Parallel programming in computational science: an introductory practical training course for computer science undergraduates at Aachen University.




Parallel programming of high-performance computers has emerged as a key technology for the numerical solution of large-scale problems arising in computational science and engineering (CSE). The authors believe that principles and techniques of parallel programming are among the essential ingredients of any CSE as well as computer science curriculum. Today, opinions on the role and importance of parallel programming are diverse. Rather than seeing it as a marginal beneficial skill optionally taught at the graduate level, we understand parallel programming as crucial basic skill that should be taught as an integral part of the undergraduate computer science curriculum. A practical training course developed for computer science undergraduates at Aachen University is described. Its goal is to introduce young computer science students to different parallel programming paradigms for shared and distributed memory computers as well as to give a first exposition to the field of computational science by simple, yet carefully chosen sample problems.