Threads in an Undergraduate Course: A Java Example Illuminating Different Multithreading Approaches.




Multithreading is a fundamental approach to expressing parallelism in programs. Since Java is emerging as the de facto standard language for platform independent software development in higher education, there is need for teaching multithreading in the context of Java. We use a simple problem from scientific computing to explain two different multithreading approaches to second-year students. More precisely, a simple boundary value problem is considered, which makes visible the differences between native Java threads and the OpenMP interface. So, the students are able to appreciate the respective merits and drawbacks of a thread package that is integrated into the Java programming language and an approach combining compiler support with library calls.