Parallel architecture

parallel architecture

Course Summary

Parallel computing is a mainstay of modern computation and information analysis and management, ranging from scientific computing to information and data services. The inevitable and rapidly growing adoption of multi-core parallel architectures within a processor chip by all of the computer industry pushes explicit parallelism to the forefront of computing for all applications and scales, and makes the challenge of parallel programming and system understanding all the more crucial. The challenge of programming parallel systems has been highlighted as one of the three greatest challenges for the computer industry by leaders of even the largest desktop companies.

This course caters to students from all departments who are interested in using parallel computers of various scales to speed up the solution of problems. It also caters to computer science and engineering students who want to understand and grapple with the key issues in the design of parallel architectures and software systems. A significant theme of the treatment of systems issues is their implications for application software, drawing the connection between the two and thereby making the systems issues relevant to users of such systems as well. In addition to general programming and systems, there will be a significant focus on the modern trend

toward increasingly more parallel multi-core processors within a single chip.

The first two thirds of the course will focus on the key issues in parallel programming and architecture. In the last third, we will examine some advanced topics ranging from methods to tolerate latency to programming models for clustered commodity systems to new classes of information applications and services that strongly leverage large-scale parallel systems. Students will do a parallel programming project, either with an application they propose from their area of interest or with one that is suggested by the instructors. Students will have dedicated access to two kinds of multi-core processor systems in addition to large-scale multiprocessors for their projects.

Text Book: Parallel Computer Architecture: A Hardware-Software Approach by David Culler and Jaswinder P. Singh, with Anoop Gupta Tanenbaum, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1998.


  • 3/15: Precept information now available .
  • 2/19: Students will give a presentation on their course project plan on 2/26. Prof. Kunle Olukotun from Stanford will give a lecture on 2/27 from 1:30-3pm.

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