How To Write Fast Numerical Code

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Overview

Abstract

This course introduces the student to the foundations and state-of-the-art techniques in developing high performance software for numerical functionality such as linear algebra and others. The focus is on optimizing for the memory hierarchy and for special instruction sets. Finally, the course will introduce the recent field of automatic performance tuning.

Objective

Software performance (i.e., runtime) arises through the interaction of algorithm, its implementation, and the microarchitecture the program is run on. The first goal of the course is to provide the student with an understanding of this interaction, and hence software performance, focusing on numerical or mathematical functionality. The second goal is to teach a general systematic strategy how to use this knowledge to write fast software for numerical problems. This strategy will be trained in a few homeworks and semester-long group projects.

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