Computer Sciences Dept.

CS 758 Advanced Topics in Computer Architecture

Programming Current and Future Multicore Processors

Fall 2009 Section 1
Instructor David A. Wood and T. A. Matthew D. Allen
URL: http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~david/courses/cs758/Fall2009/


Weight: 40%


  • Proposal: Hardcopy in instructor's mailbox by 12:00 Noon Mon Nov 5th (or before) You should discuss the project concept with the instructor beforehand and will meet with him later that week to refine the proposal.
  • Final Talks: Dec 18th, times TBA.
  • Project Report: Hardcopy in instructor's mailbox, 8:59 AM Thu Dec 21

The project will have you do original research in parallel computing (hardware, software, theory, or combination). You should work in groups of two. With my permission, project groups of three or one are permissible. You will be graded on how well you define your problem, survey previous work, design and conduct experiments, and present your results. The goal to shoot for a conference paper, like the ones in your reader. Since time is limited, however, the above goal is hard to reach, and I will reward those that aim high even if they do not completely succeed. The key is insuring that some aspects of your work are completely done; it is very hard to grade a project where nothing really works.

Meet with Me

Your group should talk with me prior to your proposal to flush out ideas. There will also be project meetings with me the weeks of Nov 5th and Dec 3rd.


Proposals should be about two pages long. They should include:

  • A description of your topic,
  • A statement of why you think the topic is interesting or important,
  • A description of the methods you will use to evaluate your ideas, and
  • References to at least three relevant papers you have already read and a plan to address other related work..

I will meet with all groups to discuss your proposal.

Preliminary Project Talks

Groups will present a 15-minute-ish talk using up to SEVEN slides:

  1. Title slide
  2. Problem the project addresses & why it is important
  3. Methods & how you break down the problem is facilitate progress
  4. Preliminary results (1-2 slides)
  5. Future plans (1-2 slides)

Please, practice your talk to make it better and see how long it is. Have a plan for what slides to skip if you get behind. Please see Oral Presentation Advice, including David Patterson's How to Give a Bad Talk and K. Compton and M.L.Chang's Terrible Presentations (...and how to not give one).

Final Talks

We will schedule presentations during finals week for 25-minute conference-style talks. These talks will be open to all faculty and students. All group members should deliver part of the talk. The talk should give highlights of the final report, including the problem, motivation, results, conclusions, and possible future work. Time limits will be enforced.

Project Report

Reports should consist of an abstract, body and optional appendices, much like a conference paper. The paper should be 10-12 pages, two-column with 10 pt font, not counting appendices. The abstract should summarize the contributions of the report in one or two paragraphs. Additional supporting material of any length can be put in appendices. I will read the body and only skim appendices. See your reader for examples.


You are encouraged to come up with your own project topic, so long as it involves programming a current or future generation multi-core machine. Ideally, the topic will be related to your current research interests.

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