This course is an introduction to high performance computing (HPC) on modern desktop computer architectures. The targeted audience is undergraduate students who are not engaged in a computer science program but who want to be exposed to the principles HPC (relevant to desktop computers) and take advantage of them in their field of study. Since most popular concurrency platforms are based on C/C++ and since many HPC software tools are primarily developed under UNIX, this course starts with a 7-week overview of C-UNIX. At the same time, students will be introduced to performance issues, in particular memory traffic, for which the C language is the ideal programming platform. The next 6 weeks will be dedicated to an overview of multithreaded programming, using Cilk, which is an extension of the C language. The powerful dynamic scheduler of Cilk will allow students to focus on exposing parallelism in their programs. However, notions from scheduling (dependencies, task graphs, work and span, work stealing principle) together with performance metrics (speedup, efficiency, scalability) will be presented to the students. Classical algorithms (such as cubic matrix multiplication, matrix transposition, Cooley-Tukey FFT, counting sort and merge sort) will illustrate the topics of the course.
Prerequisite: Familiarity with a programming language.
Antirequisites: Computer Science 1025A/B or 1026A/B, Engineering Science 1036A/B, the former Computer Science 036A/B.
Lecture Hours: Tuesdays 11:30pm - 1:20pm (NCB, room 285) and Thursdays 9:30am - 10:20pm (UCC, room 63).
Lab Hours: Thursdays 10:30am - 12:20pm (MC, room 10).
Instructor: Marc MORENO MAZA
Office: Middlesex College 383 and 327
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:30-4:30pm
Email: moreno <at> csd.uwo.ca
Phone: 661-2111 x 86891
The course will address as many of the following topics as time will allow:
Course lecture notes will be made available in PDF on the course website. They are provided as a courtesy by the course instructor. Possessing (and even reading) these notes is not a suitable substitute for attending lectures.
The CS2101b website is at http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~moreno/cs2101_Winter_2012/index.html Lecture notes, assignments, and class information will be posted on this website. You are responsible for reading this information on a frequent and regular basis.
TA Consulting Schedule: to be arranged
Each student will be given an account on the Computer Science
Department senior undergraduate computing facility, GAUL.
In accepting the GAUL account, a student agrees to abide by the
department's Rules of Ethical Conduct.
Note: After-hours access to certain Computer Science lab
rooms is by student card. If a student card is lost, a replacement
card will no longer open these lab rooms, and the student
must bring the new card to a member of the Systems Group in
Middlesex College Room 346, or to the I/O counter (MC 352).
We will occasionally need to send email messages
to the whole class, or to
students individually. Email will be sent to your UWO email address. You
must make sure that you read your
email on a frequent and regular basis, or have it forwarded to an
alternative email address if you prefer to read it there.
Note that UWO and most other email providers establish quotas
or limits on the amount of space available to you. If
you let your email accumulate, your mailbox may fill up and
you may lose important email from your instructors. Losing email
is not an acceptable excuse for not knowing about the information
that was sent.
Students can ask questions via email, however if there are any large,
somewhat complicated issues, it is recommended to discuss them during office hours.
Moreover, you MUST use your UWO account or your GAUL account in order to write to the instructor. (Emails from non-academic accounts will be automatically ignored.) In addition, you must include "CS2101" in the subject line.
Grades will be based on three homework assignments worth a total of 20%,
weekly lab assignments 20%,
a midterm exam worth 20%, and a final exam worth 40%.
If for any reason the assignment schedule given below cannot
be adhered to, the homework and lab assignment marks will be prorated. (The
assignments are worth 40% of the overall mark for the course.
If an assignment has to be cancelled for any reason,
the remaining assignment weights will be prorated (scaled) to add up to
To be eligible to receive a passing grade in the course, your
mark on the final exam must be at least 40%, and your weighted
average on the assignments must be at least 40%. To be eligible to receive
a grade of C or higher, your mark on the final exam must be at least
50%, and your weighted average on the assignments must be at least
Assignment and Test Feedback
Every effort will be made to have (homework and lab) assignments marked and handed back within 2 weeks of the hand-in date. Midterm exam marks will be posted within 2 weeks of the exam. If we are unable to comply with our intended return dates, revised dates will be posted on the course website.
Test and Exams
Midterm: 1 hr 40 mins, Tuesday March 8, during class time (location to be announced)
Final: 3 hours during the April exam period; exact time to be announced
There will be no makeup midterm exam. Students who do not write the
midterm will have the weight shifted to the final exam, which will then be
worth 60 %. Students who do better on the final than the midterm will also
have the midterm weight shifted to the final.
Due Dates (tentative)
Asn 1 - 7% (medium) - assigned Jan 24, due Feb 7
Asn 2 - 7%(medium) - assigned Feb 14, due Mar 6
Asn 3 - 7%(medium) - assigned Mar 13, due Mar 27
About the Assignments
The role of tutoring is to help students understand course
material. Tutors should not write assignments or tests
for the students who hire them. Submitting an assignment that contains
material written by a tutor is an academic offence.
Having employed the same tutor
as another student is not a legitimate defence against an accusation
of collusion, should two students hand in assignments judged similar
beyond the possibility of coincidence.
Academic Accommodation for Medical Illness
If you are unable to meet a course requirement due to illness or other serious circumstances, you must provide valid medical or other supporting documentation to your Dean's office as soon as possible and contact your instructor immediately. It is the student's responsibility to make alternative arrangements with their instructor once the accommodation has been approved and the instructor has been informed. In the event of a missed final exam, a "Recommendation of Special Examination" form must be obtained from the Dean's Office immediately. For further information please see http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/handbook/appeals/medical.pdf.
A student requiring academic accommodation due to illness should use the Student Medical Certificate when visiting an off-campus medical facility or request a Record's Release Form (located in the Dean's Office) for visits to Student Health Services. The form can be found at https://studentservices.uwo.ca/secure/medical_document.pdf.
Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 661-2111 x 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.
All assignments are individual assignments. You may discuss approaches to problems among yourselves; however, the actual details of the work (assignment coding, answers to concept questions, etc.) must be your individual effort. Assignments that are judged to be the result of academic dishonesty will, for the student's first offence, be given a mark of zero with an additional penalty equal to the weight of the assignment also being applied. You are responsible for reading and respecting the Computer Science Department's policy on Scholastic Offences and Rules of Ethical Conduct.