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Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing Special Issue on Keeping up with Technology: Teaching Parallel, Distributed and High-Performance Computing

Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing 
Special Issue on Keeping up with Technology: Teaching Parallel, Distributed and High-Performance Computing

Sushil Prasad, University of Texas, San Antonio,
Sheikh Ghafoor, Tennessee Tech University,
Erik Saule, University of North Carolina, Charlotte,
Cynthia Phillips, Sandia National Laboratory,
Martina Barnas, Indiana University,
Rizos Sakellariou, University of Manchester,
Noemi Rodriguez, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro,
Felix Wolf, Technical University of Darmstadt,


This special issue is devoted to progress in one of the most important challenges facing education pertinent to computing technologies. The work published here is of relevance to those who teach computing at all levels, with greatest implications for undergraduate education. 

High Performance Computing (HPC) and, in general, Parallel and Distributed Computing (PDC) has become pervasive, from supercomputers and server farms containing multicore CPUs and GPUs, to individual PCs, laptops, and mobile devices. Even casual users of computers now depend on parallel processing. Therefore, it is important for every computing professional (and especially every programmer) to understand how parallelism and distributed computing affect problem-solving. It is essential for educators to impart a range of PDC and HPC knowledge and skills at multiple levels within the educational fabric woven by Computer Science (CS), Computer Engineering (CE), and related computational curricula including data science. Industry, research laboratories, and government agencies need people with these skills, and, as a result, they are finding that they must now engage in extensive on-the-job training. Nevertheless, rapid changes in hardware platforms, languages, and programming environments increasingly challenge educators to decide what to teach and how to teach it, in order to prepare students for careers that are increasingly likely to involve PDC and HPC

 In recognition of the importance of the issue coupled with its challenges, in 2012 the IEEE Technical Committee on Parallel Processing (TCPP) released its Curriculum on Parallel and Distributed Computing for undergraduates following a preliminary version in 2010. The curriculum includes a list of core topics on parallelism for undergraduate studies.  In 2011, to facilitate sharing of findings and experiences and fostering the community, the EduPar workshop series was established at TCPP’s flagship IPDPS conference. Inaugurated in 2013, the EduHPC workshop series at SC conference, with greater emphasis on HPC, followed the success of EduPar. Reflecting the truly global nature of the community, in 2015 the workshops were expanded with the first Euro-EduPar, with an European orientation, at the EuroPar conference.  In 2018 the Edu* series of workshops were further extended to Asia with EduHiPC in conjunction with HiPC conference. In summary, there are now four workshops per year devoted to PDC and HPC Education. These workshops are very successful, which indicates community’s interest in Parallel and Distributed Computing, in accordance with the necessity of initiating today's students to a technology they will work with in their professional life.

This special issue seeks high quality contributions in the fields of PDC and HPC education.  Submissions should be on the topics of Euro-EduPar 2017, EduHPC 2017, EduPar 2018, Euro-EduPar 2018, Euro-EduPar 2019, EduHPC 2018, EduHiPC 2018, EduPar 2019 workshops, but the submission is open to all. Submissions extending the regular and keynote presentations in these three workshops are particularly encouraged, with the expectation of at least 30% new material beyond
the content presented at the workshops.  This is an opportunity for these authors, whose contributions were already found valuable to the advancement of computing education, to provide an update on their ongoing work and bring their contributions to the much broader audience of a prestigious archival journal. Submissions will be reviewed by the program committee members of the aforementioned workshops.  


The topics are compilations of topics from EduPar, Euro-EduPar, EduHPC and EduHiPC:

  • Curriculum design and models for incorporating PDC and HPC topics in core CS/CE curriculum
  • Experience with incorporating PDC and HPC topics into core CS/CE courses
  • Experience with incorporating PDC and HPC topics in the context of other applications learning
  • Pedagogical issues in incorporating PDC and HPC in undergraduate and graduate education, especially in core courses
  • Novel ways of teaching PDC and HPC topics, including informal learning environments Pedagogical tools, programming environments, infrastructures, languages and projects for PDC and HPC
  • Education resources based on higher level programming languages such as PGAS, X10, Chapel, Haskell, Python and Cilk, and emerging environments such as CUDA, OpenCL, OpenACC, and Hadoop 
  • Parallel and distributed models of programming/computation suitable for teaching, learning and workforce development
  • e-Learning, e-Laboratory, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), Small Private Online Courses (SPOC)
  • PDC and HPC experiences at non-university levels; secondary school, postgraduate, industry, diffusion of PDC and HPC
  • Employers’ experiences with and expectation of the level of PDC and HPC proficiency among new graduates
  • Parallel and distributed models of programming/computation suitable for teaching, learning and workforce development

Letter of intent (title and author list due to Guest Editors): August 15, 2020 (optional)
Submission of papers to the journal due: September 15, 2020 October 30, 2020
First round review results: December 24, 2020
Revised papers due for submission: January 24, 2021
Second round review results: February 28, 2021
Final version of accepted papers:  March 31, 2021
Publication: Summer 2021

All manuscripts submission and review will be handled by Elsevier Editorial System  All papers should be prepared according to JPDC Guide for Authors.  Manuscripts should be no longer than 40 double-spaced pages, not including the title page, abstract, or references.  It is important that authors select VSI: Edu*-2019 when they reach the “Article Type” step in the submission process.

For further questions or inquiries, please contact the Guest Editors.

Link to Elsevier Page: