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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : EPCC on-campus

Postgraduate Course: Threaded Programming (EPCC11003)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course is a practical introduction to parallel programming using the threading model, which is commonly used on shared memory and multicore hardware. The majority of the course is focused on teaching the use of the industry standard OpenMP API.
Course description After taking this course students should have a good practical understanding of multithreaded programming and be competent OpenMP programmers.

The course will cover the following topics:
- Basic concepts of shared memory: threads, tasks, shared/private data, synchronisation.
- Concepts of OpenMP: parallel regions, shared/private variables, parallel loops, reductions
- OpenMP parallel regions and associated clauses
- OpenMP worksharing directives, scheduling of parallel loops
- OpenMP synchronisation: barriers, critical sections, atomics, locks.
- OpenMP tasks
- Additional features of OpenMP: nesting, orphaning, threadprivate globals, OpenMP 4.0 features
- OpenMP implementations
- Memory models.

Lectures will be followed by tutored practical sessions illustrating the key concepts. Students will have the choice of using either C or Fortran in the practical programming sessions on OpenMP.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents are required to be familiar with C or Fortran for practical exercises.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  84
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 21, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 11, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 65 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework, split into two assignments (30%, 70%). Feedback: Students receive detailed individual text-based feedback on all components of the coursework. The coursework is split into two parts, with feedback given on assignments 1 before the deadline for assignment 2 so that students may take this into account. Students may contact the course co-ordinator to discuss the feedback further in person if required. Feedback is also provided through discussion on the practical exercises, and a formative assessment exercise which students are encouraged to complete before engaging with the marked assignments.«br /»
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Coursework is expected to be worked on consistently across the Semester building on material from lectures and practicals as they are delivered. Although the first and second submission dates are sequential they are inherently linked and some work not assessed until the second submission is clearly relevant to feed into the first submission. The two should be treated as a single coherent piece of work with the first coursework offering students an opportunity to receive feedback which can be acted upon to improve the later higher-stakes submission.
Feedback Students receive detailed individual text-based feedback on all components of the coursework. The coursework is split into three parts, with feedback given on assignments 1 and 2 before the deadline for assignment 3 so that students may take this into account (assignments 1 and 2 are independent of one another). Students may contact the course co-ordinator to discuss the feedback further in person if required.

Feedback is also provided through the practical classes.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the key concepts of multithreaded programming
  2. Have a knowledge of the syntax and semantics of the OpenMP API.
  3. Be able to write a correct OpenMP program in C/C++ or Fortran.
  4. Have an appreciation of the advanced features of OpenMP
  5. Understand key factors affecting performance of threaded programs
Reading List

Further resources provided via Learn course/Leganto
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Effective written and diagrammatic communication.
Technical writing.
Data collection and analysis.
Reflection on learning and practice.
Adaptation to circumstances.
Solution Exploration, Evaluation and Prioritisation.
Special Arrangements There are limited spaces on this course. Students not on the MSc in High Performance Computing or MSc High Performance Computing with Data Science should contact the course secretary ( to confirm availability and confirm that they have the required prerequisites before being enrolled on the course.
Additional Class Delivery Information Delivered as a single three-hour session each week encompassing lecture seminar and practical activity
KeywordsOpenMP,Threads,TP,EPCC,HPC,High Performance Computing,Parallel,Programming,Parallelism,Computational
Course organiserDr Mark Bull
Tel: (0131 6)50 6717
Course secretaryMr James Richards
Tel: 90131 6)51 3578
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