Computational Methods Hub



Research computing and data science provides essential tools, methods, and principles that underpin research in all areas of STEMM.  There is a large variation in course provision in undergraduate programs and many postgraduate students embark on their projects without the necessary computing skills. 

The Computational Methods Hub was created to facilitate scientific computing and data science education for students from Imperial CDTs via a wide array of courses and services:

  • Scientific computing and data science courses
  • Office hours or personal support on demand
  • High Performance Computing support
  • Coordination of student-led research computing skills-building activities across CDTs
  • Specialist classes from external instructors
  • Bespoke classes
  • 2-day Software Carpentry workshops


Courses & Info

Current classes and support



The Graduate School's Research Computing and Data Science Programme delivers a whole range of regular classes.  

Dedicated cohort delivery and bespoke topics can be arranged through this page.


News (updated 21/04/20)

21 April, 2020

The Computational Method Hub range of activities is now managed though the Graduate School.

1 October, 2019

Welcome to the new CDT students!  This term, CM Hub will train students from StatML, ACM, Nuclear Energy Futures and Next Generation Synthesis.  We are also looking forward to working with the students from Chemical Biology in the spring.



10 September, 2019

We are happy to announce the fifth Research Computing Summer School.  This year's topic is machine learning.

15 January, 2019

We would like to announce a staff change.  Dr Prasun Ray has moved onto other exciting projects.   We were happy to engage Dr Adam Townsend from the Department of Mathematics in his place.  During the spring semester, we will also have an invaluable help from Krishnakumar Gopalakrishnan who just finised his degree in Mechanical Engineering.  

Good luck and many thanks to Prasun and welcome to Adam and Krishna!

6 April, 2018

All are welcome to join us for pizza and beer to mark the new partnership of the Scientific Computing Support Network and the Maths Helpdesk -  April 25, 2018 (16:00 - 18:00), Huxley 340


5 December, 2017

The Firedrake team will be running introductory Firedrake training at Imperial on 12 January.  

Firedrake ( is a system which automates the numerical solution of partial differential equations using the finite element method. Firedrake users write high level mathematical code for the PDEs they wish to solve, and high performance parallel implementations are automatically generated at runtime. Firedrake makes it vastly easier to create high performance simulations, and even automates the creation of an adjoint simulation. Users at Imperial and around the world employ Firedrake for a wide range of forward and inverse simulation challenges.

The Firedrake team will be offering a half-day hands-on Firedrake tutorial at Imperial on 12 January 2018. If you're considering using Firedrake or are just curious about it, you're welcome to come and participate. The tutorial is free but registration is required. For more information and to sign up, go to:

27 July, 2017

Details for our new Data analysis with Python course have been announced. See the course description here.

13 July, 2017

Pain Relief for Scientific Computing

CM Hub and students from CDTs in Fluid Dynamics across Scales, Mathematics of Planet Earth, Theory and Simulation of Materials and High Performance Embedded Distributed Systems are inviting everyone to a  scientific computing fair.  Pain Relief for Scientific Computing is held on October 11th and it will feature exhibits and short talks on useful practices essential for scientific computing novices.


We are also launching a support network for students and scientists.  The Network will connect those new to computing (or a particular problem) with their more experienced counterparts in order to improve and accelerate individual learning experiences.  Contact us if you need help with selecting the right tool, deciding how to tackle a complex problem or if you just need a sounding board. 

20 April, 2017

NGCM Summer Academy organised by the EPSRC CDT in Next Generation Computational Modelling at the University of Southampton, June 26 - 30, 2017.

The NGCM Summer Academy is a one-week event bringing together PhD students from across the UK who work on computer simulation of science and engineering problems, and want to extend their training through the workshops available at the Summer Academy. The training is delivered by world-leading experts and key developers of the relevant software tools, and includes 2-day courses on IPython and Jupyter NotebookVTK and MayaVi, GPU programming using CUDAPandas Python library for data handling, Scikit learn, and Programming the Intel Knights Landing.

