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General Project Information


The project aims to provide open online courses for the education of students and researchers on e-infrastructures and particularly on the European Grid Infrastructure. Recent developments in ‘Massive Open Online Courses’ (MOOC) platforms enforced the massive distribution of educational content to worldwide audiences. The project envisions contributing to the circulation of free knowledge with the creation of a MOOC on e-Infrastructures. The content will be available to both current EGI participants and potential new users via an online MOOC platform. As part of this project material on these topics will be constructed in a way that increases visibility of available EGI services.


On a technical level:

  • Documentation of the process development that can be used as reference for EGI on setting up a MOOC course.
  • Provision of the course material such as video lectures, syllabi, assignments and lecture slides.
  • Feedback on suitability of different resources for the research areas of the participants.

On a strategic level:

  • Increased visibility of available EGI and alternative services.
  • Increased availability of knowledge on distributed computing and parallel platform infrastructure.


  • Present Project Plan at EGI Community Forum on : April 2013
  • Identify MOOC Platform Specifications by : May 2013
  • Create Outreach and Training Plan by : July 2013
  • Output contribution at EGI Technical Forum on : September 2013
  • Publish Grid online course on a MOOC platform: 18 November 2013


  • Jan Bot (SURFsara) - project leader/MOOC developer
  • Anatoli Danezi (SURFsara) - MOOC developer
  • Tijs de Kler (SURFsara) - visualization expert
  • Nico Kruithof (SURFsara) - visualization expert
  • Jeroen Schot (SURFsara) - MOOC developer

Emerging Information

if relevant - may change the nature and objectives of the project

Progress Reporting

The Project Leader will provide a short emailed progress report on a bi-weekly basis. The report will be due by 17:00 on Tuesdays and is to contain details of:

  • Work achieved the past 2 weeks
  • Work planned for next 2 weeks
  • Progress against the goals in the project plan
  • Issues that the virtual team leader needs help with (e.g. non-responsive partners, more resources, support from teams, etc.)

The Team project manager will also provide a more comprehensive input for the EGI InSPIRE quarterly reporting.


We developed a number of animations using the D3.js library. A description of these animations and their sources can be found at the following page: VT_MOOC/D3.js.

Demo Account

In order to demonstrate the grid examples, we created:

  • a "mooc" demo account on the sara_grid user interface machine
  • a demo temporary certificate from tutorial CA

External Contributors

A number of external people have been contacted to give a presentation on a topic relevant to the course syllabus. Here is the list of the use cases:

  • The role of EGI
  • Extreme physics in space
  • Climate Modelling on the Grid
  • Large Hadron Collider
  • PiCas
  • Scientific Gateways and Workflows
  • Astrophysics Grid Gateways - VisiVO
  • Structural Biology on the Grid

Screen Recordings

The command line examples are recorded with QuickTime Player Version 10.2 available on Mac OS X.

VM Image

A Virtual Machine image will be used for the class. Torque, PiCaS and user interface tools are installed to support course examples. Information on the VM image can be found at the following page: VT_MOOC/VM_Image.

MOOC Platform

A Sakai demo instance is configured on the SURFsara HCP cloud in order to experiment with online course quizzes.

Course syllabus

November 18 - November 24

   Introduction to Parallel and Distributed Computing
   Cluster computing
   Grid computing overview
   Use case: EGI role (Gergeley Sipos)

November 25 - December 1

   Working environment
   Grid certificates
   User-interface machine
   Virtual organisations
   Use case: Extreme physics in space (Joeri van Leeuwen) 

December 2 - December 8

   Grid job lifecycle
   Simple grid job
   Grid toolkit
   Use case: Climate modelling (Eleni Katragkou)

December 9 - December 15

   Advanced grid jobs
   Collections, parametric and multi-core jobs
   Data-parallel processing with Hadoop

December 16 - December 22

   Data management on the Grid
   File replication
   Grid Storage tools
   Use case: Large Hadron Collider (Computerphile)

December 23 - December 29

   Workflow management (Silvia Olabarriaga)
   WS-PGrade (Silvia Olabarriaga)
   Science Gateways (Silvia Olabarriaga)
   Use case: Astrophysics VisiVO (Eva Sciacca & Ugo Becciani)

December 30 - Januari 5

   Pilot job scheduling
   Pilot job frameworks & PiCas
   Use case: PiCas (Michiel van Galen)

Januari 6 - Januari 12

   Course summary
   Instructions for final assignment
   Deadline for the Quizzes
   Use case: Structural biology (Afonso Duarte)

Januari 12 - Januari 18

   Deadline for final assignment