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Shodor and NCSI workshop on Intermediate Parallel Programming for Educators, July 14-20, 2013

The National Computational Science Institute (NCSI), Shodor, with LA-SiGMA, LSU's Center for Computation & Technology, and High Performance Computing at LSU, will be hosting the Intermediate Parallel Programming for Educators Workshop, July 14-20, 2013, at Louisiana State University, in Baton Rouge, LA.

The NCSI parallel and distributed workshops have been presented to CS (Computer Science) and other faculty for over a decade. They are intensive hands on experiences to help CS teachers prepare CS students to design algorithms and programs to run on the now ubiquitous parallel computers that have found their ways even into our cell phones. The workshops are equally attended by non-CS faculty who are extending their discipline knowledge with a knowledge and experience in parallel computing to enable them a computational science perspective on their work. In this millennium, scientific advances are achieved through detailed mathematical models requiring the scientist to ensure the correct problem is being solved, the mathematician to ensure the correct mathematics is being used, and the computer scientist to ensure the model runs sufficiently well on the available advanced computational hardware.

This workshop allows participants to work on the three major forms of hardware parallelism: shared memory, such as that found in a laptop or cell phone; distributed memory, such as that found a cluster made of several distinct computers; and GPGU hardware (general purpose graphical processing unit), such as that found on high end graphics boards or specialized GPU computers. To do this participants will use software paradigms and libraries suited to each form of hardware. OpenMP (open Multi Processor) is used with shared memory programming. MPI (Message Passing Interface) is used with distributed memory programming. CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) is used with the nVidia GPUs.

Workshop instructors are:

Mobeen Ludin, Shodor
Mohammad Mobeen Ludin is a graduate of Earlham College in Richmond, IN with a BA in Computer Science and Business Non-Profit Management. He is currently working as System Administrator and High Performance Computing Mentor at Shodor Education Foundation, Inc. Mobeen’s research involves the area of high performance and parallel computing, swarm robotics, neuroscience, and intelligent robot systems. Mobeen has been an assistant instructor for NCSI workshops in parallel computing and cluster computing since 2011. He is also one of the main developers for the Bootable Cluster CD (BCCD) Linux based operating system and LittleFe cluster computer.

Thomas Murphy, Contra Costa College
Thomas Murphy is a professor of Computer Science at Contra Costa College (CCC). He is chair of the CCC Computer Science program and is director of the CCC High Performance Computing Center, which has supported both the Linux cluster administration program and the computational science education program. Thomas has worked with the National Computational Science Institute (NCSI) since 2002. He is a member of the NCSI Parallel and Distributed Working group, which presents several three to seven day workshops each year, helps coordinate the SC07-11 Education Program, and helps develop the Bootable Cluster CD software platform, the LittleFe hardware platform, and the CSERD (Computational Science Education Reference Desk) curricular platform. He is a founding member of the Educational Alliance for a Parallel Future and is co-host of the biweekly “Teach Parallel” interview broadcast. Current interests include exploration of the metaverse for teaching and training, developing cameraless classroom video podcasts, inexpensive electronic white boards, and carryon attaché clusters.

Aaron Weeden, Shodor
Aaron Weeden is a parallel computing mentor and programming mentor at the Shodor Education Foundation in Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, in 2010 with a B.A. in Computer Science. His research interest is the intersections of computer science, computational science, and education. His first workshop as an assistant instructor took place at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, in 2009. He has also previously served as a NCSI instructor for workshops in parallel programming, cluster computing, and computational thinking with a parallel perspective.

Workshop assistants are:

Michial Green, Contra Costa College
Michial Green is a computer science student at Contra Costa College (CCC). He is the creator and president of the CCC Parallel Programming Club, which consists of students who taught themselves parallelism with OpenMP and MPI using the LittleFe cluster. Michial and his club facilitated a two part workshop at the 2013 Richard Tapia conference that introduced participants to parallel programming using MPI. He worked as an NCSI assistant instructor in 2012, where he taught OpenMP during the Introduction to Parallel Programming and Cluster Computing workshop at the University of Oklahoma. He has been very active with Intel's Code for Good initiative, where during numerous hackathons he has made educational games using HTML5, JavaScript, and the Unity3D game engine. He has also acted as a student mentor during the 2013 Intel Ultimate Engineering Experience in Sacramento, where he taught new coders how to use HTML5 and JavaScript, and helped the participants by giving programming advice and direction. He has made YouTube programming tutorial videos under the handle, ContraCostaParallel. He is currently working on a YouTube video series called "Over The Hump", which is designed to give new students all the information they need to be adequately prepared for college coursework, with introductions to many of the software tools they will encounter.

Alexis Liu, UC-Berkeley
Yirong (Alexis) Liu is an undergraduate studying Computer Science and Statistics at University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Before transferring to UCB, she studied at Contra Costa College, where she founded two clubs. First, the Computational Math Club, it explores computationally intensive problems and attempts to create efficient algorithms for solving them. Second, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Laptops, a club dedicated to supporting women majoring in computer science. She started facilitating at a 2013 Richard Tapia Conference Parallel Programming workshop, where participants were introduced to parallelism by solving for the area under the curve using MPI and LittleFe. Later, she helped assemble and test LittleFe mini-clusters at the LittleFe Buildout at SIGCSE. At the same conference, she participated in an Intel Code for Good hackathon where she made Mathius 3D, a space shooter game helping middle school students learn algebra, using C# and the Unity game engine. She recently got back from Intel Ultimate Engineering Experience in both Arizona and Sacramento, where she aided students in creating web applications and games using HTML5, CSS and Javascript. Her current project is Search for Goldilocks, a 3D galaxy exploring science game about finding habitable exoplanets.

Where: 338 Johnston Hall, Center for Computation & Technology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA:
Directions to campus: Click here.

Software, hardware, and background needed: Participants are expected to know basic linux, but they can be brought up to speed by taking the online courses "Intro to HPC", "Remote Access with SSH", and "Survival Skills with the BASH Shell" at

Registration: Registration is required and is currently closed.

Parking: Persons utilizing a vehicle will need a LSU parking permit (Monday-Friday; no permits are needed Saturday and Sunday). You can get a visitor permit at the Visitor Center between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The visitor center is located on the corner of Dalrymple Drive and Highland Road.
West Stadium Lot is the closest to the CCT with a .4 mi or so walk. You can find more about parking at the LSU Parking and Transportation website:

Lodging: Lodging arranges have already been made. Participants will be staying at the Staybridge Suites - University at Southgate, 4001 Nicholson Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808. Front Desk: (225) 456-5430. Check In: 3:00 PM; Check Out: 12:00 PM.
Staybridge Suites provides our free breakfast and Internet.
From the hotel to the CCT it is about a mile walk. Here is a map showing a walking path:

LSU Bus (LSU Tiger Trails): Picks up visitors in front of Staybridge Suites free of charge (near road: Nicholson Road), includes a bus stop right in front of Johnston Hall. View times of operation and bus routes at (Tigerland A, Tigerland B, or Burbank-Ben Hur routes):
Find your bus:


Workshop Leaders:
Local Coordinator: Kathy Traxler
Lead Instructors: Mohammad Mobeen Ludin, Tom Murphy, and Aaron Weeden

Other information:
About LSU:
About Baton Rouge:
LSU campus map:
LSU visitor parking map:

The workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Program grant #EPS-1003897.

This workshop is also made possible by the support of NCSI, Shodor, LA-SiGMA, the Center for Computation & Technology, and High Performance Computing at LSU.

For more information, please contact Kathy Traxler at
For local questions and about lodging, please contact Karen Jones at