2019 Chris Engelbrecht Summer School

Foundations of Theoretical and Computational Science

The 30th Chris Engelbrecht Summer School


9th CHPC Introductory Programming School

26 January- 06 February 2019

Premier Resort Sani Pass, Drakensberg

The Summer School is jointly organised by the Centre for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP). This specific Summer School is motivated by a concept paper of the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) that explores the possibility to broaden the scope of NITheP into a national institute/centre for theoretical and computational science.

Aim of the School

The School is aimed at postgraduate students in the fields of physics, chemistry, mathematics, applied mathematics, biology, bioinformatics, computer science, engineering with an interest in both theoretical and computational science. In particular, the School aims at bridging the gap between theoretical studies and high-performance computing.

The School will start with a Basic Scientific Programming Course to introduce students to Linux (Ubuntu) Command line and bash scripting and the Python programming Language. This will be followed by introductions to topics as

  • Foundations of Theoretical and Computational Physics,
  • Foundations of Theoretical and Computational Biology,
  • Foundations of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry,
  • Foundations of Quantum Information Processing and Computation,
  • Machine Learning as a Tool for Theoretical and Computational Science,

and advanced tutorials and workshops to put the theoretical material into practice. The School is structured in such a way to encourage students to actively solve challenging problems that the lectures will pose. Students will learn by doing!

School Syllabus

The School syllabus will cover:

  • Introduction to Linux. It will cover a basic introduction to Linux command line, bash scripting and Introduction to PBS Pro and job submission at CHPC (Dr Krishna Govender, Centre for High-Performance Computing, CSIR).
  • Introduction to Python Programming: It will cover basic of python and syntax, advanced function and using matplotlib with python and the use of advanced mathematical packages such as numpy and scipy (Dr Andrew Gill, Centre for High-Performance Computing, CSIR).
  • Foundations of Theoretical Physics [Title to be confirmed] (Prof Neil Turok, Perimeter Institute)
  • The Square Kilometer Array and Its Science: Indirect imaging in the SKA era; Real-time classification at SKA-scale for time domain astrophysics; Data-centric machine learning for SKA post-processing (Prof Anna Scaife, University of Manchester)
  • Foundations of Quantum Technology [Title to be confirmed] (Prof Artur Ekert, National University of Singapore and University of Oxford)
  • Foundations of Quantum Biology and Chemistry [Title to be confirmed] (Prof Birgitta Whaley, University of California, Berkeley)
  • Computational Biology (Speaker to be confirmed)

Application and Registration

The CHPC and NITheP call for all talented students to submit their applications. As public funded institutions, the CHPC and NITheP support the transformation of South Africa and thus the School organizers highly encourage students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to submit their applications. Applicants that require a sponsorship must be registered for postgraduate (MSc and PhD) degrees in Science and Engineering with South African Universities. A background of scientific programming skills and basic Linux will be an advantage. It is a requirement that ALL SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS MUST BRING THEIR OWN LAPTOPS.

The CHPC and NIThep will cover cost for travel and accommodation of students selected to attend the school. We would like to encourage Institutions and supervisors to financially support their students (e.g. travel cost). Due to budgetary reasons, only a limited number of scholarships is available for suitably qualified students. Should you wish to attend the School, kindly complete the application form and register online before the closing date.

Registration and application for scholarships is now open.

To attend the School without applying for a scholarship please contact Prof F. Petruccione.

Important dates

Arrival at Venue: 25 January 2018

School start: 26 January 2018

Closing date for scholarship applications: 18h00 Sunday 04 November 2018

Notification of Successful Candidates: will be notified by 30 November 2018

Closing dates for registration (not sponsored applicants): 25 November 2018

School end: 6 February 2018

Departure day: 7 February 2018

School Organizing Committee

Prof Francesco Petruccione (UKZN & NITheP)

Dr Maria Schuld (UKZN & NITheP)

Prof Amanda Weltman (UCT)

Dr. Daniel Moeketsi (CHPC, CSIR))

Dr Krishna Govender (CHPC, CSIR)

General Inquiries

For general inquiries please contact: Dr. Daniel Moeketsi at dmoeketsi@csir.co.za and Prof. Francesco Petruccione at petruccione@ukzn.ac.za


The Summer School will take place at the Premier Resort Sani Pass in the Southern Drakensberg.


The Programme can be found here.


Registration is now closed.


Application for a scholarship is no longer possible.


National Institute for Theoretical Physics

Centre for High-Performance Computing (CHPC)

SARCHI Chair in Quantum Information Processing and Communication


Lecture and Materials of the School

The lecture notes of Prof Anna Scaife on The Square Kilometre Array and its Science