NordicHPC 2019: Helsinki, 14-15 November

Computing facilities tend to all have the same problems, but every site tends to have its own solutions. Big collaborations tend to be about big hardware or policies, and not so much the day to day difficulties that we face. The Nordics already have a special connection and are a good size to make a grassroots community of admins and support staff working together.

NordicHPC is a group of like-minded individuals in the Nordics who want to work together to make our resources more usable and better maintained (or even just to make the maintenance easier). Despite the name, our focus is not only traditional HPC, but we do tend focus on basic computing infrastructure, not platforms for a specific purpose.

We have a special focus on usability, and a vision to match.

We have a preliminary program scheduled, but the actual program is organized in collaboration with all attendees. We also hope the most important outcome is networking and come out of spontaneous discussions. We’ll use an “unconference”-type format for most of the workshop. Come prepared to collaborate - this is a meeting for the doers.

Quick links:


You can register here for attendance, possible attendance, or remote attendance. Our first meeting is a small, intimate event with limited space, please register early. (2019-10-24: there is still some space).

The ideal attendee is working in developing, maintaining, or supporting general-purpose computing infrastructure in the Nordics, and has an ability to take ideas into practice on their systems. Other users or interested parties are welcome as well. We’ll try to make room for anyone in academic computing centers in the Nordics.

Attendee announcements are mirrored to this github issue.

What you need to prepare

  • Think about what cool things you do and what your most common problems are.
  • Prepare to present three cool things and three problems from your site (see below).
  • Suggest a topic or two that we should discuss in the agenda scratchpad.
  • Come prepared to contribute as much as you listen!


The details and links are constantly updated on the hackpad, the schedule below is only general information.

Remote participation is via zoom.

  • 14 November.
    • Early arrivals? There is plenty of space in the atrium, or check back for info on early meet-ups.
    • 11:30 Light lunch provided
    • 12:00 Afternoon session
      • Introductory talks
      • Unconference and breakout sessions, either planned or to continue discussions inspired by talks
    • 18:00 Main program ends, rooms still available
    • 19:00 group dinner (Fat Lizard)
  • 15 November
    • 09:00 Meeting continues
      • Introduction and summary of Thursday
      • Unconference and breakout sessions
      • Discussing future the NordicHPC collaboration
    • 12:00 Program ends, room reserved until 14:00
    • 12:30 Lunches for those around, arranged ad-hoc

Contribute!: Please offer your own talks by adding to the agenda scratchpad . You can also directly contribute by making a Github issue or PR. Slides and material can also be uploaded to the Google Drive. The exact program will be adjusted based on attendee interest closer to time.

Break-out rooms:

  • Thursday 16:00-18:00: A237 9(13)p, A106 10(15)p (from 15:30)
  • Friday, 09:00-11:30: A237 9(13)p, A211 8(10)p
  • Ad-hoc rooms (use if empty): A244 9(10)p, A216 5(7)p.
  • More rooms available if needed. Building atrium has lots of informal space.

Remote participation

Remote participation is possible via this zoom meeting. When following the link, you can click “Join in the browser” if you don’t want to install extra software, but the web version can sometimes have bad audio if you are presenting yourself. Remote participants will be able to speak and comment, too. This system is tested and at times we have had audio problems. If it terminates, try to connect again in a bit while we restart the software.

The meeting chat system is located at, and can be used to pose questions asynchronously - even by people at the meeting.

Session descriptions

We have the following invited/pre-planned sessions, the other offers can be found in the scratchpad:

Cool things and problems: Each site presents around three cool things that their site does, and three problems they have. This becomes a discussion on shared opportunities. Please come prepared with something to present and add to the slides. Organizer: Radovan Bast

Computing, Usability, and HPC, Marko Nieminen, Professor, Aalto University.

Lightning talks: Anyone who wants to give a lightning talk, let us know. There’s no topic too small, especially consider talks on small problems, solutions, or UI problems you have.

Requested sessions

See the Agenda scratchpad.


Aalto University campus (Otaniemi), Finland. Computer Science building room T4. Address: Konemiehentie 2, Espoo. It’s on the second floor, reachable from the main atrium. The building is normally called “the computer science building” if you ask someone for help. Once you get to the building, just ask anyone for “T4” and they can direct you there.

We have a full picture guide of the from airport/train station to the venue. The last few pictures might be useful, because there’s a lot of construction which affect the traffic.

Arrival and practicalities

This is an unfunded event, so each participant is responsible for their own costs but there is also no registration fee. A lunch the first day and coffee is provided.

Hotels: there is a Radison Blu in Otaniemi which is a common choice, an easy 10 minute walk. Downtown Helsinki or Espoo hotels are a reasonable choice if close to the metro.

Transportation: from the airport, take the train to the central train station (last stop), then metro to the stop “Aalto University”, then take the B exit. A single ABC ticket (4.60€) covers all transportation, buy on the train platform at the ticket machines. From Otaniemi to downtown, an AB ticket (2.80€) works. Reittiopas is the journey planner and there is also a HSL app that lets you buy mobile tickets and check routes.

From the airport, plan on 75-90 minutes gate-to-door to get to Otaniemi. Plan on leaving Otaniemi two hours in advance of your flight. From the train station, plan for are 20-30 minutes and 30 minutes to get back.

We have a full picture guide of the from metro to train station to the venue.

Taxi: say “Aalto University in Otaniemi, address Konemiehentie 2”. Construction makes the traffic really bad, so we’d recommend you get close enough then get off and walk.

Food: Thursday lunch: Light lunch is provided (feta and salmon salads). There will be coffee and snacks during the day. Thursday dinner: Fat Lizard, it’s a few hundred meters away. Group reservation, own orders and payment. Friday: coffee and snacks. Friday lunch: no reservations, those around will go to different restaurants around campus.


Richard Darst, richard dot darst at