CS388P: Parallel Algorithms (#53175), Fall 2012

The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Computer Sciences
August 29, 2012



Time and Place. MW 2-3:30, WAG 201

Professor. Vijaya Ramachandran (vlr"at"cs), ACES 3.432, 471-9554.
Office Hours. Tuesday 3-5 pm.

TA. Nevzat Onur Domanic (onur"at"cs)
Office Hours. Monday 11:30-12:30 and Thursday 10:30-11:30 in PAI 5.33, desk 6.

Textbook. Joseph JaJa. Introduction to Parallel Algorithms, Addison-Wesley, 1992.
The textbook will be supplemented with course handouts for more recent material.

Prerequisites. Graduate standing, and a theory algorithms course such as undergraduate CS357 or graduate CS388G.

COURSE OUTLINE. This is a graduate diversity course in a theory thread . We will cover the following topics.  

Introduction and parallel models:
Time/work optimality; parallel models; some basic results
Two weeks
Efficient PRAM algorithms:
Prefix sums; merging; merge-sort; bitonic sort; list ranking; Euler tour technique on trees; LCA; tree contraction; graph connectivity; ear decomposition; CREW PRAM lower bound for OR.
Four to five weeks
Algorithms for distributed memory models:
Distributed memory models; randomized routing; BSP, LogP, QSM; work-preserving emulations.
One to two weeks
Multicore Algorithms:
Cache oblivious algorithms; multithreaded algorithms; scheduling.
One to two weeks
Parallel complexity:
NC; Boolean circuit families; Logspace, space complexity, P-completeness; parallel computation thesis; RNC; maximum matching.
Three to four weeks
Project presentations. (Extra hours may be scheduled in addition to class hours) One week

There will be no programming component to the course.

Course Organization. The course-work will consist of the following:

Grading. The course grade will be based on the following.

Blackboard. Course material will be posted on Blackboard, which is accessible through UTDirect. Any important messages for the class will be sent through Blackboard, so please monitor messages sent to your UT email address.

A discussion board will be set up on Blackboard, and students are encouraged to post queries about class material there. Feel free to post comments and responses to queries, and note that useful participation on the discussion board will contribute towards your class participation score. This discussion board will also be monitored by the instructor and TA, who will post comments and responses as needed.

Please reserve your email messages to the instructor and TA for matters that concern only you. For queries relating to class material, please come to the office hours, or post to the discussion board so that everyone can benefit from the query and the responses.

Key Dates.

  • The dates for the two tests are October 15 and December 5. (See below for more information.)
  • The dates for the four mini-tests are September 17, October 1, October 29, and November 12.
  • Project presentations will take place during the week of November 26. (See below for more information.)

    Possible Updates to Above Dates:

  • We may need to schedule extra time slots for project presentations.
  • We will also try to schedule each of the two tests in a two hour slot if a time-slot convenient to all students is available. If no convenient alternate time-slots are found for the two tests, they will remain in the class periods on the dates announced above.
  • When these dates are finalized, they will be announced by email to all students, and will be posted in the Announcements page on Blackboard.

    Please make a note of these dates --- there will be no make-up dates once they are finalized.

    Students with Disabilities. Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259, http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd

    If you require any assistance or accommodations from me, please let me know by September 14.

    Accommodations for Religious Holidays. By UT Austin policy, you must notify the instructor of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class or an examination in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time before or after the absence, provided proper notification is given.

    If you intend to make use of such accommodations, please let me know by September 14.

    Statement on Scholastic Dishonesty. Anyone who violates the rules for the problem sets or who cheats in the in-class tests or final exam is in danger of receiving an F for the course. Additional penalties may be levied by the Computer Sciences department and the University. See http://www.cs.utexas.edu/academics/conduct/

    Course URL.     http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~vlr/courses/f12.388p/index.html

    The daily schedule will be periodically updated on the course schedule page: