Tuesday Mar 31, 2009

PPCES 2009, Aachen, Germany, March 23-27, 2009

The RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany, organized and hosted the first "Parallel Programming in Computational Science and Engineering" (PPCES) HPC tutorials series. It was held March 23-27, 2009. I participated as well as presented several times throughout the week.

This tutorial was a natural follow on to the "SunHPC" workshops held from 2001-2007 and the combined SunHPC 2008 and VI-HPS event in 2008. 

This first PPCES tutorial week was very well attended and the group also actively participated. Many of the talks have been recorded and will appear on line.  I'll add a link when they are available.

Below I include some pictures of Aachen, with its beautiful historic old city.

Parts of the outer wall are still present. This is the Pontwall, near the Pontstra├če, where one enters the city from the A4 (Aachen-Laurensberg exit). The second picture was made on the backside, facing the city.

Pontwall, Aachen

Pontwall, Aachen

The market square is the most prominent place in the old city. There are several restaurants and shops, but literally the most visible building is the huge and beautiful town hall. Below a picture of this building as seen from the square, plus a shot taken at the back side.

Aachen Town Hall

Aachen Town Hall, view from the back side

The huge cathedral is a true landmark and on the UNESCO world heritage list. It is also the burial site of Charlemagne. On the first picture below it can be seen on the left. The second picture has a more up close view. The third picture was taken from the other side. There is a small square between the town hall and cathedral. That's where this picture was made.

Cathedral is seen on the left Aachen cathedral up close

Aachen cathedral as seen from the other side

The picture below was taken in one of the small streets near the big market square. It was taken on the only day the weather was relatively good while I was there. It was somewhat chilly and windy, but shielded from the wind one could sit outside, as shown by the people at the end this street.

Small street near the market square

This fountain is very funny to see and a great attraction for children in particular. It is very fascinating to them that you can turn the hands around. This fountain is in another fairly narrow street, connecting the market square and cathedral. On busy days it can be really crowded here.

Fountain near the cathedral

The picture below was made while I stood on the small balcony in front of the main entrance to the town hall. On the left you can see one of my favorite places there. It is a fixed stop each day I walk to the RWTH.

View on the market square, standing on the stairs of the town hall

One of the nice other things about Aachen is the choice of restaurants.  One of my favorites is the "Best Friends" restaurant in the Pontstra├če. It offers a variety of Asian dishes and I really enjoyed the Bento Box. The picture below was made when I went there with a couple of friends. No comments necessary I think.

Best Friends restaurant in the Pontstrasse

Dieter an Mey and his team at the Computer Centre of the RWTH always do a great job in general, but they also select really good places for the social dinner.  We've been at the Kazan restaurant a couple of times before and have never been disappointed regarding the food and the service. Below a picture made of the restaurant, followed by a live in action picture, shot by Agnes Mendes from the RWTH.

The Kazan restaurant

The social dinner


Picture of Ruud

Ruud van der Pas is a Senior Principal Software Engineer in the SPARC Microelectronics organization at Oracle. His focus is on application performance, both for single threaded, as well as for multi-threaded programs. He is also co-author on the book Using OpenMP

Cover of the Using OpenMP book


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