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Parallel and High Performance Computing

(ehem. "Parallel Computing: Grundlagen und Anwendungen")

Vorlesung mit Übung im Wintersemester 2021/22
Prof. Dr. D. Kranzlmüller, Dr. K. Fürlinger

This course will be held in English!

Welcome to the course webpage for Parallel and High Performance Computing for winter-term 2021/22 at LMU Munich. Here you will find details on the lecture and the accompanying practical lab exercises.


  • Oct. 7, 2021: The course will be held online, without in-person meetings. See Important Notes below.
  • July 6, 2021: Webpage is online and course registration is enabled on Uni2Work.


Parallel computing is concerned with using multiple compute units to solve a problem faster or with higher accuracy. Historically, the main application area for parallel machines is found in engineering and scientific computing, where high performance computing (HPC) systems today employ tens- or even hundreds of thousand compute cores.

The application area for parallel computing has, however, expanded recently to essentially include all areas of information technology. Virtually all servers, desktop, and notebook systems, and even smartphones and tables are today equipped with CPUs that contain multiple compute cores. In each case, the potential for these systems can only be fully realized by explicit parallel programming. As such understanding the benefits, challenges, and limits of parallel computing is increasingly becoming a "must have" qualification for IT professionals.

This course addresses the increasing importance of parallel and high performance computing and is covering three interwoven areas: Parallel hardware architectures, parallel algorithm design, and parallel programming. The successful student will be able to identify potentials for parallel computing in various application areas, judge the suitability of contemporary hardware architectures for a parallel computing problem and understand efficient implementation strategies using modern parallel programming approaches.

The lecture is partially based on material that has been developed at UC Berkeley and which has been funded by the US National Science Foundation. The course slides will be made available for download by the date of the lecture and will be in English.


The course is intended for both bachelor and master students of computer science and related fields. More formally, in German: Die Vorlesung richtet sich an Studenten der Informatik bzw. Medieninformatik (Diplom) nach dem Vordiplom sowie an Studenten der Informatik, Bioinformatik bzw. Medieninformatik (Bachelor, Master) im Rahmen der vertiefenden Themen der Informatik. Für Vorlesung und Übung werden 6 ECTS-Punkte vergeben.

Important Notes

Notes regarding lecture and lab in WS21/22: Due to the large number of students already registered for the course and continued interest, in combination with the limited seating space in the assigned rooms for lecture and lab exercises, we have decided to switch to an online mode for the coming semester. Here is the plan:
  • The lecture material will be provided in the form of pre-recorded videos (slides+audio), made available on a weekly basis via LMUcast for download and streaming.
  • The lab exercises will be held using weekly synchronous (live) Zoom meetings. These meetings will not be recorded.
  • There will be additional Q&A / feedback sessions for the material presented in the lecture, held every few weeks throughout the semester as synchronous (live) Zoom meetings. Those sessions will be scheduled during the time originally planned for the lecture: Fridays starting at around 2pm. These meetings will not be recorded.
  • The exam will take place as a regular in-person exam.

Lab Exercises

The lecture is accompanied by a lab exercises to deepen the understanding of topics covered in the lecture. High performance computing systems hosted at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center will be made available to the students. Worksheets for the lab exercises will be made available on Uni2Work.


Lecture slides will be made available chapter-by-chapter through this webpage.

Further Reading

Paul E. McKenney (Ed.): Is Parallel Programming Hard, And, If So, What Can You Do About It?(online) (link)
Ananth Grama et al.:Introduction to Parallel Computing (2nd Ed.) (link)
David Culler and Jaswinder Pal Singh: Parallel Computer Architecture, A Hardware / Software Approach (link)
John Hennessy and David Patterson: Computer Architecture a Quantitative Approach (5th Ed.) (link)
Georg Hager and Gerhard Wellein: Introduction to High Performance Computing for Scientists and Engineers (link)
Barbara Chapman et al.: Using OpenMP (link)
Ruud van der Pas, Eric Stotzer and Christian Terboven Using OpenMP - The next Step (link)
William Gropp, Ewing Lusk, Anthony Skjellum: Using MPI (link)
William Gropp, Torsten Hoefler, Ewing Lusk: Using Advanced MPI (link)


Please register for the course on Uni2Work.


Via email and/or after the lecture and lab exercises.