CS21 Lab1: Parallel or Distributed System Report and Presentation

Due: wiki Friday Jan 29, in-class presentation: Wed or Fri Jan 27, 29
For this assignment, you and your partner will investigate a particular parallel or distributed system and prepare a wiki page describing your system and a 12 minute presentation that you will give to the class either Wednesday or Friday of week 2 of class. The partner and system assignments (and some links to starting points for investigation are listed on the CS87/lab1 wiki page).

You must prepare slides for your presentation (about 5-7 slides for a 12 minute talk). Plan for no more than 10 minutes of presentation and 2 minutes for questions. I suggest using powerpoint to create the slides. You could also use latex or open office. At the bottom of this page is some information about software you can use to create slides, and about preparing for an oral presentation.

You must give a practice talk to another group prior to your in-class presentation, and you must give written feeback to at least one other groups practice talk.

The Wiki Page
For this assignment, you will use the CS87 wiki to which you will add a wiki page for your system (follow the link off the lab1 link to find a starting point for your system's wiki page). Your wiki page should contain the following three sections:
  1. An title of your system, your names, and a short paragraph summary of your system
  2. Presentation slides and feeback
    1. uploaded presentation slides (use .ppt or .pdf format)
      Use the "add images and other files" button (the one that looks like a monitor) to do this
      See details below as to what should be in your slides
    2. practice talk feedback page.
  3. An annoted list of Reference materials. A list of all the reference materials that you used, each with a ~2 sentence explaination of how useful it was. You do not need to list materials that you looked at but did not use or that you did not find helpful.
Off of the CS87 wiki lab1 link is a link to a sample page that shows an example of all three sections.
Details of the presentation
For your system, you should address each of the items listed below. For some systems, certain ones of these will take more time than for others. For example, for some systems the details of the architecture may be the most interesting, for others, it may be how the system is used. Part of your job is to determine what are the most important things to focus on.
  1. Definition of the system (e.g. what does multi-core mean)
  2. Architecture overview. For this part you can grab figures from other sites (just be sure to list a citation of from where you grabbed a figure if you do this)
  3. How are processors/nodes interconnected?
  4. What things are shared? what are private?
  5. Is there a specific programming model for this system? explain. Are there some programming models that are not supported by this system? explain.
  6. Is the system designed/optimized for a specific type of use? or is it designed for a specific type of program workload? explain.
  7. How scalable is the system? explain.

Practice Talk and feedback

You should give a practice talk to at least one other group prior to your in-class presentation. In addition, you should be the audience to another group's practice talk and you should give them feedback on your talk. Part of your grade on this assignment is your feedback to another group. On your project wiki, you should add a page for practice talk feedback. There should be a heading each person giving you feedback (set this up prior to your talk so that people can type in feedback simultaneously). When you give feedback you should divide it into two sections:
  1. Things to improve
  2. Things that went well
Neither section should be empty. Your feedback should include presentation style, slide content, and presentation content. And, be sure to be as specific as possible in your comments to help the speakers improve their presentation.

As you give your practice talk, do not stop and make changes as you go. It should be a timed dry run of your in-class presentation (10 minutes of presentation and 2 minutes for questions). You should have talked through your slides at least once prior to your practice talk. After your practice talk, you can discuss with your reviewers your talk and their suggestions.