University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway

University of Tromsø,
Hansine Hansens veg 18
9037 Tromsø,
Research group:
High Performance Distributed Computing (HPDS)
Prof. Otto Anshus,
Dept. of Computer Science,
Fac. Science and Technology,
University of Tromsø, Norway

Institution Background

University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) is the largest research university in northern Norway with about 11,000 students and 2,700 employees. Its location on the edge of the Arctic implies a mission. The Arctic is of increasing global importance. Climate change, the exploitation of Arctic resources and environmental threats are topics of great public concern, and which the University of Tromsø takes special interest in. Teaching is research-based. UiT´s seven faculties offer, in spite of a dedication to Northern issues, a broad range of study programmes. The academic community in Tromsø is highly international. More than 20% of the academic staff and 10% of the student body are from abroad. Two hundred international agreements secure an active academic exchange of students and staff with partner institutions worldwide.


Research Group Background

The High Performance Distributed and Parallel Systems (HPDS) research group, located in the Dept. of Computer Science, consists of 4 faculty members (Prof. Anshus, Assoc. Profs. Bjørndalen, Bongo, and Larsen), 7 PhD students, and 8 computer science master students. The HPDS group does systems research on distributed and parallel multi-core, many-core, and exascale systems. The group develops extensive prototypes, and does performance measuring experiments on them with the purpose of documenting their characteristics and understanding their scalability and applicability. The group has several cross-disciplinary projects nationally and internationally including on meteorology, bioinformatics, and medicine. The HPDS group improves the scalability, performance and interactivity of several methods in these fields through a variety of approaches and techniques, including applying a numerical atmospheric model in a novel way to on-demand produce higher resolution weather forecasts faster, machine learning, interactive data analytics, visual data analytics, and advanced statistical and mathematical models. The group has two laboratories, the Tromsø Display Wall Laboratory (, and the Biological Data Processing Systems Laboratory ( It has extensive collaboration with international universities including Princeton, Dresden, and Copenhagen. The group is active in outreach activities.


Assoc. Prof. Lars Ailo Bongo is the leader of the Biological Data Processing Systems Laboratory. He is also a founding member and group leader in the Center for Bioinformatics at the University of Tromsø. He has expertise in building and experimentally evaluating infrastructure systems that support the methods under development by our bioinformatics collaborators. In particular, improving the scalability and interactivity of systems for big data storage, interactive analysis, and large-scale visualization of biomedical data. He was a post doctoral researcher at Princeton University, and has been an Associate Professor at UiT since 2010.


Major Interest in Action Scientific Topics

  • Applications for analysis of very large-scale biomedical data.
  • Data-intensive computing methods for ultrascale systems.
  • Distributed computing on ultrascale systems.