22c196 Parallel and Distributed Programming: Forms and Limits (2012)

Time, Location, Instructor, Prerequisites, Textbooks

Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-1:45 room 112 MacLean Hall

Professor: Ted Herman, 201M MacLean Hall, Telephone: 335-2833, Email: ted-herman AT uiowa.edu (replace AT by "@" and remove spaces), Office Hours: 11:00-12:00 Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Course Web Site: http://weblog.cs.uiowa.edu/22c196s12

Teaching Assistant: none

Course Prerequisites: Students have completed a "systems course" or the equivalent (operating systems, networks, or similar). Some programming experience is a prerequisite for experimental projects. Basic familiarity with the tools of algorithm analysis (order-of-n complexity) will be needed to understand technical readings.

Textbooks: There is no textbook. Readings from online sources will be assigned during the semester.

General Information

Final Examination: new this semester, we do not know the time or date of the final (if there is to be a final). This will be known in about five or six weeks after the course starts.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

This course will have two parts: (1) a system or programming part relevant to cluster and large distributed systems which typically have problems of parallel computing and fault tolerance; and (2) a more theoretic part, covering some of the known limits with architectures, algorithms and protocols for such systems. For part (1) the material will start with traditional forms and patterns of parallel computing; then we look at some trends in cloud computing, such as MapReduce, Hadoop, and so on. Here, students may be able to do some programmming on a small cluster of machines. Then in part (2) we review some of the challenges of fault tolerance using distributed systems that support cloud-like goals of consistent, replicated data. Some of the most interesting results are limits or impossibility proofs.

Effort Level

This is a three-credit course. Official university policy is to expect about one hour of work, outside of class, for each credit unit. Thus a typical expected workload would be about six hours per week outside of class.

Grading Procedures and Policy

Grades will be assigned on the basis of scores, taken over these categories: completion of some projects and assignments [50%], and examinations [50%]. More information about exams will be posted on the course web site.

Attendance, Tardiness, Late Policy

Students are expected to attend class unless there is a valid reason for not attending. There may be significant late penalty (up to 50%) for late work.

Additional Resources

We'll use many online resources.

Miscellaneous Announcements: The University of Iowa Policies

Attendance, Tardiness, Late Policy

Students are expected to attend classes, and there is no guarantee that lecture notes or summaries of what happened in class will be published (though usually there will be a brief note about each class on the course web page).

Cheating and Plagiarism

Grades in courses are supposed to be an evaluation of your mastery of the course material. Any method of getting a grade that evades this evaluation is cheating. Copying answers, getting programming solutions from the Internet or other students in the class are ways of cheating, technically called plagiarism. Cheating is a significant problem in computer science ("cheating computer science" turned up over 25,000 hits on a web search), but the definition of cheating is not so simple in software. The consequences and procedures for suspected cheating are described below, under the College of Liberal Arts policies.

Additional Resources

Most of the additional resources are online or in libraries. They will be announced on the course web page. You are expected to have an account on the department's computer cluster (an account will be given to you if you do not already have an account).

Miscellaneous Announcements: The University of Iowa Policies

This course is given by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). This means that course policies on matters such as requirements, grading, and sanctions for academic dishonesty are governed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students wishing to add or drop this course after the official deadline must receive the approval of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Details of the University policy of cross enrollments may be found at: Cross Enrollments Document.

See the student academic handbook for administrative procedures, your rights and responsibilities, and other topics. The official classroom procedures for faculty includes policies on cheating and plagiarism, students with disabilities, and other topics. In particular, we are required to state the following: I would like to hear from anyone who has a disability which may require seating modifications or testing accommodations or accommodations of other class requirements, so that appropriate arrangements may be made. Please contact me during my office hours. More information is found below.

Also, we are required to specify the following information. The name of the department, location of the departmental office, and information on how to contact the Department Chair (DEO) or his/her designee: Department of Computer Science, 14 MacLean Hall, Professor Alberto Segre, DEO

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Policies and Procedures

Administrative Home of the Course

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the administrative home of this course and governs such academic matters as the add/drop deadlines, the second-grade-only option, issues concerning academic fraud or academic probation, and how credits are applied for various graduation requirements. Different colleges may have different policies. Students with questions about these or other CLAS policies should speak with an academic advisor or with the staff in 120 Schaeffer Hall. Also see the CLAS Academic Handbook.

Academic Fraud

Plagiarism and any other activities that result in a student presenting work that is not his or her own are academic fraud. Academic fraud is reported to the departmental DEO and then to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Services in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who deals with academic fraud according to these guidelines: Code of Academic Honesty. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences expects all students to do their own work, as stated in the CLAS Code of Academic Honesty. Instructors fail any assignment that shows evidence of plagiarism or other forms of cheating, also reporting the student's name to the College. A student reported to the College for cheating is placed on disciplinary probation; a student reported twice is suspended or expelled.

Making a Suggestion or a Complaint

Students have the right to make suggestions or complaints and should first visit with the instructor, then with the course supervisor if appropriate, and next with the departmental DEO. All complaints must be made within six months of the incident. See Student Rights.

Accommodations for Disabilities

A student seeking academic accommodations should first register with Student Disability Services and then meet with a SDS counselor who determines eligibility for services. A student approved for accommodations should meet privately with the course instructor to arrange particular accommodations. See Student Disability Services Website and complete the SAAR form with appropriate information.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. See University Policies on Sexual Harassment.

Reacting Safely to Severe Weather

If severe weather is indicated by the UI outdoor warning system, class members will seek shelter in the innermost part of the building, if possible at the lowest level, staying clear of windows and of free-standing expanses which might prove unstable. The class will resume after the severe weather has ended. Some severe weather may result in classes being cancelled as noted in the University Operations Manual.

College of Liberal Arts Resources

There are several other programs and resources available to you.

Student Classroom Behavior

The ability to learn is lessened when students engage in inappropriate classroom behavior, distracting others; such behaviors are a violation of the Code of Student Life. When disruptive activity occurs, a University instructor has the authority to determine classroom seating patterns and to request that a student exit immediately for the remainder of the period. One-day suspensions are reported to appropriate departmental, collegiate, and Student Services personnel (Office of the Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Students). Please control your phones. Texting during quizzes and exams is prohibited, of course.

University Examination Policies

Missed exam policy. University policy requires that students be permitted to make up examinations missed because of illness, mandatory religious obligations, certain University activities, or unavoidable circumstances. Excused absence forms are available at the Registrar web site: Registrar Forms.

Recently, the Student Health Services changed the policy on class excuses, please read here: Student Health Forms and Reports.

Final Examinations

An undergraduate student who has two final examinations scheduled for the same period or more than three examinations scheduled for the same day may file a request for a change of schedule before the published deadline at the Registrar's Service Center, 17 Calvin Hall, 8-4:30 M-F, (384-4300).

Electronic Communication

University policy specifies that students are responsible for all official correspondences sent to their standard University of Iowa e-mail address (@uiowa.edu). Students should check their account frequently. (See Operations Manual on technology use.) In case of any official grading or other official information, I will not be able to email to destinations outside of @uiowa.edu.

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