CS181 - Fall 2006
Problem Set 0

For this assignment you will explore a problem of your choice in high performance computing. You should submit your writeup by emailing me a pointer to a webpage by 2:45PM on Monday, September 4.

Keep in mind that this assignment is extremely open-ended. The primary goals are to let you look around at some of the topics in high performance computing, and to have you tell me what kinds of things you find interesting.


As discussed in the first class, high performance computing covers a very broad range of topics. For this assignment you should first find and explore a topic/research-area/application/etc (T/R/A/E) that you find interesting and that you feel falls into the general area of "high performance computing". Note that you should choose something at an appropriate level of detail for preparing a short writeup on a webpage. For example, doing this assignment with "parallel languages" or "new architectures" as the topic would be a bit much; something like "parallel functional languages" (as in NESL, not as in usable) or "design of the Cell architecture", would be more reasonable.

You should then prepare a web page that:

  • gives a high level overview of the T/R/A/E
  • either summarizes some of the work that has been done in the T/R/A/E, or gives more details about the T/R/A/E.
  • Make sure to provide context: What is the motivation for studying the problem (ie, who cares)? Who is/was working on it (industry, government lab, academia, ...)? When? Provide references where appropriate.

    Related information

    The following are some links that might be useful in finding a topic and/or references. Please don't feel constrained by what's listed here.
  • Conferences (some of the many) that are related to HPC:
  • Euro-Par
  • HPDC
  • ICS
  • PACT: page for the 2006 conference, has links to previous years.
  • PPOPP: page for the 2007 conference, has links to previous years.
  • SPAA
  • Supercomputing
  • Various research groups at various national labs, including, for example:
  • The Math and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Lab
  • The Computational Research Division at LBNL
  • The Computer Science Research Institute at Sandia
  • Supercomputer centers, such as:
  • NCSA
  • PSC
  • SDSC
  • TACC
  • Other potential sources of inspiration:
  • HPCwire