Workshop: Excellence in Computer Engineering Education (EXCEED): Integrating PDC Topics in the ECE Courses at UIUC
Abstract: The widespread presence of multicore and general-purpose graphics processing units (GPUs) in PCs, laptops, and now even handhelds has changed the computing landscape and empowered users to make valued, innovative contributions to the technology of computing. However, the current undergraduate Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) curriculum of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) at the introductory level has not yet adequately addressed the needs for this rapid change in computing hardware platforms, devices, languages, and supporting programming environments. Recognizing this urgency, the principal goal of our EXCEED project is to expose our freshmen and sophomore students to the concepts of parallel and distributed computing (PDC) by integrating modules of PDC topics in the existing curriculum. The main focus is to allow our students to develop parallel computational thinking while they learn the core topics on von-Neumann-model-based sequential computational techniques.