BEAR Training





Research support (IT Services) provides a variety of short courses and workshops to help researchers and Postgrad students develop their IT skills and make the most of technology for their work and research. The “BEAR Necessities Training” and “Introduction to Linux (for using BlueBEAR)” courses provide both a general introduction to HPC and an overview of Linux commands that facilitate execution of software applications on BlueBEAR (HPC). 

Additionally, the online Unix/Linux course notes provide exercises to improve your knowledge and help in the execution of applications on a HPC system (under Linux).  There are also training sessions in specific software applications and special-interest user groups that bring people together with common interests in research areas. In excess of the internal courses there are external providers of courses and workshops. 

Research Computing Courses (upcoming courses)


Upcoming Events
 Date / Time                                                    Course / WorkshopLocation

Monday 18/03/2019: 9.30 -12:30

Introduction to Linux (for using BlueBEAR)      

Registration is Closed


Wednesday 27/03/2019: 9.30 -12:30

BEAR Necessities Training

Click here to register


The Carpentries Courses

The Carpentries are a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives. They teach skills that are immediately useful for researchers, using lessons and datasets that allow researchers to quickly apply what they’ve learned to their own work and become more efficient.  Further information about our Carpentries courses can be found here:

 BEAR Computing Courses

Internal Courses

Introduction to Linux (for using BlueBEAR), which is of particular use to BlueBEAR users

BEAR Necessities Training, which is an introductory course designed to get you up and running.


Unix/Linux Course Notes and Exercises

 Previous Externally Provided Courses

Introduction to Parallel Programming Techniques (30 January 2017)

On Monday 30 January 2017 IT Services hosted a free-of-charge, with lunch provided, workshop on “Introduction to Parallel Programming Methods” which was open to all members of the University and attracted over 30 delegates. The workshop was presented by Sally Bridgewater and Ning Li from the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG), who have a long-standing relationship with the University of Birmingham and have previously delivered other HPC-related training courses here.

This workshop gave an introduction to Parallel Programming Methods and was of general interest to current and prospective users of the central BlueBEAR HPC service as well as anyone with a general interest in applying parallel programming to their own research areas. No prior knowledge of parallel programming was required, although familiarity with a high-level programming language such as Fortran or C/C++ was beneficial.

CUDA training occurred on 31 July 2013

This one-day workshop was jointly organised by IT Services, OCF and NVidia. It was oversubscribed, with 25 delegates being able to attend along with a reserve list. The following documents are available from that course:

NAG and Hector MPI Training Course (14-16 October 2008)

From Tuesday to Thursday (14-16 October 2008 ) a free-of-charge three-day MPI training course in conjunction with the HECToR National Service and NAG  was open to all members of the University and attracted over 40 delegates.

 External Resources

There is a comprehensive Unix course on the tutorialspoint Unix training site.

Online HPC training is available as part of the ARCHER national HPC service. Almost all the material is a generic introduction to HPC with a short additional section that is specific to ARCHER.

For those that have run through the material (including the ARCHER-specific section) there is the option to take the ARCHER Driving Test online. People who complete the test successfully can apply for an account on ARCHER with 1200 kAU (80000 CPUh) to use over 12 months.

The online material can be found at:

and the Driving Test at:

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a web site which has courses on parallel/MPI programming. The sites requires an account but it is trivial to register and spam safe. For more information please see here.

The Software Carpentry web site has a set of course notes and discussion documents relevant to scientists and engineers using HPC as part of their research. 

 BEAR User Groups

The BEAR User Groups are run by users on behalf of users. The interests of users in various groups are represented by the user representatives, typically but not necessarily one from each school. Their main role is to raise areas of concern with the User Group which could then be brought forward to the BEAR Management Committee.


 If more information is required then please contact


Last modified: 24 August 2018