Practice Exam

Extreme Computing

Extreme Computing is about making the most of a computing cluster, be it processing huge data sets or serving high-volume websites. The course covers high-performance computing at several levels of the stack:
Big data problems, the memory hierarchy, latency requirements, performance considerations, and economics
Processing large amounts of data, sharding, streaming, query processing, and randomised algorithms
Distributed file systems, fault tolerance, replication, job scheduling, and MapReduce/Hadoop
We aim to make students aware of topics using large (> 1000 node) clusters, but not be tied to particular vendors whereever possible. If you want to understand how companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Skyscanner, Twitter, and Yahoo work, then this is the course for you.


Lectures are Mondays and Thursdays 17:10-18:00:
12 NovemberNone
16 NovemberNone
Mondays:David Hume Tower Lecture Hall C
Thursdays:Appleton Tower Lecture Theatre 5
Labs start week 3 in Forest Hill 1.B32.


Lecturer: Kenneth Heafield
Office: 4.21, Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street
E-mail: kheafiel at inf.ed
Phone: 502871

Demonstrator and Marker: Matt Pugh
E-mail: s1459650 at staffmail.ed

Demonstrator and Marker: Rafael Karampatsis
E-mail: R.M.Karampatsis at sms.ed

Marker: Nikolay Bogoychev
E-mail: n.bogoych at ed

The ITO can be contacted using a web form.


Students should have a computing or numerate background, but there is no need to know any particular programming language. Students should be familiar with Unix (Linux) and ssh.

The is a Level-11 course, normally taken in Year 4. It is open to all 4th year, MInf, and MSc students in Informatics.

Mailing List

Announcements regarding the course will be posted to the course mailing list. All students taking the course are automatically subscribed to this list. Previous postings can be accessed using the mailing list archive.

Home : Teaching : Courses 

Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 131 651 5661, Fax: +44 131 651 1426, E-mail:
Please contact our webadmin with any comments or corrections. Logging and Cookies
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all material is copyright © The University of Edinburgh