Topic outline

  • General


    This page is for the 2022 edition of the course, and if you are reading this, you are most likely in the wrong place. For the 2023 edition, please see!

    Welcome to Programming Parallel Computers

    Welcome to Programming Parallel Computers, spring 2022 edition! This is a practical hands-on course on algorithm engineering for modern parallel computers. You will learn how to design programs that make the best possible use of the computing power of multicore CPUs and GPUs.

    Watch the first lecture video (14 min) to hear more about what you will learn in this course!

    Course material and exercises

    All course material is freely available at, and all information related on our exercises and grading is posted at


    The course grading is solely based on the number of points you get in the exercises. See for details on the exercises, grading, and deadlines. There is no exam, and no compulsory participation in any other course activities. You can solve any exercises in any order, as long as you get enough points to pass the course (note the exercise-specific opening times and deadlines). However, following the “recommended path” is probably a good idea.

    Course arrangements

    Before the course starts, you are expected to:

    • Register for the course in Sisu as usual.
    • Join our Zulip workspace and follow the instructions there.
    • Create a user account at, select “Aalto 2022” course, find information on our prerequisite test, and try to solve it.

    Each week you are expected to:

    • Watch the lecture videos available at (for each week there are 3–4 short videos).
    • Take part in the weekly Q&A session (see below).
    • Read the relevant parts of the course material at
    • Solve at least the weekly recommended exercises at
    • Follow our Zulip discussion forum for further information and advice and take part in the discussions there (see below).
    • Take part in the exercise sessions if you need personal one-to-one assistance (see below).

    Communication channels

    For all communication we will use Zulip; please join our Zulip workspace at, using Aalto login.

    If you have got any questions related to the course, please feel free to ask using the public stream #questions in Zulip or, if all else fails and you cannot join the Zulip workspace, you can also contact the lecturer by email (

    Q&A sessions

    There are no traditional lectures. In the course schedule, we have reserved time for a lecture on Mondays at 10.15–11.45 (except in the first week due to Easter holidays on Wednesday at the same time), but we will use the time as follows:

    • 10.15–11.00: time for self-study with the pre-recorded lecture videos
    • 11.00–11.45: Q&A session

    While you watch the pre-recorded videos, please post in Zulip any questions and comments related to the material that you have (and if you see interesting questions posted there by others, add a thumbs-up reaction). We will then start the Q&A session by first discussing the top questions posted in Zulip, and then continue with free-form discussions.

    The Q&A session is organized on campus, in lecture hall AS2 (building: Maarintie 8). To make sure everyone can feel comfortable to participate in the discussions, the Q&A session is not recorded or streamed, but we will post a summary of the discussions in Zulip after the session for the benefit of those who cannot make it to the campus.

    You are free to use AS2 also as a self-study place at 10.15–11.00, but if you watch videos there, please use headphones to not disturb other students.

    Exercise sessions

    There are two exercise sessions each week, on Tuesdays at 12.15–13.45 and on Fridays at 16.15–17.45. The exercise sessions are organized on campus, in computer class rooms Maari A and B (building: Maarintalo, Sähkömiehentie 3).

    You are free to take part in 0, 1, or 2 exercise sessions each week. The exercise sessions are the only opportunity to get one-to-one assistance with your exercises.

    If you cannot take part in the exercise sessions, you can also always ask for help in our public Zulip streams.