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A Planning Workshop on Curriculum Standards for Parallel and Distributed Computing, Washington DC, Feb 5-6, Hilton Arlington

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The rapid change in computing hardware platforms and devices, languages, and supporting programming environments accompanied by their diversity, and the research advances, more than ever challenges the educators what to teach in any given semester. Students and their employer face similar challenges on what constitutes basic (and advanced level) expertise. Currently, professors essentially teach what they are most comfortable with and use whatever computing platform is accessible. In an attempt to keep up with the latest one perhaps ends up ignoring more fundamental aspects. The authors of textbooks simply are not able to keep up, and no single book seems sufficient. Industry promotes whatever best suits their latest hardware/software platforms. The big picture is getting extremely difficult to capture. In short, the entire parallel processing community, facing this rapid churn in technology, is in urgent need of regular, periodic curricular guidance.

  1. Summary
  2. Statement of Objectives
  3. Statement of Need and List of Topics
  4. List of Topics
    1. Review of State of Parallel/Distributed Computing Education
      1. Need and Scope Assessment
      2. Stakeholders and how to engage them all
      3. Current curriculums
      4. Current Supporting infrastructure
        1. Model courses, book series, tutorials, student resources (IDE, debugging tools, software, hardware)
        2. Certifications for Industry Personnel
        3. Student Programming Competitions and other Forums
    2. Courses/Levels to be considered
      1. Undergraduate courses
        1. Introductory course(s) in parallel and distributed computing
        2. Related courses – OS, Architecture, Computational Math/Sciences, Networks, Software Engineering, Simulation, VLSI, introductory programming courses, etc.
        3. Other courses – Database, Graphics, AI, etc.
        4. Concentrations, minors
      2. Graduate courses
      3. Other levels/disciplines (AP Computer Science, IB CS; Computational Thinking across curriculum at k-12, other disciplines -arts, music, business, law, medicine)
    3. Annual workshop at IPDPS
    4. TCPP Standards Committee on Curriculum
      • Membership drawn from all stakeholders
      • Role, Activities
    5. Impact Assessment and Evaluation Plans


This material is based upon work partially supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants IIS 1143533, CCF 1135124, CCF 1048711 and CNS 0950432. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation