15-829, Section K: Performance Engineering of Software Systems

Fall 2017, Mondays 3:30-5:20, GHC 5222
Blelloch, Gibbons, McGuffey
12 units

Synopsis: Project-based introduction to building efficient, high-performance and scalable software systems. Topics include performance analysis, algorithmic techniques for high performance, instruction-level optimizations, vectorization, cache and memory hierarchy optimization, and parallel programming.

About the course: This course was developed by Saman Amarasinghe and Charles Leiserson at MIT, and has been offered at MIT for many years. Several CMU PhD students expressed interest in the course, so we are offering it for the first time here at CMU, as a remotely taught course with an at-CMU recitation session. Students will watch the video tapes of the Fall 2017 lectures at MIT, and use course software packages hosted at MIT. Here at CMU, we will run our own recitation sessions, have a TA, and provide office hours. The CMU course will be graded independently of the MIT version.

Enrollment: In this first offering of the course, the class is capped at 10 students. Enrollment priority is (1) SCS/ECE PhD students, (2) SCS Masters students and senior undergrads who have taken 15-213, 18-213, 15-513, or 18-600, (3) other PhD students, with permission of instructor. Note that students in the latter two categories who enroll in the course may get "bumped" from the course by students with higher priority. No such bumping is permitted after September 12. Students on the waitlist are still eligible to be added to the course (should drops occur) until September 25.

Note from Profs. Blelloch and Gibbons: We are happy to facilitate the offering of this course here at CMU, because we believe the material is valuable for both algorithms and systems students. We should note, however, that we are each teaching very large undergraduate courses this semester, so we will have only minimal time to answer questions and help students learn the material. The TA, Charlie McGuffey, will run the recitation sessions and be available to answer your questions. The MIT instructors and TAs will provide support for the course software packages. Capping at 10:1 the student-to-TA ratio here at CMU should ensure sufficient help is available, for the self-directed student.

What's New?

  • 6 September 2017. In order to allow time for students to view the videos before recitation, we have moved the recitations to Mondays, 3:30-5:20. The class will start with the first recitation on Monday, September 11.
  • 23 August 2017. The class starts with the first recitation. We will use the first part of the recitation to cover details about how the CMU version of the class will be run, before proceeding with the first recitation. There is no need to watch any lectures before coming to the first recitation.

Course Materials

Syllabus and Schedule Coming soon. To get an idea, you can view MIT's Fall 2016 offering of the course at learning-modules.mit.edu/materials/index.html?uuid=/course/6/fa16/6.172#materials

Course Information

Lectures Video tapes of the MIT lectures will be posted within 24 hours of the lectures (i.e., by 4 pm Wednesdays and Fridays). Students are expected to watch the videos whenever convenient. It is highly recommended that prior to attending the recitation (on Mondays), students watch the two videos from the preceding week.
Recitations Mondays 3:30-5:20 pm, GHC 5222. Students should attend every recitation---they will not be video-taped.
Textbook There is no textbook for the class.
Credit 12 units. This is an elective course, not a CSD "star" course.
Grading Weekly Homeworks (10) account for 10%
Quizzes (2) account for 32%
Projects (4) account for 58%
Projects There are 4 projects, accounting for 10%, 12%, 12%, and 24% of the grade
Exams There are two quizzes, in class, closed book.
There is no final exam.
Home http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~15829
Course Directory /afs/cs/academic/class/15829-f17/


Name Guy Blelloch Phil Gibbons Charlie McGuffey (TA)
Contact guyb@cs.cmu.edu gibbons@cs.cmu.edu cmcguffe@cs.cmu.edu
Office GHC 9211 GHC 7221 GHC 9215
Office Hours TBA TBA TBA