CSci 415 Course Syllabus

Tues@1:30 pm, Linux Lab

Prof. Stephen P. Carl
    Office Hours:     WL 133
MWR 2:00 - 3:00 pm
or by appointment
    E-mail:     scarl @T sewanee D0T edu
    Phone:     598-1305


An Introduction to Parallel Programming by Peter Pacheco : required
C Programming: A Modern Approach, 2nd Ed.
by K. N. King, recommended

Course web page

Objectives of the course: the student will understand
  1. the need for parallel and distributed computing, and for software designed to take advantage of it
  2. the basics of modern multicore computer processors capable of running parallel programs
  3. message-passing, process-based, and thread-based parallel models of computation
  4. program design using the MPI, OpenMP, and Pthreads systems
  5. high-level programming language abstractions for supporting parallel computation

Grading and Workload

3 Programming Projects (10 pts each) 30 points
5 Homework Assignments (05 points each)
25 points
Paper and Presentation 20+5 points
Class Exercises/Labs
10 points
Midterm Exam 05 points
Final Exam (Saturday, Dec 17, 7:00 PM) 05 points

Course Administration:

Attendance is required and an important factor in doing well in the class. All assignments must be completed, and the student is responsible for making up any work missed due to absence. The Dean's Office will be notified after two unexcused absences, which will then issue a cut warning. A student with too many absences may be dropped from the course. .

Assignments. Students are to work independently on assignments unless group work is specifically indicated. Programming projects will be due by 11:59 pm on the due date (this is to discourage skipping class to finish an assignment). You may be asked to submit assignments electronically by e-mail. Late assignments are penalized 10% for each day late, beginning at midnight after the due date. So if it's going to be late anyway, get some sleep, come to class, and work on it later that day. Barring special circumstances, assignments will not be accepted 4 days after due date- so turn something in for partial credit.

Students will choose a PDC topic and write a 3-5 page paper and present the topic to the class. Presentations will be scheduled in the second half of the term.

The Honor Code applies to all examinations and assignments. Plagiarism is copying or imitating the language and thoughts of others, whatever the medium (computer program or written paper). Each assignment must be your own work unless collaboration is specifically allowed in the assignment. Students may discuss ideas for solving an assignment among themselves in English, not in code! Turning in any portion of work written by another is an Honor Code violation and grounds for disciplinary action as allowed by University policy. You should not copy a file, supply a copy of a file, coach another student in writing code line by line, or look at another's code. You may discuss concepts and design issues, explain how to use software and other tools, and explain how to fix compilation errors.

Students can support the intellectual life of the university and earn extra credit by attending at most two lectures/talks outside of the formal classroom experience and submit a 1-2 page summary of the ideas presented.  One or two talks this semester will be sponsored by our department (for example, the Homecoming or Ebey lecture).

ADA Statement

The University of the South is committed to fostering respect for the diversity of the University community and the individual rights of each member of that community. In this spirit, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the University seeks to provide disabled students with the reasonable accommodations needed to ensure equal access to the programs and activities of the University. If you have a disability and require accommodations in this course, you have the responsibility of presenting your instructor with a copy of your academic accommodations letter from the University Wellness Center (931-598-1270). Accommodations will not be provided without this documentation, and accommodations cannot be applied retroactively. Additional information about disability accommodations can be found at

If you have questions about physical accessibility, please inform your instructor so that we can ensure an accessible, safe, and effective environment.