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Center for Parallel and Distributed Computing Curriculum Development and Educational Resources PDC Curriculum Early Adopter Grant and Summer Training Program

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Center for Parallel and Distributed Computing Curriculum Development and Educational Resources PDC Curriculum Early Adopter Grant and Summer Training Program

The CDER Center is pleased to announce a new program to help faculty incorporate Parallel and Distributed Computing (PDC) into courses for students in their first two years of undergraduate study.


$5000 grant to each of 20 participants
Participants attend a one-week training workshop (August 5-9, 2019, at University of Maryland)
Training includes PDC content, and educational evaluation methodology
Funding for up to 10 additional people to attend the training workshop (no grant or obligations)
Focus this year will be on Data Structures, Algorithms, and Systems courses
Participants implement PDC course enhancements or new course(s) in academic year 2019-2020
Participants write and submit a paper describing their course experiment and evaluation
Additional support may be available for attending EduPar or EduHPC to present work
Application Deadline: April 1, 2019
Notification: April 15, 2019

Program Overview:

The $5000 grant is meant to be used in support of curriculum development, and in part to cover travel expenses to the training workshop (airfare, housing, dinners, incidentals). Breakfast and lunch will be provided as part of the workshop each day. There is no fee for the workshop itself.

Training will be a combination of learning to use PDC tools, learning how to design and instrument an experimental course for meaningful evaluation, and pedagogical approaches for engaging a diverse set of students in PDC studies 

The expectation is that grant recipients will develop experimental versions of course enhancements, or a new course or courses, to be offered in the academic year following the training. Participants commit to preparing a paper that reports the results of their efforts, based on application of the evaluation methodologies covered in the training, and submitting it for publication. The grant is also intended to help support travel to present the paper. If papers are accepted for publication in either of the EduPar or EduHPC workshops, we may be able to offer travel subsidies to partially offset the cost of conference attendance. Any courseware that is developed will be contributed to the CDER exemplars public repository so that others may benefit from these course development efforts.

Grant Restrictions:

US citizens may receive the grant as a stipend, and will be sent a 1099 miscellaneous income form at the end of the year. Non-citizens may only be reimbursed for actual expenses by submitting receipts to UMass. Reimbursable expenditures would include travel costs for attending the training workshop, equipment, software licensing fees, supplies, guests speaker cost, etc., in support of the course development, and travel costs associated with presenting research results at a conference. Non-citizens may not use the grant money as supplemental income. We regret that we are not able, under NSF rules for disbursement of participant support costs, to route the grant through the participant’s institution. At this time, we also have support for a small number of international participants. Prior recipients may apply for a new project, but priority will be given to those who have not previously received a course development grant.

Application Process:

To apply, submit a brief proposal to the CDER Center using Easy Chair. The proposal should include:

  • Applicant’s name
  • Academic position 
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Description of institution (e.g., 4-year college, 2000 students, 100 CS majors, 8 CS faculty) 

For each course that will be enhanced with new PDC content:

  • Course number and title
  • Year(s) in which it is taken (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior)
  • Required or elective
  • Semester or quarter length (weeks)
  • Number of credits
  • Frequency of offering (number of terms offered per year)
  • Single or multiple sections (if multiple, indicate whether you teach some or all)
  • Taken by majors only, open to limited other majors, general service course
  • Typical enrollment number
  • If an elective for majors, indicate the fraction of a graduating class who take the course
  • Indication that changes are allowed (e.g., approved by curriculum committee)
  • Attach an existing course syllabus
  • List the topics from the PDC curriculum you hope to introduce as a result of the enhancement

For each entirely new course that will be created to offer PDC content:

  • Course number and title
  • Term it will first be offered
  • Student years that it will be open to (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior)
  • Will it become a requirement or is it planned to remain an elective?
  • Semester or quarter length (weeks)
  • Number of credits
  • Planned frequency of offering (number of terms per year, or one-time offering)
  • Open to majors only, open to limited other majors, general service course
  • Planned enrollment size 
  • Indication of feasibility of offering course (e.g., “Curriculum committee is OK with trying this next Spring.”)
  • Attach a preliminary syllabus (or a copy of a course proposal form)
  • List the topics from the PDC curriculum you hope to cover in the course.
  • Indicate whether you are applying for the grant, or only for workshop attendance support.
  • Provide a brief (few sentences) description of your background in parallel and distributed computing, if any, and what you hope to learn from attending the training. Briefly tell us about your motivation for adding PDC content to your course curriculum. 

Apply through EasyChair using CDER PDC Curriculum New Early Adopter Grant Program 2019:

Also see for updates.