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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Parallel programming by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

4.4
stars
1,806 ratings
279 reviews

About the Course

With every smartphone and computer now boasting multiple processors, the use of functional ideas to facilitate parallel programming is becoming increasingly widespread. In this course, you'll learn the fundamentals of parallel programming, from task parallelism to data parallelism. In particular, you'll see how many familiar ideas from functional programming map perfectly to to the data parallel paradigm. We'll start the nuts and bolts how to effectively parallelize familiar collections operations, and we'll build up to parallel collections, a production-ready data parallel collections library available in the Scala standard library. Throughout, we'll apply these concepts through several hands-on examples that analyze real-world data, such as popular algorithms like k-means clustering. Learning Outcomes. By the end of this course you will be able to: - reason about task and data parallel programs, - express common algorithms in a functional style and solve them in parallel, - competently microbenchmark parallel code, - write programs that effectively use parallel collections to achieve performance Recommended background: You should have at least one year programming experience. Proficiency with Java or C# is ideal, but experience with other languages such as C/C++, Python, Javascript or Ruby is also sufficient. You should have some familiarity using the command line. This course is intended to be taken after Functional Program Design in Scala: https://www.coursera.org/learn/progfun2....

Top reviews

AL
Apr 23, 2018

The course is fairly advanced and you would need to review the materials many times to understand the concept. The assignments are definitely fun and not as straightforward as other courses.

RC
Aug 24, 2017

Superb study material. Learnt a lot during this course. I am not much into mathematical stuff, but got a hang of how to break problems and improve efficiency through parallelism.

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126 - 150 of 267 Reviews for Parallel programming

By Yevgeny E

Jan 20, 2018

Great course.

By Mykola S

Jul 22, 2017

Great course!

By Kovalenko S

Jul 20, 2017

Классный курс

By Hulevskyi D

Jun 20, 2016

Great course!

By Laerti P

Apr 25, 2017

Great course

By Gao Y

Feb 14, 2017

Nice course!

By Владислав С

Nov 23, 2020

Cool course

By G. U M

Aug 24, 2019

best course

By DAVID J A

Feb 12, 2018

Brilliant!!

By Animesh K

Aug 9, 2017

Cool course

By Leonardo L e C

Jun 21, 2019

Very good!

By Sanjeev R

Aug 26, 2019

Excellent

By Bjornn B O F F

Jun 27, 2017

Awesome!

By IURII B

Aug 3, 2017

Thanks!

By Deleted A

May 28, 2016

Super!

By Kevin L

Dec 8, 2020

It is a good introduction to parallel programming with Scala as the language and some relevant scenarios in which the paradigm is useful. It would be nice to have some of the lecture materials updated to Scala 2.13 as there have been changes to Scala's parallel collection/package in the past couple years. I still benefited from having to troubleshoot and fix problems as I followed along with code samples from the lectures. The assignments are challenging but manageable. I actually find myself wanting less code pre-populated once I got comfortable with the syntax and material. I appreciate there are optional challenges for those who want to learn more, e.g. code optimizations, proofs of associativity and commutativity,

By Oleksandr I

May 21, 2017

Excellent course. Gives deep enough understanding of parallel programming. Used knowledge immediately to optimize my huge in-mem data structure to reach 50 ms (instead of 300 ms) response time. I'd suggest the following to improve: 1. I'd make "pass" score no less then 90 or even 95%. With 80 only it is possible to PASS having key mistake (e.g. on week4 I haven't created a new combiner, using old one, in combine() operation, and I still got 80 - PASSED) 2. tests in grader are hard to reproduce on local machine: it is not that obvious what's wrong, where to focus.

By Sriram K

Oct 31, 2016

Most of the concepts and explanations were good but the assignments could be better organized. I wasn't sure what I was doing for a while, and the test cases don't cover the code in a way that progresses naturally. Some parts of it can't be tested until most of the code is written, and then major portions of the code isn't even tested until it's submitted. It would be great if the tests progressed along with the code and people didn't have to guess at the correct solution but just knew it was right when they got it.

By Hristo I

Nov 1, 2016

The course is pretty hard, even for someone like me, who has been working in parallel computing for years. The reason is the structure of the course and the presentation of the material. The topics are somewhat chaotic and in many cases it is hard to tell whether a certain operator comes from the Scala standard library or is just an abstraction.

All in all, finishing the course is a rewarding experience. But beware, there is a significant gap between the foundation courses taught by Martin Odersky and this one.

By Daniel B

Oct 9, 2019

Good course with a lot of interesting ideas and explanations. The reason I gave it a 4 and not a 5 is that I think it would have been better without involving instructors' own library on top of Scala instead of teaching Scala-level constructs directly. While I appreciate the notion of teaching general parallel programming ideas, introducing one's own constructs to promote it seems unnecessary - at the very least, these constructs' implementation should have been thoroughly explained in the course.

By P G

Nov 1, 2017

This is a good course that has some really interesting assignments. The lectures are understandable and the topics are explained a bit nicer than a lot of theory in the other Scala courses from Martin Odersky, who conveys knowledge in a more "textbook" form. I am, however, taking one star out for the last assignment which was rather muddy in terms of explanation, long and not easy to debug due to it's size and parallel aspects. I felt way more positive about all other assignments on this course.

By Gabriele A

Oct 30, 2019

Really cool course. I'm enjoying scala as a language as it has many simple methods to achieve complex goals, including parallelization, however this course also presents parallelism in a rawer fashion explaining in depth some of the techniques to parallelize seemingly sequential-only tasks.

Last week's exercise is quite long, and albeit being a truly beautiful project, most of the implementation is not strictly related to parallel programming.

In any case a totally good course!

By Luciano P d S P

Sep 12, 2016

The course was well covered and very informative. As someone with zero experience in parallelism, I felt I could've absorbed a lot more if the topics were not completely new to me.

As mentioned in other reviews, the last assignment, Barnes Hut Simulation, was very time consuming and I found myself spending more time trying to understand the problem rather than implementing it. That was very challenging for someone with low academic background.

By Evaldas M

Oct 29, 2016

The course was ok, but at times too much theoretical when it comes to proofs of some methods are working as expected. I think its good to know the principles of parallelizing application and changing the potential algorithms, but this has applicability only in specific fields like comlex computations that need to be highly parallelized and less likely you would use these principles in standard backend development

By Brad H

Dec 3, 2017

There was some really nice material covered in this course. For me, this was the best one so far in the series. The instructors presented clear and understandable lectures. The week #4 programming task was a bit harder for me, but only because I kept forgetting to think simple and reflect on what had been covered in the course. Once I stepped away and came back everything fell into place.