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Crayowulf: A Multidisciplinary Capstone Project

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Capstone, Undergraduate Research, and Projects in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34342

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34342

Download Count

122

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Paper Authors

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Joel C. Adams Calvin University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1573-0263

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Joel Adams received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988, in the area of Distributed Systems. In 1989, he joined the faculty at Calvin University (then Calvin College) where he is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science. He has published numerous papers and authored several well-regarded textbooks. He is the primary architect of six Beowulf Clusters and is a PI on the NSF-funded CSinParallel.org project. He is a two-time Fulbright Scholar (Mauritius 1988-89, Iceland 2005) and an ACM Distinguished Educator.

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Noah Pirrotta Medallion Instrumentation Systems

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Noah Pirrotta Graduated from Calvin College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Concentration. He currently works as a mechanical engineer for Medallion Instrumentation Systems.

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Mark Michmerhuizen Calvin University

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Mark Michmerhuizen is an assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Calvin University, where he has taught since 2014. Prior to joining Calvin he spent 20+ years in automotive electronics. Prof. Michmerhuizen's interests are manufacturing and industrial automation.

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Philip Michael Holmes Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

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I graduated from Calvin University in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a mechanical engineering concentration and a physics minor. I am now pursuing a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and physiology at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. I expect to graduate in Spring 2023.

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Peter Oostema Carnegie Mellon University

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Peter graduated from Calvin College in 2018. He is now pursuing a PhD at CMU in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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Benjamin Kastner Churchill Navigation

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Benjamin Kastner graduated from Calvin College (now Calvin University) in May 2019. He works as a Software Engineer at Churchill Navigation.

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Abstract

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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