Module: A Theory of Parallel Computation


This module of reading and in-class instruction introduces students to a theoretical model of concurrent computation introduced by Robin Milner around 1990. This module is a work-in-progress; however we wanted to share it with you because it is interesting to note that there is a short topic on parallel/concurrent computation that can be introduced in in a theory of computation course.

Curricular Use

This is a module intended for a one- to two-day segment in a course on theory of computation, including classroom presentation/activity and homework.


The background reading, in-class lecture material, and homework exercises are contained in this single Parallel Theory of Computation module document that we have created (pdf version (Acrobat (PDF) 403kB Mar3 12)). We typically assign part of it as initial reading, asking students to submit questions about it before class. Then we provide further details in class and assign some of the problems for homework.

We also recommend this paper by Robin Milner entitled "The Polyadic pi-Calculus: a Tutorial" as background reading for instructors. The Milner reading might also be used with advanced students.

Your Tasks

Please browse through the first document above to get a flavor for the material and how you can present it in a lecture.