UW AMath High Performance Scientific Computing
AMath 483/583 Class Notes
Spring Quarter, 2013

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Downloading and installing software for this class

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Computing Options [2014 version]

All of the software we will use this year is open source, so in principle you can install it all on your own computer. See Downloading and installing software for this class for some tips on doing so.

However, there are several reasons you might want to use a different computing environment for this class:

  • To avoid having to install many packages yourself,
  • To make sure you have the same computing environment as fellow students and the TAs,
  • To have access to a multi-core machine if your own computer is has a single processor, since much of the course material concerns parallel computing.
  • To work together during lab sessions.


This is the recommended computing platform and what we will mostly use during the T-Th lab sessions. SageMathCloud is a freely available cloud computing resource developed by the Sage Team, led by Prof. William Stein in the UW Mathematics Department. You can easily create an account at SageMathCloud.

You should create an account using your UW email address netid@uw.edu. This will make it easiest for us to add you as a collaborator on projects.

All of the software needed this quarter is installed on SageMathCloud.

Use of SageMathCloud will be demonstrated during the first Lab session on Tuesday April 1, 2014.

For some tips on using it, see Using SageMathCloud.

Virtual Machine

If you want to be able to compute on your own computer but don’t want to try installing all the necessary software packages individually, another option is to run a virtual machine using the VirtualBox software. See Virtual Machine for this class [2014 Edition] for more information.

Amazon Web Services

Another possibility for cloud computing is to use Amazon Web Services. An Amazon Machine Image (a virtual machine) has been created that has all the software needed for this class. For more detail on how to launch an instance running this AMI, see Amazon Web Services EC2 AMI [2014 version].