Scientific Computing for High-Energy Physics
2008-2009 - IMT5291 - 5sp

Forventet læringsutbytte

The students are supposed to:

· obtain a thorough understanding of the theoretical concepts underlying state-of-the-art computing technologies applied to data processing in modern, high-energy physics experiments

· demonstrate the ability of applying these concepts to realistic problems by solving computer-based exercises

Emnets temaer

The topics of the course are organised in three major themes: Grid Technologies, Base Technologies and Physics Computing:

l The Grid Technologies theme covers several aspects of Grid computing and provides the ability to get hand-on experience with modern Grid tools. Emphasis will be put on Grid architecture and specific middleware topics in job submission (resource management) and data management. Grid service technologies which are based on extensions to Web Service technologies will be introduced.

l The Base Technologies theme presents a selection of advanced underlying computing technologies which are particularly relevant in the context of scientific computing, and serve as a basis to construct higher level services such as those offered by Grid Technologies. They include software engineering, computer architectures, computing security and networking topics. The first series of lectures presents modern techniques for software design and modern tools and technologies for understanding and improving existing software.The emphasis is placed on the large software projects and large executables that are common in High-Energy Physics and include topics such as software engineering, design, methodology and testing. The second series of lectures describes the evolution and the state-of-the-art of computer architectures, discusses the bottlenecks and the consequences of this evolution on software design and optimization. It presents principles for writing software that scales with the hardware, techniques for hardware and software performance monitoring and issues related to the impact of compilers on performances. The third topic addresses computer security with a particular focus on two aspects: cryptography, authentication and security infrastructures on the one hand, and the creation of secure software on the other hand. The theme is complemented by a series of lectures on networking, which presents principles, methods and techniques for improving quality of service and network performance.

l The Physics Computing theme introduces the fundamental concepts of Physics Computing and addresses in addition two specific aspects of scientific computing: the ROOT Technologies and Experiment Simulation. The first series of lectures gives an overview of the software and hardware components required for the processing of the experimental data, from the source - the detector - to the physics analysis. The emphasis is on the concepts, but some implementation details are discussed as well. The key concept is data reduction, both in terms of rate and in terms of information density. The various algorithms used for data reduction, both online and offline, are described. The flow of the real data is the main topic, but the need for and the production of simulated data is discussed as well. The second series of lectures introduces the data analysis framework ROOT, covering all basic parts that are needed for a future LHC data analysis. The lectures will present by example how key requirements like performance, reliability, flexibility, platform independence, ease-of-use, and support for extensions are put into practice. Combined with the accompanying tutorials they will give an overview of the software techniques ROOT brings to life and hands-on experience of using ROOT. The third lecture series concentrates on the GEANT4 toolkit which is a state of the art C++ simulation engine covering virtually all of the requirements for experiment simulation. Basic simulation requirements are explained, such as experimental setup in terms of geometry, materials, and external electromagnetic fields, principles of physics processes, selection and configuration of physics processes, run and event concepts, and generation of measurements. It is shown how this requirements are met by applying GEANT4. The programming language used throughout the lecture series is C++.

Pedagogiske metoder


Pedagogiske metoder (fritekst)

Computer exercises




Computer-based multiple-choice exam


Bestått/Ikke bestått


Evaluation of exam work is done by course responsible.

Utsatt eksamen (tidl. kontinuasjon)


Tillatte hjelpemidler (gjelder kun skriftlig eksamen)


Obligatoriske arbeidskrav



Hand-outs of slides presented during the lectures