Intel Funds Multicore Instructional Lab
Intel representative Kevin Kahn, Senior Fellow and Director of the Communications Technology Lab, visited the Department of Computer Science on October 19th. While touring the Lawson Computer Science Building, he stopped at the newest instructional facility in the department: a 16-node, multicore Intel server cluster. Each node has two quad-core processors, giving a total of 128 CPUs. The donation also included a rack and gigabit network switch.
This donation provides a hands-on laboratory for course projects in a variety of areas, giving Computer Science the ability to motivate and teach concepts in multicore architecture, parallel programming, network security, and performance measurement. The widespread availability of multicore processors has created the need to educate students in the use of this new technology, as well as to foster research and experimentation in new programming paradigms and languages. With the addition of some existing network switches, firewalls, and routers, students will also be able to perform additional projects in network security and performance measurement.
One of the specific programs to benefit from this donation is the new "Multicore Initiative" created by incoming department head, Prof. Aditya Mathur. This initiative is looking at ways to include concurrent programming concepts, examples, and solutions in lower level undergraduate courses. The department is creating an experimental course, to be offered in the fall of 2008, for selected incoming freshmen. It will introduce students to techniques that exploit the capabilities of multicore processors.
Intel Corporation is a long time, premier member of the Computer Science Corporate Partners Program. Thank you, Intel, for your support of the Computer Science Department!