Intro to Parallel Programming Promotion: Sponsored by NVIDIA and Amazon Web Services

ParallelProgrammingWe were really excited to launch our Intro to Parallel Programming course today! A big thanks to the instructors John Owens, David Luebke and Cheng-Han Lee who have dedicated their time to make this course a great learning experience!

In addition to announcing the course launch, we wanted to let you know that Amazon Web Services and NVIDIA are sponsoring two promotions that students in Intro to Parallel Programing should be really excited about.

Amazon Web Services is generously supporting students by providing up to 30 hours of credit for on-demand access access to GPU compute instances on Amazon EC2 to qualifying students. While not necessary to take the course, these instances will allow you to experiment further with parallel and distributed programming.  To take advantage of this, you simply have to:

  • Be one of the first 5,000 students to complete Unit 1, including the Unit 1 problem set
  • Be one of the first 1,000 students to complete all units and problem sets through Unit 7

This is only for a limited time — the promotion runs from February 4, 2013 – May 30, 2013 (or till the credit run out) and the credits will be valid for two years. Please refer to the promotion page and the terms for AWS for more details.  Those documents specify the conditions you must meet to be eligible (e.g., you must set up an AWS account with a credit card to claim your credit hours).

Additionally, NVIDIA is sponsoring four separate contests for opportunities to win a Kepler GPU. The winners of each contest will be selected based on performance on problem sets within the course.  Here’s a little more detail:


  • Who is eligible: Students who complete Units 1-2 by Feb. 18
  • Who Wins: Top 6 performers on Unit 2 Problem Set
  • Prizes: Kepler GPU (6 total, 1 per winner)



  • Who is eligible: Students who complete Units 1-4 by March 4
  • Who Wins: Top 8 performers on Unit 4 Problem Set
  • Prizes: Kepler GPU (8 total)



  • Who is eligible: Students who complete Units 1-6 by March 18
  • Who Wins: Top 10 performers on Unit 6  Problem Set
  • Prizes: Kepler GPU (10 total)


  • Who is eligible: Students who complete Units 1-7 by March 25
  • Who Wins: Top 12 performers on Unit 7 Problem Set
  • Prizes: Kepler GPU Card (12 total)

There are some restrictions, for example, you need to be at least 18 years old, you can only win once, and other terms and conditions apply — see the NVIDIA rules for Red, Green, Blue, Alpha and additional details. You can also refer to the promotion page for more details.

The main thing to remember is, these are really awesome opportunities that AWS and NVIDIA are providing, which will allow you to extend and practice what you’ll learn in Intro to Parallel Programing.  So enroll today if you haven’t already, start taking the class, and make sure you stick with it so you can make the most of these promotions (and learn lots in the process)! Class has started, what are you waiting for?

18 thoughts on “Intro to Parallel Programming Promotion: Sponsored by NVIDIA and Amazon Web Services

    • RE: "top performer": Students' performance will be graded based their program's execution time for the respective problem sets. The faster their program executes, the higher their "performance."For the AWS credits, you will be notified if you qualify.

  1. Quoting the rules for Nvidia contest:"""legal resident of the United States of America (excluding Puerto Rico and its other territories and possessions), Canada (excluding Quebec), the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Australia, Mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Hong Kong,

    • Limits like that are typically for legal reasons. It's probably just the list of countries that Nvidia's lawyers signed off on. If you live somewhere that Nvidia can't hold an arbitrary giveaway, or where Nvidia can't send a product without upholding its requirements for corporate giveaways as a US entity, or a nation under embargo, or where Nvidia's lawyers just plain can&#39

    • I can easily imagine that was the decision of some lawyer in their respective corporate department. I am just having a tough time believing NV layers would have much of an issue handling the red tape along sending a handful of engineering samples to destinations like half of EU, among other locations excluded from the list. Anyway, I am not interested in the prizes myself, I just thought it would

    • Yup! Anyhow, Unit 1 was great. While I was working through Pset1, all of the sudden it came to me that the prizes didnt matter that much.Experts on parallel computing are available to learn from for free, you get to try modern GPUs in the cloud, and you'll probably have to pay thousands to learn this in a university. For those still looking at this post, just dive into

  2. Why the heck there is a 18 years old barrier for every Udacity competition. This is really really unfair. IDK how law stops you giving out awards to under 18ers. Emphatically speaking, "really really unfair!".

    • We appreciate your feedback. However, in order to offer this promotion, our sponsors must adhere to specific laws that may restrict participation. Thanks for understanding.

    • If you qualify under the terms and conditions of the contest you will be automatically enrolled. Make sure you mark the dates and complete course material in the appropriate timeframe.

  3. I think you need to understand that NVIDIA, like Amazon, are just having a bit of fun, trying to make the course a little more exciting to participate in by giving away a few cool prizes. It's a way for them to say "this is our game, and we hope you'll join us". It's marketing.You can't expect them to go over the legalities and other commercial issues for

  4. I usually download the videos and do not view them online on Udacity website. Hence, my course completion bar is always near zero.But I do submit the course exercise.Am I still eligible for the contest?

    • Hi Blaze,Unfortunately we can't track your progress if you download and watch the videos offline on your computer.However, it is not too late to join the other contests if you start watching the videos and completing the quizzes + problem sets through Udacity's website! :)

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