Dr. Susan Rivoire- Introducing Undergraduates to Parallelism

As some of you may know, both I, the Intel Academic Community Manager, and Professor Tom Murphy, Intel Academic Blackbelt & Teach Parallel co-host, "moonlight" as leaders of the Educational Alliance for a Parallel Future (EAPF.org). The EAPF helps combine the voices and energy of industry, academic and research professionals promoting parallelism within the computer and computational sciences curricula and also provides resources for teaching and course creation.

At the recent SIGCSE 2011 in in Dallas, Texas, Tom and I donned our white EAPF lab coats to speak with Susan Rivoire, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Sonoma State University. Susan, who had just joined the EAPF, is one of the faculty members at her college taking the lead on bringing parallelism into Comp Sci courses. One way she chose to address this issue was through an undergraduate survey course that covered a number of different programming models. The course not only exposed to students to parallelism, it showed how they could directly affect performance through (relatively) simple parallel models and tools. You can learn more about the course through the paper "A Breadth-first Course in Multicore and Manycore Programming" she delivered at SIGCSE 2010.

One obstacle she faced was the lack of teaching resources, specifically her need for manycore platforms. Both the Intel Academic Community's Manycore Testing Lab for education and the EAPF's LittleFe Hardware Grants can help provide these kind of resources. The Intel microgrant awards for parallel content can also help provide funds for the creation of content for teaching parallelism.
Let us know how you plan on teaching and how we can help.

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