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Advancing Science Through Education In High Performance Computing

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.168.1 - 8.168.7



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Paper Authors

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Alan Tackett

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Greg Walker

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1532

Advancing science through education in high performance computing

Greg Walker and Alan Tackett Department of Mechanical Engineering Physics & Astronomy Department Vanderbilt University


High-performance computing (HPC) platforms are becoming increasingly accessible to scientists and engineers due the remarkable decrease in commodity hardware costs. The promise of HPC allows engineers to perform more detailed analysis of complex systems in shorter times. Ultimately, design cycle times can be reduced and reliability can be increased by utilizing new HPC facilities. However, barriers to effective use of existing and emerging HPC technologies remain. In fact, few researchers and engineers possess the knowledge to benefit from the current computing capabilities. In response to this unheralded demand, a pilot course for exposing engineering students to new technologies and capabilities in the computing world has been developed. As a result, not only have student participants become HPC savvy, but also the research community as a whole has expressed intense interest in the continuation and expansion of the initial project. This surge in interest is derived from the fact that student participants have been able to solve problems that were previously not considered because of their computational requirements. In other words, science has been advanced because of this single class offering.


Until recently, high-performance computing was the exclusive purview of highly special- ized research programs with large government grants.1 Further, the applications deemed worthy of such large-scale facilities and resources were usually defense related. As a re- sult, a cloud of mystery has surrounded scientific communities involved in development and implementation of both hardware and software devoted to solving computationally intense problems. Because of the tremendous expense of building and operating high-performance computing facilities, resources were scarce, and many researchers did not have the luxury of being able to consider scaling up their own projects.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright c 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Tackett, A., & Walker, G. (2003, June), Advancing Science Through Education In High Performance Computing Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11985

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