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Lecture number for WS 2018/19: L.079.05733

Please note: Due to a very high number of participants, the lecture and exercises need to be moved to a larger room. Please check PANDA and PAUL for the latest information.


All materials (slides, exercises, programming exercises) and current information will be provided via the PANDA lecture management system, see PANDA page for this lecture.


The course comprises three components: lecture, theoretical exercises, and programming exercises, the will be held during the following time slots:

  • Lecture: mondays 11:15-12:45,  lecture hall C1 on 29 October, see PANDA or PAUL for future dates
  • Theoretical exercises: wednesdays 11:15-12:00, lecture hall G (may change in future)
  • Programming exercises: wednesdays 12:30-13.45, lecture hall G (may change in future)

The first lecture will take place on 15 Oct 2018.

The exercises will begin on 24 Oct 2018.

Goals and Contents of the Lecture

The goal of this course is to teach the fundamentals of high-performance computing. The emphasis of the course is on programming. That is, we will discuss programming models, languages and frameworks for efficiently using parallel computer sytems. The lecture will be complemented by a considerable amount of practical programming exercises that allow the students to gain practical experiences with programming, performance optimization and debugging parallel computer systems. To this end, the student will get access to the HPC clusters operated by the Paderborn Center for Parallel Computing (PC²).

The lecture and exercises will be partially based on the textbook Peter S. Pacheco, An introduction to Parallel Programming, Morgan Kaufmann publishers, 2011. The book is available online within the Paderborn University Network (use VPN for DFN-AAI for access from outside). The book also comprises a number of code excerpts from programs that illustrate the use of the parallel programming techniques introduced in the book. The source code for these examples is available here.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Introduction to parallel computing and parallel computing systems
  • Distributed memory programming with MPI
  • Shared memory programming with pThreads
  • Shared memory programming with OpenMP
  • Single node performance optimization
  • Applications

Additionally, we may cover more advanced topics, such as, load balancing, programming heterogeneous computing systems with OpenCL.

Exercises, programming exercises and bonus system

This course aims at teaching the foundations but also practicals skills in high-performance computing. Hence, the lecture will be complemented with theoretical exercises and programming exercises for all topics covered in the class.

The theoretical exercises will be discussed in the exercises session but the they will not be corrected and graded.

The programming exercises have to be submitted and will be graded. They can be solved in groups of two persons. A minimum of 50% of the points is required for being admitted to the exam. Additionally, you can earn a bonus of 1 grade step (0.3) if you achieve at least 70% of the points, and 2 grade steps (0.7) if you achieve at least 90% of the points.


The exam will cover all topics covered in the lecture (slides, classroom examples) and exercises. Due to the high number of participants it will be held as a written exam of 90 minutes.


Prof. Dr. Christian Plessl


Christian Plessl
+49 5251 60-5399
+49 5251 60-1714

Theoretical Exercises

Michael Laß


Michael Laß
+49 5251 60-1722
+49 5251 60-1714

Programming Exercises
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