CP431,CP631 Parallel Programming, FALL 2019, WLU

Course Description

Parallel computers, or supercomputers or high-performance clusters are ubiquitous today in Science and Engineering. Parallel programming requires inventing new algorithms and programming techniques. This course will cover the fundamental paradigms of parallel programming, with an emphasis on problem solving and actual applications. The parallel programming concepts and algorithms will be illustrated via implementations in OpenMP and MPI (Message Passing Interface), as well as serial farming.

Important Course Information


CP217 (proficiency in C)


Dr. Ilias S. Kotsireas,  Office 2076A, Office Hours 24/7 and by appointment, Phone 884-0710 ext. 2218# E-Mail: ikotsireATwlu.ca

Course Topics

  1. Historical overview and evolution of parallel computing
  2. Fundamental concepts of parallelism
  3. Parallel computer memory architectures: shared memory, distributed memory, hybrid distributed-shared memory
  4. Parallel computer system architectures: Multi-Core, SMP, Clusters, Supercomputers, Flynn's Taxonomy
  5. Performance, Speedup, Scalability, Amdahl's law, Gustafson-Barsis's law, Karp-Flatt metric, Isoefficiency relation
  6. Load balancing: static, dynamic, termination detection
  7. Abstractions for parallel programming: Data Parallelism, Task Parallelism, Reduce and Scan, work assignment, Pipelining
  8. Programming paradigms for parallel computing: OpenMP, MPI, MapReduce/Google, Cilk, Cilk++, CUDA/GPU, Implicit Parallelism (Serial Farming)
  9. Applications: parallel sorting, parallel matrix-vector multiplication, parallel matrix multiplication, parallel searching, Floyd's algorithm, Sieve of Eratosthenes, Circuit Satisfiability

Class Schedule, Fall Semester Timetable

            |     Mon     |     Wed     |     Fri     
            | 09:30-10:20 | 09:30-10:20 | 09:30-10:20
            |    BA209    |    BA209    |    BA209       
            |             |             |             
Week 0:     |   ------    |   ------    |   Sep 06 (no class) 
Week 1:     |   Sep 09    |   Sep 11    |   Sep 13   
Week 2:     |   Sep 16    |   Sep 18    |   Sep 20
Week 3:     |   Sep 23    |   Sep 25    |   Sep 27
Week 4:     |   Sep 30    |   Oct 02    |   Oct 04
Week 5:     |   Oct 07    |   Oct 09    |   Oct 11
Study Break |  October 15-18  N o  C o u r s e s
            |             |            |
Week 6:     |   Oct 21    |   Oct 23   |    Oct 25 (M)
Week 7:     |   Oct 28    |   Oct 30   |    Nov 01
Week 8:     |   Nov 04    |   Nov 06   |    Nov 08
Week 9:     |   Nov 11    |   Nov 13   |    Nov 15
Week 10:    |   Nov 18    |   Nov 20   |    Nov 22
Week 11:    |   Nov 25    |   Nov 27   |    Nov 29
Week 12:    |   Dec 02    |   Dec 04   |    ------
            |             |            |             

Course Requirements/Student Evaluation

Term Project Demonstrations Schedule

(You are strongly advised to upload your presentation materials on the classroom computer beforehand, and/or test your laptop with the classroom console beforehand, to avoid unexpected delays, arising due to technical difficulties, during your presentations)

Group IDs, for A1, A2, TP, listed in a FIPPA-compliant manner, i.e. anonymized

FIPPA == Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Term Project Presentations Schedule: Monday December 02 2019 

Term Project Presentations Schedule: Wednesday December 04 2019

Research resources

  1. International Journal of Parallel Programming (Springer)
  2. Parallel Computing Systems & Applications (Elsevier)
  3. Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing (Elsevier)
  4. Encyclopedia of Parallel Computing

University and Course Policies (senate approved)

  1. Special Needs: Students with disabilities or special needs are advised to contact Laurier’s Accessible Learning Centre for information regarding its services and resources. Students are encouraged to review the Academic Calendar for information regarding all services available on campus.
  2. Plagiarism: Wilfrid Laurier University uses software that can check for plagiarism. If requested to do so by the instructor, students are required to submit their written work in electronic form and have it checked for plagiarism.
  3. Academic Integrity: Laurier is committed to a culture of integrity within and beyond the classroom. This culture values trustworthiness (i.e., honesty, integrity, reliability), fairness, caring, respect, responsibility and citizenship. Together, we have a shared responsibility to uphold this culture in our academic and nonacademic behaviour. The University has a defined policy with respect to academic misconduct. As a Laurier student you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with this policy and the accompanying penalty guidelines, some of which may appear on your transcript if there is a finding of misconduct. The relevant policy can be found at Laurier's academic integrity website along with resources to educate and support you in upholding a culture of integrity. Ignorance is not a defense.
  4. Classroom Use of Electronic Devices: Read WLU policy 9.3 Classroom Use of Electronic Devices.
  5. Late Assignment Policy: late assignments will be marked with 0.
  6. Final Examinations: Students are strongly urged not to make any commitments (i.e., vacation) during the examination period. Students are required to be available for examinations during the examination periods of all terms in which they register. Refer to the Handbook on Undergraduate Course Management for more information.
  7. Foot Patrol, the Wellness Centre, Student Food Bank.