Prior to the main programme outlined above, we offer three courses aimed at those just starting with computational work. These courses provide a basic or intermediate introduction to Python, version control and testing and can be attended separately as a one-day event. In parallel, there will be a course on Scientific Programming run by a fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute, Alice Harpole.

Registration is now open.

22 December, 2016

Research software management, sharing and sustainability workshop

will be held at the British Library on January 12th, 2017

Jisc, in collaboration with SSI, University of Cambridge, University of Sheffield, University of Bath, University of Leicester, University of Birmingham, the British Library and STFC are inviting all researchers interested and passionate about developing or using research software to join a workshop on this subject.

The purpose of the workshop is to:

  • Bring a range of experts who can answer and guide you with your most critical issues
  • Provide you with a list of available resources on the subject and tailored to the problems that you are encountering when managing research code
  • Listen and collate the most common problems that you are having in this area

Neil P. Hue Chong from the Software Sustainability Institute will be presenting the keynote talk.

Registration site

19 October, 2016

No office hour on 20 and 27 October:  Katerina will be teaching on 20th and away on the 27th.  Please email if you have any questions.  The next office hour is on November 3rd.

12 September, 2016

HPC summer school 2016

September 26 - 30, 2016

The second instalment of the HPC summer school starts on Monday September 26th and lasts one week.

The programme includes a code optimisation tutorial, one day of performance tuning for cx2 (helen) and a two day MPI class.  On Friday, we'll host six community sessions on imaging, research software engineering, computational molecular sciences, genomics, research data management and simulation methods. The event concludes with a keynote lecture on compilers, HPC prize announcement and a reception.

You can register for separate workshops or community sessions.  All are welcome!

12 September, 2016


ARCHER (UK National Supercomputing Service) training for this autumn includes GPU programming, performance optimisation, practical software development, advanced MPI and Intel Knight's landing workshops. Registration for the classes is open to all academics and students.  ARCHER training page and registration.

10 June, 2016

Interscale interactions in fluid mechanics and beyond: 11-15 July 2016

Summer school organised by the Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics across Scales

This Summer School is an attempt at cross-fertilisation and will include a number of topics where dynamics at disparate scales and their interactions are involved: moving contact lines, derivation of hydrodynamic from kinetic theory equations, large-eddy simulations of turbulent flows, order-disorder transitions in incompressible active fluids, and collective dynamics of large numbers of motile organisms, from bacteria to birds.

Postgraduate students and Post Docs are welcome to attend.  Register here for free before Friday 24 June.

Summer school web pages.

16 May, 2016

No office hour today: There will not be an office hour today, please email Prasun if you have any questions or would like to arrange a meeting.


7 April, 2016

NGCM Summer Academy organised by the EPSRC CDT in Next Generation Computational Modelling at the University of Southampton, June 20 - 24, 2016.

The NGCM Summer Academy is a one-week event bringing together PhD students from across the UK who work on computer simulation of science and engineering problems, and want to extend their training through the workshops available at the Summer Academy. The training is delivered by world-leading experts and key developers of the relevant software tools, and includes 2-day courses on IPython and the IPyton NotebookVTK and MayaVi, and GPU programming using CUDAPandas Python library for data handling, Azure Cloud Computing, Programming the Intel Xeon Phi and Fenics and Dolfin multiphysics finite element suite.

Prior to the main programme, the Academy offers Python courses aimed at those just starting with computational work. These courses provides a basic or intermediate introduction to Python, version control and testing.

Registration is now open.

4 April, 2016

So far, we have scheduled two classes for the summer term: 

These classes, together with the upcoming Introduction to the command line (April 21st), are well suited to those students who are just starting to use the HPC resource at the College.

14 March, 2016

Hub Courses

Office Hours

Office hours will be held during term on Mondays (Prasun, 5-6pm) and Thursdays (Katerina, 3-4pm) in the CDT space (4th floor Sherfield, entrance via the 2nd floor). CDT students are encouraged to attend for help with computational aspects of their work. Outside of term, we are often available via email.

