Clay Breshears comments on a recent announcement that Purdue is set to begin studying when to introduced parallel programming for undergraduates:
With a three-year grant from the NSF, the project will study how and when to introduce parallel programming concepts and work as early as possible within a student’s course of study. It is anticipated that the results of this study will serve as a template for improving computer science curricula colleges and universities across the country.
The Purdue project is based on “concurrency,” or teaching how to design software and hardware to run many applications at the same time to complete a single job.
“That’s really the challenge with the multicore revolution,” [Vijay Pai, project lead] said. “Multicore is great in terms of providing high amounts of peak performance because of the fact that you have a lot of different computational engines working on a goal. However, the problem is breaking your goal up in such a way that each of those computational engines can be working independently of one another.”