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Implementing an Affordable High Performance Computing Platform for Teaching-Oriented Computer Science Curriculum

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovations in Computing Education

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.816.1 - 22.816.10



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Paper Authors


Jeongkyu Lee University of Bridgeport

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Jeongkyu Lee received a B.S. from Sungkyunkwan University in Mathematic Education and an M.S. from Sogang University in Computer Science, both of Seoul, Korea in 1996 and 2001, respectively. Before he pursued his doctorate, he worked as a database administrator for seven years with companies including IBM. In fall 2002, he entered the Doctoral program in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. After he received Ph.D. degree in summer 2006, he joined the Department of Computer Sciences and Engineering at University of Bridgeport, CT as an assistant professor. His primary research interest is in the multimedia database management. His work also includes techniques for multimedia data mining, video processing, multimedia ontology, and medical imaging. He is a member of IEEE, ACM, and ASEE.

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Omar Abuzaghleh University of Bridgeport

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Mr. Abuzaghleh is the Assistant Lab Manager in the School of Engineering at the University of Bridgeport. He has research interests in the areas of distributed database systems, data mining, and cloud computing.
Mr. Abuzaghleh received the B.Sc. degree in computer science and applications from Hashemite University in 2004, the MS Degree in computer science from university of Bridgeport in 2007. Mr. Abuzaghleh is currently pursuing his Ph.D. degree in computer science and engineering at university of Bridgeport.

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Implementing an Affordable High Performance Computing for Teaching-oriented Computer Science CurriculumAbstract:With the advance in computing resource power, High Performance Computing (HPC) hasan affect on not only scientific research in advanced organization, but also computerscience curriculum in educational community. For example, multi-core programming anddistributed and parallel system are highly desired courses in the computer scienceclassroom. However, the high cost of HPC equipments and maintenance makes difficult toadapt them into the conventional computer science curriculum. Specifically, teaching-oriented institutions cannot afford the HPC due to the high cost, lack of experience and lessresearch infrastructure of it.The main objective of this paper is to present an affordable and easy-to-use highperformance cluster system that can be used for the classroom in teaching-orientedcomputer science curriculum. In order to address this, we design and implement anaffordable high performance cluster system that is based on PlayStation 3®. PS3 is a well-known for game device. Since each PS3 console has IBM Cell BE processor that consistsof 8 SPEs (Synergistic Processing Elements) and 1 PPE (Power Processing Element), it canbe used as a processing node (i.e., 9 cores processor) in the cluster system. With six PS3console, one front node PC and gigabit Ethernet, we implemented PS3 Cluster as shown inFig. 1 and 2. The UB PS3 Cluster has the following hardware and software: • Hardware: 6 PS3 (IBM Cell CPU, 256mb memory, Gigabit NIC, 80gb HDD), Gigabit Ethernet switch, 1 front node PC • Software: Fedora Core 12 Linux (OS), Open MPI 1.4.2, Cell SDK 3.0, MySQL cluster, Eclipse (IDE)To evaluate the performance of PS3 Cluster, we conducted intensive computations, i.e.,addition and multiplication of arrays, with different number of SPEs. As a result, the PS3Cluster provides enough computing power as a HPC for CS courses, while the total cost isless than 10% of existing cluster system in market that has the similar performance. Inaddition, the implemented clustering system has been used for new and existing computerscience courses, such as CPSC 591: Parallel and Distributed Database, CPSC 590: Paralleland Distributed Processing, and CPSC 5XX: Parallel Programming. Fig. 3 shows theoverview of installed MySQL cluster database used in the Parallel and Distributed Databasecourse. Fig. 1 Overview of PS3 Cluster with 6 PlayStation 3® Fig. 2 Pictures for implemented PS3 ClusterFig. 3 MySQL Cluster (DDBMS) – Sample application of PS3 Cluster:

Lee, J., & Abuzaghleh, O. (2011, June), Implementing an Affordable High Performance Computing Platform for Teaching-Oriented Computer Science Curriculum Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18097

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