15-745 Optimizing Compilers

Spring 2006

The Readings, and How to Lead an In-class Discussion

For most of the second half of the semester, we will have what amounts to a graduate reading seminar. Each week there will be several contemporary research papers (with perhaps a couple of "classic" papers here and there), with one student selected (in advance) to lead an in-class discussion. All students are required to read all papers, and ideally to do so on the assigned schedule.

There are several motivations for in-class discussions. The most basic reason is to expose you to the state-of-the-art in compiler optimization, including the most recent developments in both industry and academia. The basic hardware technology changes rapidly, which means the actual engineering tradeoffs and concepts also change, sometimes significantly. By reading some of the most important papers in various major research thrusts, you gain some ability to understand what are the long-lasting principles, and what are more transient. It might also happen that some of the ideas in these papers might give you some guidance on your projects in this course.

With these goals in mind, here are some tips on how to lead a successful discussion:

The Reading List

Gzip'd tar file of all papers (about 15MB)