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Toward Easy Parallel Programming for Computational Fluid Dynamics


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Competition funded
Dr Amirul Khan and Professor Zheng Wang
Additional supervisors
Prof. Peter Jimack
School of Civil Engineering, School of Computing
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Computational scientists are typically not expert programmers and thus have to work with easy to use programming languages. However, they have very high-performance requirements due to their experimental setup and large datasets and have to rely on parallel computing machines for tasks like simulation runs. Unfortunately, the increasing specialisation and complexity in computing hardware have made parallel programming a daunting task for mainstream computational researchers. Without a viable solution, they cannot unlock the potential of parallel hardware and science and technology innovations will slow down. <br /> <br /> This project will find ways to make parallel programming accessible to every computational scientist. The PhD student will take representative computational fluid dynamics (CFD) problems as a case study to develop novel approaches to help CFD developers to easily write and optimise code to take full advantages of parallel hardware. It will investigate how to best express the high-level algorithmic intent in the programming language and carry such information into the executable binary to optimise code. If successful, this project will usher in an era of change in how computational scientists could exploit parallel computing infrastructures where, rather than deny and fear the increasing specialisation in computing hardware, we embrace and utilise it.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>Increasingly scientists and engineers are relying on parallel computing infrastructures, particularly in the field of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Unfortunately, parallel programming is notoriously hard. Pattern-based programming, where programmers write algorithmic intents that abstract away parallelisation and hardware complexity, reduce the mental effort needed for writing initial parallel programs, but debugging and optimisation are made harder. As a result, parallel programs are either expensively written by expert programmers or likely to be buggy and slow.</p> <p>This project aims to make parallel programming accessible to mainstream CFD researchers to allow them to take full advantage of parallel hardware and future-proofing their code. It will investigate how CFD patterns can be supported in the Firedrake or OP2 framework. In this way, the programmer can see a logical view of their algorithm intents for debugging and optimisation, while the tool-chain will automatically match the code to the hardware. &nbsp;Our techniques will make parallel programming easier for scientists and engineers developing numerical methods and enable their research to be faster and more ambitious.</p> <p>As the computing hardware is becoming increasingly specialised and diverse (with the introduction of hardware accelerators like GPUs), mainstream programmers struggle to make good use of such systems. This timely project thus has the potential to address fundamental problems and deliver top-quality science. Furthermore, it offers many interesting research directions to allow the student to choose and develop.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study Section that you are applying for <em><strong>PHD Computing FT</strong></em> and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Toward Easy Parallel Programming for Computational Fluid Dynamics</strong></em>&nbsp;as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr Zheng Wang</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.5 in writing and at 6.0 in reading, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a>, <a href="">School of Computing Scholarship&nbsp;</a>, <a href="">Akroyd &amp; Brown</a>, <a href="">Frank Parkinson</a> and <a href="">Boothman, Reynolds &amp; Smithells</a> Scholarships are available to UK applicants. &nbsp;<a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash; The&nbsp;<a href="">School of Computing Scholarship&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;is available to support the additional academic fees of Non-UK applicants. The&nbsp;<a href="">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China. The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals starting from September/October 2021.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information regarding the application procedure, please contact&nbsp;Doctoral College Admissions<br /> e: <a href=""></a>, t: +44 (0)113 343 5057</p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Zheng Wang by email:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>