Parallel Computing in Undergraduate Education

by Libby Shoop, Associate Professor of Computer Science
Macalester College

Dick Brown at St. Olaf College and I started the CSInParallel project in an effort to find novel ways to introduce parallel computing topics into the computer science curriculum at all levels, including introductory courses, and make it easy for CS professors to do it.  Please visit the official CSInParallel site for information about the short, modular material that can be inserted into CS courses.  On this site I provide some additional details about how I have put these modules into practice in courses at Macalester College and how we have designed and developed them.

Philosophy

We want to make it easy to add parallel and distributed computing (PDC) concepts and practice into several courses in the undergraduate CS curriculum, at various levels, so that our graduates are prepared for the multicore and cloud computing world that is now in full swing.  To do this we have created short modules, taking no more than one week of class time and often less.  We know that the curriculum is already fairly full, so we wanted to find ways to sneak the concepts and hands-on practice into courses across our curriculum, with minimal disruption.

Acknowledgments

There have been quite a few wonderful undergraduate students from both Macalester and St. Olaf who have helped us create the module material over the initial 2.5 year period of this project.  They are:
Eric Biggers, Malcolm Kane, Devry Lin, Mitchell Wade, Maura Warner, Yu Zhao, Sophors Khut, Mary Scaramuzza, Tim Yates, and Pat Garrity.

This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. DUE-0941962 and 0942190. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.