Teaching PDC in the Time of COVID: Hands-on Materials for Remote Learning

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In response to shifts in the hardware foundations of computing, parallel and distributed computing (PDC) is now a key piece of the core CS curriculum. For CS educators, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting switch to remote-learning add new challenges to the tasks of helping learners understand abstract PDC concepts and equipping them with hands-on practical skills. This paper presents several novel teaching materials for teaching PDC remotely, including: (i) using a Runestone Interactive "virtual" handout to learn how to run OpenMP multithreaded programs on a Raspberry Pi, and (ii) using Google Colab and Jupyter notebooks to run mpi4py instances on remote systems and thus learn about MPI distributed multiprocessing. The authors piloted these strategies during a multi-day faculty development workshop on teaching PDC. Assessment data indicates that the materials greatly aided professional development and preparedness to teach PDC.
COVID-19, Handheld computers, Pandemics, Multicore processing, Conferences, Scalability, Education
J. C. Adams, R. Brown, S. J. Matthews and E. Shoop, "Teaching PDC in the Time of COVID: Hands-on Materials for Remote Learning," 2021 IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops (IPDPSW), Portland, OR, USA, 2021, pp. 342-349, doi: 10.1109/IPDPSW52791.2021.00061.