that was paid. A signed confirmation of payment and attendance (that you may need in order to be reimbursed by your institution) can be provided upon request. Please let our staff know if you wish to receive such document by writing an email to reception(at)cscs.ch.


Day 1 (9:45 - 17:00)

* Introduction to Approximate Bayesian Computation Methodology
* Introduction to Approximate Bayesian Computation on Piz Daint
* Applied Approximate Bayesian Computation, ABC for real life problems, Exercises
* Approximate Bayesian Computation Advanced Topics 1, Particle filter based ABC algorithms, Exercises
* Approximate Bayesian Computation Advanced Topics 2, Classifier ABC & summary selection, Exercises

Day 2 (8:30 - 17:00)

* Probabilistic Programming, Exercises
* Introduction to advanced data science tools on Piz Daint, Exercises
* Introduction to Deep Learning, Exercises
* Inference Compilation, Exercises
* Hands-on examples and your problems on Piz Daint

Day 3 (8:30 - 12:00)

* Combining ABC & Deep Learning
* Brainstorming, Competition and/or Hands-on exercises
* Bring your own challenge

The school will start at 9:45 on the first day and end at noon (before lunch) on the last day.

Travels and Stay

Please note that all participants are responsible for their own accommodation.  Kindly also note that no parking space is available at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre. The closest bus stop to the centre is Lugano, Stadio. From Lugano railway station, you should take bus number 4.

You are encouraged to travel by public transportation or to use the Park & Ride Resega parking lot, within five minutes walk from CSCS.

We look forward to welcoming you at CSCS!