Strategies for preparing computer science students for the multicore world

Richard Brown, St. Olaf College
Elizabeth Shoop, Macalester College
Joel C. Adams, Calvin University
Curtis Clifton, Rose Hulman Institute Technology


Multicore computers have become standard, and the number of cores per computer is rising rapidly. How does the new demand for understanding of parallel computing impact computer science education? In this paper, we examine several aspects of this question: (i) What parallelism body of knowledge do today's students need to learn? (ii) How might these concepts and practices be incorporated into the computer science curriculum? (iii) What resources will support computer science educators, including non-specialists, to teach parallel computing? (iv) What systemic obstacles impede this change, and how might they be overcome? We address these concerns as an initial framework for responding to the urgent challenge of injecting parallelism into computer science curricula.