Biowulf High Performance Computing at the NIH
Upcoming Classes, Seminars & Walk-In Consults

There are no classes scheduled at this time. We'll send out an email to HPC users when classes are next scheduled.

Introduction to Biowulf
Instructors: NIH HPC Staff

An online, self-paced class, with video tutorials and hands-on exercises. New Biowulf users are encouraged to work through the entire class, and experienced Biowulf users can view specific videos to brush up on a particular section.

Click here to get to the class.

No registration required
Next Walk-In Consults

While the coronavirus situation is in effect, the Walk-In Consults are being virtualized.

All problems and concerns are welcome, from scripting problems to node allocation, to strategies for a particular project, to anything that is affecting your use of the HPC systems.

Wed Oct 14, 2020, 1 - 3 pm    Zoom-In

Wed Nov 04, 2020, 1 - 3 pm    Zoom-In

Wed Dec 09, 2020, 1 - 3 pm    Zoom-In

If you can't make the Walk-In/Zoom-In, no worries! Send us an email (staff@hpc.nih.gov) requesting a consult. We will schedule a 1-on-1 phone call or webcast session with one of the staff.

Biowulf Seminars

4 Feb 2020:    [Videocast]
   The Kinetics of Gene Transcription
   Carson Chow (NIDDK)


Biowulf 20th Anniversary Seminar Series

Biowulf 2017-2018 Seminar Series

Slides and Handouts from Previous HPC Classes

Apart from the handouts listed below, the NIH HPC staff creates and maintains Training Videos to help users get the most out of our resources.

Making Effective Use of Storage (PDF)
Making effective use of the storage systems provided for HPC and how to avoid common pitfalls that can slow down your jobs and cause system problems.
Tim Miller, 21 May 2020

Deep Learning by Example on Biowulf, class #4 (Lecture slides) (Software manual) (Homework assignments)
This introductory course teaches the basics of deep learning and of different types of deep learning networks through a set of hands-on biological examples implemented in Keras and installed on Biowulf, one example per class.
Class #4 focuses on the Generative Adversarial Networks and their application to the biological data synthesis.
Gennady Denisov, 12 March 2020

Introduction to Linux Containers with Singularity (Tutorial GitHub repo) (WebEx recording (Day 1)) (WebEx recording (Day 2))
This class was taught in 2, 3-hour sessions. Students were provided with access to disposable virtual machines (Ubuntu 18.04 on GCP). Students learned what a Linux container is, how it is similar to and differs from a virtual machine, and a bit about leading container platforms and their intended usage. This was followed by hands-on instruction on how to install Singularity and use it to run existing containers from Docker Hub and the Sylabs Container Library. Next students learned how to build containers from scratch and publish them so that others can use them. We finished the class with some advanced examples showing how to tightly integrate container environments with the environment on the host system and how to "fake" the installation of an entire application on the host system through Singularity.
David Godlove, 10-11 March 2020

Python in HPC (PDF)
Profiling, optimizing, and executing python in high performance computing.
Wolfang Resch, 20 February 2020

Bash Shell Scripting (PDF) (PPT) (Webex MP4)
The default shell on many Linux systems is bash. Bash shell scripting provides a method for automating common tasks on Linux systems (such as Helix and Biowulf), including transferring and parsing files, creating sbatch and swarm scripts, pipelining tasks, and monitoring jobs. A step-by-step data-driven lesson is available. There is a summary of Linux commands (PDF) and the GNU Bash manual (PDF) available as well.
David Hoover, 17-18 December 2019

Introduction to Linux (PDF)
Course intended for researchers that are new to Linux/Unix. Covers Unix/Linux operating system concepts, a little history, basic file system navigation, text editing, bash (shell) syntax, file transfer, and a number of useful commands and utilities.
Mark Patkus, 3-4 Dec 2019

Deep Learning by Example on Biowulf, class #3 (Lecture slides) (Software manual) (Homework assignments)
This introductory course teaches the basics of deep learning and of different types of deep learning networks through a set of hands-on biological examples implemented in Keras and installed on Biowulf, one example per class.
Class #3 provides an introduction to the dimensionality reduction technique using Autoencoder Networks and then focuses on the biological application that employs both Denoising and Variational autoencoders and attempts to cluster cancer samples based on their gene expression levels.
Gennady Denisov, 26 Nov 2019;   23 July 2019

Deep Learning by Example on Biowulf, class #2 (Lecture slides) (Software manual) (Homework assignments)
This introductory course teaches the basics of deep learning and of different types of deep learning networks through a set of hands-on biological examples implemented in Keras and installed on Biowulf, one example per class.
Class #2 provides an introduction to the analysis of sequence data using Recurrent and 1D Convolutional Neural Networks and then focuses on application of these networks to prediction of the function of non-coding DNA directly from its sequence.
Gennady Denisov, 13 Nov 2019;   29 May 2019

Deep Learning by Example on Biowulf, class #1 (Lecture slides) (Software manual) (Homework assignments)
This introductory course teaches the basics of deep learning and of different types of deep learning networks through a set of hands-on biological examples implemented in Keras and installed on Biowulf, one example per class.
Class #1 provides an introduction to the deep learning with Keras and then focuses on biomedical image segmentation using 2D Convolutional Neural Network.
Gennady Denisov, 31 Oct 2019;   23 Apr 2019

