SC22 Proceedings

The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis

Workshops Archive

Challenges and Triumphs Teaching Distributed Computing Topics at a Small Liberal Arts College

Workshop: EduHPC-22: Workshop on Education for High Performance Computing

Authors: Nathaniel Kremer-Herman (Hanover College)

Abstract: Introducing undergraduate students to key concepts of distributed computing has become almost essential as the world continues to embrace cloud-based solutions to daily problems and as research continues to grow in scale requiring distributed resources. Although distributed computing is an important part of the computer science curriculum, it can be difficult to introduce at some institutions. We explore some key challenges associated with introducing distributed computing into the computer science curriculum at a small, liberal arts college. We focus on an initial failure introducing a specialized distributed computing course too soon and relay the successes and failures experienced over a one year span of incorporating key distributed computing concepts across multiple systems-level courses. We discuss lessons learned from our first foray into teaching distributed computing and provide recommendations for new adopters of distributed computing curriculum based on our experiences.

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