External courses

A Software Carpentry workshop will be held at Imperial 23-24 March.


About us


The CM Hub staff.  

CM Hub alumni: Prasun Ray (Imperial College, Mathematics) and Krishnakumar Gopalakrishnan (UCL, Centre for Computational Science), Adam Townsend (University of Durham, Mathematical Sciences).

Why Computational Methods Hub

We recognize that PhD students come from various backgrounds and have received a varied IT education. To promote excellence in graduate programs at the College, we offer computational method courses for all PhD students from the CDTs.

If you need to learn the basis of command line or shell scripting or if you need to start programming, we will provide a thorough introduction to the topic and get you started. For the more advanced users, we teach parallel methods, parallel programming, good programming practice and more.

The Hub is also closely affiliated with the high performance computing resource at the College and we can provide an introduction and advise on using the clusters. Check out our course list and/or contact us with questions.

Computational science requirements

A survey of computational science skill requirements was conducted in CDTs and the summary is presented below.

The required topic range from the basic command line, through programming skills to advanced topics in numerical methods and algorithms. To reflect the varied needs, we have started to develop short courses that provide a solid introduction to individual topics, followed by guided exercises.

List of required skills: matlab and maths, profiling and performance, programming, MPI and OpenMP, numerical methods and algorithms, computer architecture, best practice in software engineering, data analysis, scripting, software licensing, LaTex, Reference Management

Our vision

Our long term vision is to provide courses organized into three logical levels, each building on the previous one.

First,  we introduce essential computational tools. Second, principles of proper use of tools is covered. Finally, tools and good practices lay the groundwork for computational methods classes.

Our vision

Useful links

Research Computing Service at Imperial - our intitutinal resource for research computing, HPC and data storage

ARCHER - the UK national supercomputing service offers free training courses on an array of topics.

Software carpentry - short introductory courses on Unix, Python, git, R, and a few other topics.

Programming in Fortran 95 - concise, thorough self-study guide for Fortran 90/95

The Not So Short Introduction to Latex - well-established, widely-used introduction to Latex

C++ - notes for short course offered by Theory and Simulation of Materials CDT at Imperial

Past courses


  • Research computing summer school 2019, September 25-27, 2019
  • Bespoke introduction to Python - October 7, 2019 (10:00 - 17:00)
  • Bespoke introduction to Research Software Engineering using Visusal Studio Code - Oct 10, 2019 (13:30 - 15:30)
  • Software Carpentry - R for reproducible scientific analysis - October 10-11, 2019 (10:00 - 17:00),  ICT training room, Central Library 204, South Kensington Campus
  • Bespoke introctution to Python pandas - Oct 24, 2019 (14:30 - 16:30)
  • Bespoke introduction to MATLAB - Oct 30, 2019 (14:00 - 16:00), Oct 31 (10:00 - 12:00) and Nov 1 (10:00 - 12:00)
  • Bespoke introduction to C++ - Nov 7, 2019 (15:00 - 17:00)
  • Bespoke introdution to Python - Nov 11, 2019 (14:0 - 17:00)
  • Software Carpentry - November 14-15, 2019 (10:00 - 17:00) -  a 2-day workshop is suitable for students new to scientific computing, we will cover the command line, Git version control and fundamentals of programming with Python - ICT training room, Central Library 204
  • Bespoke introdution to Python - Nov 18, 2019 (14:0 - 17:00)
  • Bespoke introduction to HPC - Nov 21, 2019 (15:00 - 17:00)
  • Bespoke data science camp - Nov 25 and 26, 2019 (10:00 - 17:00)
  • Bespoke webinar on Introduction to LaTeX and Writing theses in LaTeX - Dec 2, 2019 (10:00 - 16:00)
  • Bespoke introduction to parallel computing - Dec 5, 2019 (15:00 - 17:00)








































Course materials



Slides and materials for past classes are available on the following internal site.