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Undergraduate Research Participation: Designing And Building A New Generation Beowulf Class Pc Cluster

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.679.1 - 5.679.8



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Paper Authors

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Zachary R. Kaufmann

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Nickolas S. Jovanovic

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Lance W. Laettner

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

Session 2532

Undergraduate Research Participation: Designing and Building a New Generation Beowulf-Class PC Cluster Nickolas S. Jovanovic, Zachary R. Kaufmann, Lance W. Laettner

University of Arkansas at Little Rock


Massively parallel processors (MPP) are the laboratories for computational science and engineering. It is important for computational scientists and engineers to have a local platform for developing, testing, and debugging MPP codes, so that computer time on large national- resource MPPs such as those at the national laboratories and NSF supercomputing centers can be secured and used wisely. Undergraduate computer engineering technology students are well prepared to design and build Beowulf-class PC clusters that can serve this purpose.

1. Introduction

Due to the continuing decreases in the prices of commodity off-the-shelf (COTS) computer hardware (PC-class processors and Fast and Gigabit Ethernet switches), and the development of free parallel computer systems software (Linux operating system and MPI software that allows processors to share data with each other via message passing), it has become possible to build a personal MPP for a relatively modest cost. An example is the Beowulf-class PC cluster1. A Beowulf-class PC cluster consists of one or more front-end workstations, one or more node workstations, and a switch that serves as the electrical interconnect for data transfer between nodes. Since COTS hardware is undergoing continuous, rapid improvement, almost every Beowulf-class cluster is unique in some way. One objective of our research was to design, build, and test a Beowulf-class PC cluster at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock using the most appropriate COTS hardware that was available at the time of funding. Undergraduate computer engineering technology students were involved in the project from preliminary design through commissioning. Our cluster will be used to support computational science and engineering research in radiation transport and computational fluid dynamics, as well as for undergraduate and graduate education.

Kaufmann, Z. R., & Jovanovic, N. S., & Laettner, L. W. (2000, June), Undergraduate Research Participation: Designing And Building A New Generation Beowulf Class Pc Cluster Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8790

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