Dr. Richard Brown is the newest Black Belt for Academia

It is a pleasure to introduce our newest Intel® Black Belt for Academia, Dr. Richard (Dick) Brown of St. Olaf College. Dr. Brown has been an active member of the Intel® Software Network's Academic Community for 3 years.

Dr. Brown was one of the first members to take advantage of the Intel® Manycore Testing Lab. He shared his experience with the whole community in his blog, A First Look at the Intel Manycore Testing Lab. His feedback was instrumental in helping to validate the MTL usage model.

Dr. Brown recently commented on his path to parallel programming education; "A big turning point in the St. Olaf's parallel computing initiative came at the SIGCSE 2008 conference in Portland, when I heard vendor presentations by Intel (Michael Wrinn) and Google about the need for teaching undergraduates more about parallelism. Those talks sparked a chain of events, and literally launched my collaboration with Libby Shoop of Macalester College  for teaching more parallelism at both colleges. We looked at each other and said, ‘we've got to do something about this." They jointly won a NFS CCLI grant to work on models for incorporating parallelism into curriculums. "They are designed for maximum flexibility," continued Dr. Brown, "so a wide variety of institutions can use them to supplement various standard or locally developed courses."

Professor Brown has been a regular participant in the Academic Community booth at SIGCSE. Last year, his students demonstrated WebMapReduce using Hadoop before going to present to senators and members of congress about the need for teaching more parallelism at a competitive national undergraduate research event Washington DC in the spring of 2010.  

Professors Brown and Shoop led the international ITiCSE 2010 working group on Strategies for Preparing Computer Science Students for the Multicore World. The group comprised over a dozen leaders from academia, industry, and national research laboratories for a two-month electronic debate. Brown says "Then, at ITiCSE in June, we analyzed and compiled a 19-page report that presents recommendations on what to teach about parallelism, how to teach it, and how to form a supportive community for educators, towards a transition for teaching more parallelism in undergraduate CS curricula everywhere."

Professor Brown has recently become a member of the Educational Alliance for a Parallel Future (EAPF), a group of industry and academic leaders seeking to bring more parallelism into computer science education.

 This week, Dr. Brown will again be participating with a demonstration of the Manycore Testing Lab in the Academic Community's booth at SIGCSE 2010 in Dallas, Texas. If you are attending, please come by and congratulate Dr. Brown.

Here is a brief biography provided Dr. Richard Brown:
Dr. Dick Brown is a native of Spokane, WA. He was an undergraduate Washington State University, and earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1984). He took a few Computer Science (CS) courses while in college, but he didn't pursue the field in earnest until his first job at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where he began teaching CS courses and created Carleton's first "CS1" introductory course. He then spent a year and a half as a Visiting Scientist at Cornell University (1989-91), working in real-time reliable fault-tolerant distributed computing with Fred Schneider, and consulting on Ken Birman's Isis distributed system before returning to Northfield to teach CS at St. Olaf College. Dick was Director of Computer Science at St. Olaf from 1991 to 2009, and he designed, proposed, and largely implemented St. Olaf's CS major, which replaced the former Concentration program (essentially a minor) in 2002. Over the years, he has created or introduced ten CS courses at St. Olaf. He has directed undergraduate research students in CS each summer since 2003; he served on the national Executive Board of the Council on Undergraduate Research as Division Chair for Mathematics and Computer Science from 2004 to 2007. 

Dick and his wife Susan Dunhaupt have five young-adult children. He is a "dancing fool," was once a semi-professional musician (tuba), and takes a part in community theater once or twice a year.