University of Pittsburgh

ACIE Award 2011

Cracking Personal Supercomputing

Sangyeun Cho

Computer Science
5407 Sennott Square

Watch the above video for an overview of Cho's project.

The design and programming of computer systems is undergoing dramatic changes as a new approach of incorporating many small microprocessors, all packaged in a single “multicore” chip, gains momentum. This era of personal supercomputing with single‐box parallel processing is considered an opportunity for computer scientists to make pivotal contributions to society. However, educators face a challenge of motivating and teaching students so that they can excel in the workforce by undertaking varied projects related to software development.   Timely, high‐quality education on key topics related to personal supercomputing is needed.

Sangyeun Cho, Computer Science, tackled this challenge with his ACIE project Cracking Personal Supercomputing by developing innovative lecture and laboratory activities that engage undergraduate students in learning the fundamentals of personal supercomputing technologies.

In developing his course, hardware and software components of the learning activities and assignments are planned to be taught within a context related to students’ daily lives (gaming, 3D graphics, mp3 music, and Blu-ray movies).  Computer lab machines are transformed into personal supercomputers with no new investment in hardware to maximize the effectiveness of the new materials, and with 50 graphic cards donated by NVIDIA Corporation.

NVIDIA graphic card.

Cho worked closely with undergraduate and graduate students during the summer to develop materials and gain insights into the best way to teach the new material for the pilot course to be taught in 2013.

Final Report

Teaching Times Article