There is a rather large body of sad experience to indicate that a concurrent
program can withstand very careful scrutiny without revealing its errors.
This is a graduate seminar in concurrent programming.
--- Susan Owicki and Leslie Lamport
Proving Liveness Properties of Concurrent Programs
ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, July 1982
The prerequisites for this graduate seminar are CS 520 and a working knowledge
of Java. The seminar covers the concurrency parts of Java; you should already
be familiar with Java's sequential parts. There will be programming; you
should have a good knowledge of programming, data structures, and algorithms.
The seminar is divided into six two-week sections. See the syllabus for details.
The seminar meets in Howard Hall B-1 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 p.m.
to 6:15 p.m. There will be class on Thursday, 3 July. The last day to
withdraw is Wednesday, 23 July.
This seminar is an introduction to intra-process concurrent programming with an
emphasis on concepts and methods. At the end of the seminar you should know
- what intra-process concurrency is, why it's valuable, and why it's hard
- some methods for safely and reliably thinking about and organizing
computations to exploit inter-process concurrency;
- how to implement concurrent computations in Java.
R. Clayton, Howard B-13, email@example.com, 732 263 5522. My
office hours for CS 598 are from 3:00 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in
my office. I'm also usually happy to talk to you any time you can catch me;
setting up an appointment is recommended, see
my schedule for available times.
There will be six programming assignments, one assignment for each of the six
sections; see the syllabus for the schedule.
Each programming assignment will be made available on the syllabus at the start of
the associated section. Programming assignments are due two weeks from the day
the assignment is issued. My version of the programming assignment will be
made available on the syllabus after all the assignments have been received.
The final grade is a straight average of programming assignment grades; each
programming assignment grade contributes one-sixth of your final grade.
The usual grade ranges are in effect:
All grades are kept with one digit of precision to the right of the decimal
point and 0.05 rounded up. No grades are adjusted to a curve; that means, for
example, that 89.9 is always a B+, never an A-.
There are two textbooks for this seminar, both required.
|90 ||<=||A-||< 95|
|83.3||<=||B ||< 86.6|
|80 ||<=||B-||< 83.3|
|73.3||<=||C ||< 76.6|
|70 ||<=||C-||< 73.3|
|F ||< 70|
Foundations of Multithreaded, Parallel, and Distributed Programming
by Greg Andrews Addison Wesley,
2000. An errata is available off Andrew's
web page for the book.
Concurrent Programming in Java: Design Principles and Patterns, second
edition, by Doug Lea; Addison Wesley, 1999.
An errata is available off
Lea's web page for the book.
You should feel free to send me e-mail. Unless I warn you beforehand, I'll
usually respond within a couple of hours during the usual work days; if I don't
respond within a day, resend the message.
Mail relevant to the seminar will be stored in a
archive. If your message is of general interest to the seminar, I'll store it,
suitably stripped of identification and along with my answer, in the archive.
If you're reading this on paper, you can find the home page at
make the notes and assignments available off the syllabus; you should get in the
habit of checking the home page and syllabus regularly.
People who need assistance or accommodations above and beyond what is usually
provided in class should contact the University's ADA/504 coordinator to get
those needs met. See me or the
Disability Services page
for more details.
I have no class attendance policy; you may attend class or not as you see fit.
However, I hold you responsible for knowing everything that goes on in class;
"I wasn't in class for that." is not an acceptable excuse for a wrong
answer, or for giving no answer at all.
My attendance policy applies only to lecture attendance; it does not apply to
other kinds of attendance which may be required for the course. Repeated
failures to meet the attendance expectations set for tests, meetings, projects,
labs or other forms of course work will have a bad influence on your grade.
I deal with suspected cheating by failing first and asking questions later.
Although cheating has many forms, I generally consider cheating to be any
attempt to claim someone else's work as your own; also, I consider both the
provider and the user of the work guilty of cheating. See the chapters on
Academic Information and the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook
for more details.
I recognize and encourage a student's sacred right to complain about their
grade. There are, however, a few rules under which such complaining should
take place, and those students who don't follow the rules will be less
successful in their complaints than those students who do follow the rules.
First, the only complaint that matters is that something got marked wrong when
it was actually right. When you come to complain, be prepared to present, in
explicit detail, what it is you did and why you think it's right.
Second, complaints about a particular test or assignment are only valid until
the next test or assignment is due; after that point the book is permanently
closed on all previous test or assignment grades.
Assignments must be turned in by their due date; assignments turned in after
their due date are late. You should contact me as soon as possible if you need
to negotiate a due-date extension. The longer you wait to negotiate, the less
likely it is you'll be successful; in particular, you have almost no chance of
getting an extension if you try for one the day before the due date, and you
have no chance of getting an extention on the due date.
A late assignment is penalized five points a day for each day it's late. I use
a 24-hour clock running from midnight to midnight to measure days; note this
means that an assignment handed in the day after it's due is penalized ten
points: five for the day it was due and five for the next day.
Last year's version of this course.
Sun's Java Language Specification and their
Java Platform API
Specification for version 1.2, which is what we're running on cslab.
Java Virtual Machine is also important for successful concurrent programming
because it defines, among other things, Java's thread scheduling policy and
memory model (such as it
This page last modified on 30 June 2003.