COSC 3601 - Parallel Programming

IN 2001 Classes were held in Vislab at the ATP, Monday and Thursday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

Part A. Russell Standish.

1. Mon Apr 9, 2-5 pm (Lectures 1 & 2), ATP lab
2. Thurs Apr 12, 2-4/5 pm (Lecture 3), ATP lab

Lecture 1: Introduction to High Performance Computing
  • Types of HPC
  • Types of HPC tasks
  • Strategies for achieving Parallelism
  • Superscalar and SMP architectures
  • Amdahl's law
Lecture 2: Using Unix
  • Files (ls, chmod) + Editors (vi, emacs, xedit)
  • Setting up your environment (.profile, .login, .cshrc, .bashrc, .forward)
  • Shell scripts
  • Tools (grep, find, cut, tail, head)
  • Compilers + Make + Processes and Signals
  • System V IPC

  • Batch queues
  • Checkpointing and restarting
Lecture 3: Shell based parallelism

Russell's Lecture Slides:

Part B. Bob Sinkovits:

3. Mon 23 April, 10am-1pm, ATP lab - note Wed 25 is public holiday also
4. Thurs 26 April, 2-5pm, ATP lab
5. Fri 27 April, 2-5pm, ATP lab - reception at 5pm
6. Mon 30 April, 10am-1pm, ATP lab
7. Tues 1 May, 10am-1pm, ATP lab
8. Wed 2 may, 10am-1pm, ATP lab

Topics: Message Passing Interface (MPI)

  • Introduction to MPI (the basic calls, etc)
  • Intermediate and advanced MPI (derived data types, non-blocking communications, overlapping computation and communication).
  • Detailed treatment of special topics like MPI collectives.
  • Domain decomposition illustrated using the highly simplified Stommel ocean model.
  • Parallel random number generators.
Bob's Lecture Slides:

Part C. Russell Standish.

9. Mon 14 May, 2-4/5pm, ATP lab
10. Weekly on Mondays, 2-4/5pm, ATP lab

Lecture 4: OpenMP
Lecture 5: Debugging and Profiling: Workshop and Jumpshot
Lecture 6: Data Parallel: HPF and HPC++
Lecture 7: Parallel Libraries: LAPACK/BLAS etc

Labs in Physics and the ATP will be available aside from Tues & Wed 2-4pm [Phys] Wed 2-5pm [ATP], when other classes are running.

Assessment will be by class/lab exercises.

Course coordinators:

  • Prof Bernard Pailthorpe (Vislab) & Prof. Jon Patrick (Computer Science)

The two Lecturers for the classes are:
  • Dr. Robert Sinkovits
    Strategic Applications Collaborations (SAC) Coordinator
    SDSC Scientific Computing Department
    University of California, San Diego

The Tutor for the class is Kevin Pulo (, Computer Science & VisLab.

On how to get to the ATP lab, click here.

Initial references:

MPI references:

Sponsored by VisLab, CS, ac3, APAC.

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