CS 653 Fall 2012 Syllabus


Sanjay Rajopadhye
Office: 340 CS Building
Office Hours: By arrangement
Email: Sanjay.Rajopadhye@colostate.edu
Lecture Time and Place:
11:00-12:15, TR, CSB 425

In this course, we will read and review papers about parallel programming in the polyhedral model. We will learn how to read, evaluate and critique papers, analyze their contributions, and identify holes and open questions. Students will build these important research skills by writing paper reviews, presenting papers to the class, and writing and presenting a mini-research exam.

The initial part of the course will focus on a set of early and classic papers in the field that go all the way back to 1967, and that we will study in roughly chronological order.

Another major component of the course will be a research project related to the polyhedral model and the AlphaZ system. Students may either choose do an application project, or a system building project (more on this later) and it is possible to work with a partner. During the course we will cover how to write a research proposal, practice presenting intermediate research project results in writing and with a presentation, and writing a research paper.


  • Presentation of the Foundations papers, 20%
  • Weekly critical reviews of papers, 20%
  • Project, 30%
  • MiniResearch Exam, 20%
  • Homework, 10%
  • Participation, 5%

Paper Reviews

Each student will be responsible for writing one critical review of one of the papers covered each week. You need to turn in 5 reviews througout over the whole the semester. Keep in mind that there are only xx (numner to be specified later) weeks when you can turn in a review. The other weeks include the first week and the week we do mini-research exams. See the schedule posted on the progress web page. (I will also accept reviews the first two weeks of the semester). The reviews should be one to two pages and cover the following questions about the paper:
  • What problem did the paper address? Who is the audience?
  • Is it important/interesting? What was the context for the paper? Why should the audience care?
  • What is the approach used to solve the problem?
  • How does the paper support or otherwise justify the conclusions it reaches?
  • What problems are explicitly or implicitly left as future research questions?
  • How does the paper address the questions we are asking about programming models this semester?

You are expected to follow the guidelines put forth in the provided example review.

You can resubmit a review within 24 hours of the discussion about the paper, however your review grade will be based at least 50% on the initial review submitted.

Paper Presentations and the Mini Research Exam

Each student will be presenting and leading the discussion for one paper and presenting a mini research exam for a set of three papers. The presenter must schedule practice presentations with Michelle at least two days before any in-class presentation. Detailed guidelines for the paper presentation are posted at http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~cs653/presentation.php. Detailed guidelines for the mini-research exam are posted at (to be updated) http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~cs653/mini-research-exam.php.


Each student will do a semester-long project either individually or with a group. The project will consist of the following deliverables:
  • Proposed tool example with preliminary project proposal
  • Proposal and Tool example
  • Verbal status report (15 minutes)
  • Intermediate report
  • Final report and poster

Class Participation

Everyone must read each paper. While you are reading each paper, you should develop at least one question or point relevant for discussion of the paper in class. At the beginning of the course, everyone must also indicate some paper preferences.

Course Policies

  • Students are responsible for the announcements posted on the course website and any information sent to the class mailing list.
  • Students must read and be familiar with the CS Department Student Information Sheet available at http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~info/student-info.html.