Managing Personal Software Installations (PDF)
Scientific software can be challenging to get working. This hands-on workshop will cover private software installations, dealing with various package managers and build systems, and organizing software in your personal space on Biowulf.
Afif Elghraoui, 06 August 2019

Scientific Python for Matlab users (PDF) (Video)
An introduction to scientific Python for those with some experience in Matlab. This course contains a comparison of Python and Matlab as well as an overview of Python's scientific stack (numpy, scipy, matplotlib). Also covered are a brief description of IDEs for Python and how to make use of Jupyter notebooks on the Biowulf cluster.
Antonio Ulloa, 9 July 2019

Data Management Best Practices for Groups (PDF) (PPT)
An overview of file storage, access permissions, file transfer, and sociological behaviors to keep your collaborative group functioning.
David Hoover, 24 April 2019

Introduction to Revision Control with Git (PDF) (demo forthcoming)
Revision control systems such as Git allow you to manage changes to your files, including their attribution and context. You have the ability to quickly revert specific changes, view your files (and differences between them) at arbitrary points in their history, pursue experimental lines of development without disturbing the main version, and safely collaborate with a team--all without personally managing multiple copies of the same file. While revision control systems are popularly known for managing the development of software, they can be used for other kinds of manually-developed content, such as documents and configurations. This hands-on tutorial will cover the basics of Git, interacting with Git repositories, and workflows for personal use and collaboration.
Afif Elghraoui, 28 Mar 2019

NIH HPC Object Storage System Overview (PDF for Jan, 2018 class) (PDF for Oct, 2018 class)
This course introduces users to the concept of object storage - a new technology being used by many large Internet companies that is becoming increasingly popular for scientific use because of its capability to store large-scale, unstructured data. The class describes the NIH HPC object storage system in detail and includes a practical example of its use in a real scientific workflow.
Tim Miller, 9 Oct 2018

Creating and running software containers with Singularity (slides and tutorial)
This was a three hour hands-on workshop on how to user Singularity to create and run containers. Students learned how to install Singularity on a Linux system, create containers with their choice of Linux distribution and software, and use Singularity to run containerized apps.
Afif Elghraoui, 26 July 2018

Building a reproducible workflow with Snakemake and Singularity (Slides and GitHub repo)
Students attending this class will learn how to build a workflow with Snakemake and how to make it more reproducible with Singularity containers. This class will make use of the Biowulf cluster and requires knowledge of the Linux command line as well as Python.
Wolfgang Resch, 21 February 2018

The NIH Biowulf Cluster: Scientific Supercomputing (PDF)
This two-part class is an introduction to the Biowulf Linux cluster for users who have NIH Biowulf accounts or Helix users planning to get one. Topics covered: cluster concepts, accounts, connection, storage, batch system, how to set up and submit a simple batch job, partitions, interactive jobs, swarm jobs, available scientific applications, job monitoring, resource allocation, licensed software.
Steven Fellini and Susan Chacko, 13 Feb 2018

Singularity Demo( Slides |  Demo Readme)
1h intro and demo of Singularity containers for NIMH Reproducible Neuroscience Workshop

Using the HPC Systems Storage Effectively (PDF)
A course that describes the different storage systems available to NIH HPC users along with policies and best practices. Also explains how to avoid storage bottlenecks when running jobs.
Tim Miller, 16 Feb 2017

Parallel MATLAB jobs on Biowulf (PDF) (PPT) (Videos)
Developing MATLAB code for parallel computing, using the MATLAB compiler to deploy license-free code, automating swarm file generation, spawning and monitoring swarms interactively from within the MATLAB environment, and ordering jobs with dependencies to develop an analysis pipeline.
Dave Godlove, 17 Feb 2016

Swarm on the Biowulf Cluster (PDF) (PPT)
Swarm is a script designed to simplify submitting a group of commands to the Biowulf cluster. With the shift from PBS to Slurm, the functionalities and indiosycrasies of swarm have changed.
David Hoover, 22 Sep 2015

Rosetta Workshop
Tutorials and presentations from the Rosetta Design Group, hosted by Helix Systems. (NIH only)
Xavier Ambroggio and Monica Berrondo, 19-21 May 2009

Gene Synthesis using DNAWorks (PPT)
David Hoover, 15 Nov 2006

Linux Tutorials

Helix and Biowulf users will make most effective use of the systems if they are familiar with GNU/Linux.

Below are links to some tutorials which cover the basics of GNU/Linux commands.

Introduction to Linux at the TACC, Texas.
Introduction to Linux guide located on the the Linux Documentation Project's website.
A Basic Unix/Linux Tutorial, at Oxford University, UK.
Unix Tutorial for Beginners. Eight simple tutorials which cover the basics of Unix, at U. Surrey, UK.
Command-line crash course
The Linux Command Line, by William Shotts
Learn the Command Line, A web-based GUI tutorial by codeacademy

Other Training at NIH

The Technology Training Program at CIT offers courses relating to computing, networks, and information systems.

The NIH training program offers classes in writing, speaking, grant writing and more.

The FAES Graduate School runs short and long courses.