The Center has presented more than 50 "hands-on" workshops covering topics on Computational Biophysics since 2003. Workshops are designed to provide beginning to intermediate level training for students and researchers in the application of NAMD, VMD, and other scientific software toward the study of biomolecular systems. Both theoreticians and experimentalists are welcome! Workshop formats typically consist of 4-5 days, with lecture material in the mornings and hands-on, guided tutorials in the afternoons. For descriptions on the various types of workshops the Center has offered, see Types of Workshops. Send general questions regarding workshops here.

Upcoming Workshops


Prior Workshops





















Types of Workshops

Computational Biophysics

Modeling the molecular processes of biological cells is a craft and an art. Techniques like theoretical and computational skills can be learnt by training, but meaningful applications are achieved only with experience and sensitivity. The Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group has produced a series of workshops, attempting to teach both the craft and art of modeling through learning by doing. Participants learn how to stretch proteins, pull water through molecular channels, mine genomic data, and study their favorite biomolecules. After lectures and discussions in the morning, afternoons are devoted to hands-on computer laboratories where participants delved into hundreds of pages of tutorials, on laptops humming with computational biology software, e.g., VMD and NAMD.

GPU Programming for Molecular Modeling

A workshop of about two days in length designed for researchers in computational and/or biophysical fields who seek to extend their GPU programming skills to include molecular modeling. The workshop extends GPU programming techniques to the field of molecular modeling, including subjects such as particle-grid algorithms (electrostatics and molecular orbitals), particle-particle algorithms with an emphasis on non-bonded force calculations, radial distribution functions in GPU histogramming, single-node multi-GPU algorithms, and GPU clusters.

Online Workshops

In online workshops, participants are provided with a recorded, streaming video of a workshop lecture provided by TCBG faculty, along with the opportunity to complete tutorials with assistance from teaching assistants. Also provided is a conference call with the faculty member who provided the lecture, on the fourth and final date of the workshop.


The in-residence workshop program invites 5-7 scientists to the home of TCBG for advanced training and consultation on their ongoing individual molecular dynamics studies. In-residence training provides an opportunity for experimentalists and theorists who are not experts in modeling to initiate a project that requires advanced modeling. During their two-week stay, participants are provided with office space, use of computing facilities, and access to the expertise of TCBG group members. The goal of the in-residence workshop program is to facilitate the launch and refinement of participant modeling projects.

Cluster Building

These day and a half workshops help users and system administrators explore how to specify, design, build, and deploy PC Clusters running Linux, and even determine if a cluster is right for a specific application. Following a discussion of clustering basics, participants actually build their own PC clusters and experiment with running their own applications. These workshops are aimed at systems administrators who desire a greater understanding of cluster technologies, as well as end-users who want to better understand the systems that they run on for their day-to-day work. All cluster building workshops are held in Urbana, Illinois, at the Beckman Institute.