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Fall 2014 Call for Proposals

NSF/TCPP CDER Center Early Adopter Awards for Fall-14 

NSF/IEEE-TCPP Curriculum Initiative on Parallel and Distributed Computing – Core Topics for Undergraduates


Call for Proposals

Submission Deadlines:

     Abstract Due - June 23, 2014

     Proposal Due - June 30, 2014

Notification: July 30, 2014


The penetration of parallel and distributed computing (PDC) technology into the daily lives of users via their wireless networks, smartphones, social networking sites, cloud, and more, has made it imperative to impart a broad-based skill set in PDC technology at various levels in the educational fabric. However, rapid advances in computing technology and services challenges educators’ abilities to know what to teach in any given semester. Other stakeholders in the push to cope with fast-changing PDC technology, including employers, face similar challenges in identifying basic expertise. The curricular guidelines developed by the NSF/TCPP working group seek to address this challenge in a manner that is flexible and broad, with allowance for variations in emphasis in response to different institutions and different curricular cultures.  Since the release of the preliminary version in 2010 and version I in 2012, we have selected over 100 early adopter institutions from the U.S. and from around the world in order to evaluate the guidelines and to obtain templates on how these topics can be adopted in various courses across the curriculum. The early adopters have been awarded stipends, equipment, and travel support through five rounds of competitions with support from NSF, Intel, and nVIDIA. A courseware site has been launched for contribution and search of relevant educational material, and a CDER book project is aiming to publish chapters and essays on PDC topics both for instructors and students in lower level core courses to address the lack of suitable textbooks. The recently released CS2013 ACM/IEEE Computer Science Curricula leverages off the NSF/TCPP curriculum and provides a direct hyperlink to it for reinforcing its PDC coverage.


Thanks to NSF funding for a Center for Parallel and Distributed Computing Curriculum Development and Educational Resources (CDER) and continued Intel funding, we will have a Fall-14 early adopter status competition.  As for Spring-11, Fall-11, Spring-12, Fall-12 and Fall-13 competitions, the early adopters may be (i) instructors of core courses in computer science (CS) and computer engineering (CE), such as CS1, CS2, Systems, and Data Structures and Algorithms, (ii) instructors of elective/advanced courses, such as those on parallel and distributed computing, cloud computing, networking, architecture, algorithm, programming language, software engineering, machine learning and databases, (iii) instructors of Computational Science courses and computational courses of STEM and other disciplines, as well as of general computing literacy and high school computing courses, and (iii) the department chairs and members of department curriculum committees, who are responsible for core CS/CE courses.  Current early adopters may also submit new proposals that are clearly distinct.


A department-wide multi-course multi-semester adoption effort in the lower level core courses is encouraged. Submit your proposal laying out plans for integrating and evaluating some of the proposed topics into your core/elective undergraduate CS/CE courses. Evaluation would be a key aspect - not just how well students learned, but evaluation of the pedagogy, integration, and curriculum aspects: how new topics get integrated with existing topics, how these get taught, appropriateness of topic, level of coverage, and learning outcome, issues related to omission and commission in the proposed curriculum, etc. 

About 25 proposals will be selected for early adopter awards and certificates by the curriculum committee – in the previous round we selected 25 out of 38 proposals. Cash awards/stipend to instructors will range between $1000 and $2500 per proposal. Proposals are especially encouraged from institutions in countries with emerging economies, including the BRIC and similar nations. The associated EduPar-15 workshop will be held in Hyderabad, India as part of IPDPS-15 in May 2015, for which selected early adopters will receive additional travel awards. A Linux cluster with heterogeneous multi and many-core chips will be available for early adopters and their students.

Resources: See sample proposals from previous rounds (Sample 1, Sample 2, Sample 3, Sample 4, Sample 5, Sample 6).  Also see the sample outcomes/deliverables, including updated course templates, syllabi, evaluations reports, etc., at the courseware site.

Submission Site:  Submit your proposal in pdf format with no more than 4 pages for a multi-course proposal and 2 pages for a single course proposal on the EasyChair system, beginning your abstract with the following classification information: 

o   Category of Proposal (core/elective, dept-wide, single/multiple course, single/multiple semester, US/international)

o   List of Courses Impacted

It is best to include specific sections in your proposal to address the following review criteria:

o   Quality of integration plan into existing courses

o   Quality/rigor of evaluation proposed

§  Statistical data on scores from pre-test, tests and quizzes tracked by PDC question/topic

§  Statistical data on student demographics

§  Timeline of evaluation reports (semester-wise/annually).

o   List of resources to be contributed to the CDER courseware website, such as course templates, syllabi, lecture notes/slides, assignments and tests, etc.

o   What is the potential of developing into a model course(s) or into a model template for adoption effort?

o   How will the proposed work help advance PDC Curriculum Initiative's agenda?

o   What is the potential for complementing the initiative with new ideas/collaboration?

o   Budget

The page limit does not apply to biographical sketches (2 page limit per person) and institutional support letters, if any, which may be scanned in and appended. 


Proposals that are unique but will complement the initiative with new ideas/collaboration are also welcome.


Coordinator: Sushil K. Prasad, Georgia State University (sprasad at   

Curriculum Working Group:


Prasad, Sushil K. (Coordinator; Georgia State University),

Chtchelkanova, Almadena (NSF),

Dehne, Frank (Carleton University, Canada),

Gouda, Mohamed (University of Texas, Austin, NSF),

Gupta, Anshul (IBM T.J. Watson Research Center),

Jaja, Joseph (University of Maryland),

Kant, Krishna (Temple University),

La Salle, Anita (NSF),

LeBlanc, Richard (Seattle University),

Lumsdaine, Andrew (Indiana University),

Padua, David (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign),

Parashar, Manish (Rutgers),

Prasanna, Viktor (University of Southern California),

Robert, Yves (INRIA, France),

Rosenberg, Arnold (Northeastern University),

Sahni, Sartaj (University of Florida),

Shirazi, Behrooz (Washington State University),

Sussman, Alan (University of Maryland),

Weems, Chip (University of Massachusetts), and

Wu, Jie (Temple University)