Coursera: Parallel Programming in Java

 with  Vivek Sarkar
This course teaches learners (industry professionals and students) the fundamental concepts of parallel programming in the context of Java 8. Parallel programming enables developers to use multicore computers to make their applications run faster by using multiple processors at the same time. By the end of this course, you will learn how to use popular parallel Java frameworks (such as ForkJoin, Stream, and Phaser) to write parallel programs for a wide range of multicore platforms including servers, desktops, or mobile devices, while also learning about their theoretical foundations including computation graphs, ideal parallelism, parallel speedup, Amdahl's Law, data races, and determinism.

Why take this course?

• All computers are multicore computers, so it is important for you to learn how to extend your knowledge of sequential Java programming to multicore parallelism.
• Java 7 and Java 8 have introduced new frameworks for parallelism (ForkJoin, Stream) that have significantly changed the paradigms for parallel programming since the early days of Java.
• Each of the four modules in the course includes an assigned mini-project that will provide you with the necessary hands-on experience to use the concepts learned in the course on your own, after the course ends.
• During the course, you will have online access to the instructor and the mentors to get individualized answers to your questions posted on forums.

The desired learning outcomes of this course are as follows:

• Theory of parallelism: computation graphs, work, span, ideal parallelism, parallel speedup, Amdahl's Law, data races, and determinism
• Task parallelism using Java’s ForkJoin framework
• Functional parallelism using Java’s Future and Stream frameworks
• Loop-level parallelism with extensions for barriers and iteration grouping (chunking)
• Dataflow parallelism using the Phaser framework and data-driven tasks

Mastery of these concepts will enable you to immediately apply them in the context of multicore Java programs, and will also provide the foundation for mastering other parallel programming systems that you may encounter in the future (e.g., C++11, OpenMP, .Net Task Parallel Library).


Welcome to the Course!
Welcome to Parallel Programming in Java! This course is designed as a three-part series and covers a theme or body of knowledge through various video lectures, demonstrations, and coding projects.

Task Parallelism
In this module, we will learn the fundamentals of task parallelism. Tasks are the most basic unit of parallel programming. An increasing number of programming languages (including Java and C++) are moving from older thread-based approaches to more modern task-based approaches for parallel programming. We will learn about task creation, task termination, and the “computation graph” theoretical model for understanding various properties of task-parallel programs. These properties include work, span, ideal parallelism, parallel speedup, and Amdahl’s Law. We will also learn popular Java APIs for task parallelism, most notably the Fork/Join framework.

Functional Parallelism
Welcome to Module 2! In this module, we will learn about approaches to parallelism that have been inspired by functional programming. Advocates of parallel functional programming have argued for decades that functional parallelism can eliminate many hard-to-detect bugs that can occur with imperative parallelism. We will learn about futures, memoization, and streams, as well as data races, a notorious class of bugs that can be avoided with functional parallelism. We will also learn Java APIs for functional parallelism, including the Fork/Join framework and the Stream API’s.

Talking to Two Sigma: Using it in the Field
Join Professor Vivek Sarkar as he talks with Two Sigma Managing Director, Jim Ward, and Software Engineers, Margaret Kelley and Jake Kornblau, at their downtown Houston, Texas office about the importance of parallel programming.

Loop Parallelism
Welcome to Module 3, and congratulations on reaching the midpoint of this course! It is well known that many applications spend a majority of their execution time in loops, so there is a strong motivation to learn how loops can be sped up through the use of parallelism, which is the focus of this module. We will start by learning how parallel counted-for loops can be conveniently expressed using forall and stream APIs in Java, and how these APIs can be used to parallelize a simple matrix multiplication program. We will also learn about the barrier construct for parallel loops, and illustrate its use with a simple iterative averaging program example. Finally, we will learn the importance of grouping/chunking parallel iterations to reduce overhead.

Data flow Synchronization and Pipelining
Welcome to the last module of the course! In this module, we will wrap up our introduction to parallel programming by learning how data flow principles can be used to increase the amount of parallelism in a program. We will learn how Java’s Phaser API can be used to implement “fuzzy” barriers, and also “point-to-point” synchronizations as an optimization of regular barriers by revisiting the iterative averaging example. Finally, we will also learn how pipeline parallelism and data flow models can be expressed using Java APIs.

Continue Your Journey with the Specialization "Parallel, Concurrent, and Distributed Programming in Java"
The next two videos will showcase the importance of learning about Concurrent Programming and Distributed Programming in Java. Professor Vivek Sarkar will speak with industry professionals at Two Sigma about how the topics of our other two courses are utilized in the field.

0 Student
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Upcoming
Subject Programming
Institution Rice University
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Hours 4-8 hours a week
Calendar 4 weeks long
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