Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Electrical and Computer
Senior capstone projects provide an excellent means of having students apply and integrate many of the topics they have learned over the course of their undergraduate education. In this paper, we describe a two-semester (10-month) senior capstone project in which a multidisciplinary group—one computer science student, one electrical engineering student, and two mechanical engineering students—worked as a team to implement an innovative Beowulf cluster design. The cluster commemorates the Cray-1 supercomputer, with a small hexagonal aluminum case enclosing a distributed multiprocessor consisting of five Nvidia Jetson TX2 single board computers (providing a total of 1,310 cores and 40GB of RAM), connected with Gigabit Ethernet, a 120 GB SSD shared storage system, and a custom liquid active-cooling system, all for just over $2000 (USD). Each student had a primary role: the computer scientist was responsible for all operating system, network, and software installation / configuration; the electrical engineer was responsible for the electrical power and lighting subsystems; one mechanical engineer was responsible for designing and building the aluminum case; the other mechanical engineer was responsible for designing and building the liquid-cooling subsystem. While each student had their own primary responsibility, completing the project forced the students to collectively work across disciplinary boundaries and learn from one another. In completing the project, they applied their own disciplinary knowledge, plus gained new knowledge of and appreciation for the other disciplines. These synergistic activities resulted in a final product far superior to what any single-disciplinary team would have produced, and assessment of the project has been extremely positive. This paper describes our experience and provides the technical details needed to reproduce this or a similar project elsewhere. Through this report, we hope that others may also experience the positive outcomes and excitement of a successful multidisciplinary senior capstone project.
Adams, J. C., & Pirrotta, N., & Michmerhuizen, M., & Holmes, P. M., & Oostema, P., & Kastner, B. (2020, June), Crayowulf: A Multidisciplinary Capstone Project Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34342
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