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The Australian National University

COMP4300/8300: Parallel Systems

Semester 1, 2021

These pages are under construction for 2021. Any sub-pages with 2020 in their title refer to the 2020 version of the course, and should be considered indicative only for 2021.

This is an honours/masters level course that covers a variety of topics related to parallel computer systems. You will learn about parallel hardware and associated programming models, and how to divide up a computation so that it can be executed in parallel. We will explore the current state of high end computing both for computationally-intensive and data-intensive computing. The course will make use of the supercomputer located on campus at the National Computational Infrastructure facility.


[Assessment] [Schedule] [Lectures] [Practicals] [Assignments] [References] [Marks and Lab Registration] [Discussion] [Past Exams] [People]

General Information

  • Remote learning requirements and support
  • Timetabling of Lectures and Practicals (small group activities):
    • Lectures: Mon 10:00-12:00 and Tue 16:00-17:00 (both Robertson T/Dual)
    • Practicals: a subset of the following will be used, depending on enrollments:
      Mon 14-16, Tue 09-11, Tue 13-15, (CSIT N115/116); Wed 10-12, Thu 13-15, Fri 11-13 (online).
  • Prerequisites. The P&C prerequisites are not that essential; while this is an advanced course, intellectual maturity is more important than specifics. Students interested in taking this course and not meeting the formal prerequisites are encouraged to apply for a permission code, highlighting any background in computer organization, threading, networks and C programming. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • The course uses C as its programming language. As no explicit activity time will be devoted to training in C, students unfamiliar with the language should teach themselves from online resources (ASAP!). It is recommended to work through the C programming sections of the COMP3300 2020 and/or COMP2300 2015 web pages, as well as the resources on the textbook page.
  • Practicals: registration opens in StReAMS on 10am Monday Tuesday of week 1 of Semester 1. Marks for assessment items are also available through StReAMS.
  • The course's wattle page will be used for Echo360 recordings and assignment solutions.
  • Please feel free to post course-related queries and issues to the course Discussion forum on Piazza. Invitations will be sent via email to enrolled students on Monday of week 1; alternately you can join through the link on the course wattle page. Making private enquiries on piazza is preferred to using email. Please see the first post for the rules on using the forum. Class polls will also be conducted on this forum.
  • gitlab will be used for assignment and exam submission (more generally, for the (private) sharing of student files with course staff). See the instructions for taking the Gitlab-based online exam (note in particular the Basic Steps section).

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