Undergraduate Research Course: Extreme Scaling Programming

Research Computing is sponsoring an undergraduate research course, Extreme Scaling Programming, in Spring 2016. It is an online course offered by the Blue Waters Project funded by National Science Foundation (NSF).

The course introduces students to the features of extreme scale systems and the programming techniques to achieve high performance and efficiency in extreme computing environments. Through lectures, homework, and projects students will learn how to design and implement applications for extreme scale systems, including analyzing and understanding the performance of applications, diagnosing the causes of poor performance and scalability, and the impact of the choice of algorithm and programming system on performance. The course also covers multi- and many-core architectures, interconnects, and parallel I/O.

Course Components

There are two components to this course:

  1. Online courses: weekly lectures are offered at https://bw-course.ncsa.illinois.edu and include lecture videos, supporting materials, drop boxes for assignments, and online discussion forums. The instructor is Dr. William Gropp, the Director of the Parallel Computing Institute and Chief Scientist of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  2. Group discussions: students will have weekly group discussion supervised by the local UF instructor Ying Zhang, a member of the Research Computing staff. The tentative schedule for group discussions is every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (8th period) at NPB 2205 during the Spring semester.


The course is offered as UF Undergraduate Research Course EGN4912 at CISE. Interested students should review the syllabus. The student and his/her advisor should follow the instructions in the syllabus, collectively complete the forms, and submit them to their academic advisor. The students may take 0 to 3 credit hours for this course.

Computational Resources

All registered students will have two accounts. Instructions on the account set up will be available in the first week of the class.

  1. Local accounts on HiPerGator for initial small assignments
  2. Accounts on Blue Waters system for later assignments and projects