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Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will have:

  • knowledge of a variety of parallel architectures, such as bus-based, massively parallel, cluster, vector;
  • knowledge of a variety of parallel programming paradigms, synchronisation and parallelisation primitives, message passing, data parallel, tuple space;
  • understanding of concurrency, synchronicity and parallelism;
  • understanding of the design issues of parallel systems;
  • skills in designing, developing and debugging parallel programs using a variety of paradigms.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

    Assessment Summary

    Assignments: 100%

    Assessment Task Value Due Date
    Distributed Systems - Assignment 1 of 2 25% Mon 16/Aug, 12PM (week05)
    Distributed Systems - Programming Assignment 2 of 2 25% Mon 13/Sep, 12PM (week9)
    Parallel architectures Assignment 25% Fri 15/Oct, 12PM (week12)
    Parallel architectures class test (during the lecture) 25% Week 12 lecture slot

    Teaching Approach


    Our feedback to You

    Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:

    Your feedback to Us

    Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

    For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

    Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

    If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

    Unit Schedule

    Week Date* Activities Assessment
    0 12/07/10    
    1 19/07/10    
    2 26/07/10    
    3 02/08/10    
    4 09/08/10    
    5 16/08/10    
    6 23/08/10    
    7 30/08/10    
    8 06/09/10    
    9 13/09/10    
    10 20/09/10    
    Mid semester break
    11 04/10/10    
    12 11/10/10    

    *Please note that these dates may only apply to Australian campuses of Monash University. Off-shore students need to check the dates with their unit leader.

    Assessment Policy

    To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

    • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
    • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
    • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

    If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

    Assessment Tasks


    • Assessment task 1
      Distributed Systems - Assignment 1 of 2
      A theoretical assignment in the form of a research paper.
      Criteria for assessment:

      Demonstrate through your submission, the theoretical understanding of multi-process algorithms.

      Due date:
      Mon 16/Aug, 12PM (week05)
    • Assessment task 2
      Distributed Systems - Programming Assignment 2 of 2
      Write parallel programs using message passing.
      Criteria for assessment:

      Demonstrate through your submission, the practical skills in developing parallel distributed applications.

      Due date:
      Mon 13/Sep, 12PM (week9)
    • Assessment task 3
      Parallel architectures Assignment
      In this assignment you are asked to write a research paper on how high performance machines are applied to a range of different application areas. You should read sufficient material to give you some understanding of the outcomes for the area, and the underlying computational methods (for example, the numerical methods involved, or the computer science algorithms employed) and how it is solved using a high performance computer.
      Criteria for assessment:

      Each case study should contain the following sections:

      1. A description of the problem.

      2. The science or engineering outcomes of the application.

      3. How the problem is solved on parallel machines.

      Marks will be allocated, roughly equally, against the application areas listed in the assignment specification. Further marks will be allocated for the length of the paper (against the word limit) and the number of references.

      Students should see the assignment specification for more detailed description of the requirements.

      Due date:
      Fri 15/Oct, 12PM (week12)
    • Assessment task 4
      Parallel architectures class test (during the lecture)
      Students will be given a 60 minutes class test, based on the parallel architecture lecture notes, comprising several short questions.
      Criteria for assessment:

      Demonstration of knowledge (understanding) gained during the weekly lectures in parallel architectures.

      Due date:
      Week 12 lecture slot


    Assignment submission

    Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/
    You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

    Extensions and penalties

    Returning assignments


    Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University's academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash's Education Policies at:

    Key educational policies include:

    Student services

    The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis

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