Changeset 3061 in /cluster/svnroot


Ignore:
Timestamp:
Mar 11, 2011 9:27:47 AM (10 years ago)
Author:
fitz
Message:

#612: More cleanup.

File:
1 edited

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  • bccd-ng/text/gsoc/gsoc_application.txt

    r3060 r3061  
    33
    44===> Description:
    5   The BCCD was created to facilitate the teaching of parallel programming techniques and paradigms, and the tool-chains used for cluster computing. One of the difficulties instructors face is a lack of dedicated resources to explore distributed computing aspects or lack of time and or knowledge to preconfigure and test the supporting environment. The BCCD addresses this problem by providing a non-destructive way (live ISO) to run a full-fledged parallel computing environment, supporting shared memory, distributed memory, and GPGPU parallelism, on just about any desktop, laptop or notebook system. For more permanent environments, the BCCD can also be installed ("liberated") onto a host disk, thereby creating a more customary cluster resource.
     5  The BCCD was created to facilitate the teaching of parallel programming techniques and paradigms and the tool-chains used for cluster computing. Among the difficulties instructors face is a lack of dedicated resources to explore distributed computing aspects or a lack of time and/or knowledge to preconfigure and test the supporting environment. The BCCD addresses this problem by providing a non-destructive way (live ISO) to run a full-fledged parallel computing environment supporting shared memory, distributed memory, and GPGPU parallelism on just about any desktop, laptop or notebook system. For more permanent environments, the BCCD can also be installed ("liberated") onto a host disk, thereby creating a more customary cluster resource.
    66
    77===> Home page:
     
    1212
    1313===> Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2011? What do you hope to gain by participating?
    14   Looking through the 2010 list of participating organizations, there are few, if any, organizations geared towards the intersection of computational science, cluster computing, parallel programming and the teaching of those topics. The BCCD can help fill this gap by providing projects in each of these areas. Applying--and subsequently participating--in GSoC can afford us opportunities to increase our developer pool and work towards strengthening the community around the tools and curricula for computational science, cluster computing, and parallel programming. As such, any student accepted into the project will provide a pivotal role in a growing community which seeks to address a critical need in computer science education.
     14  Looking through the 2010 list of participating organizations, there are few, if any, organizations geared towards the intersection of computational science, cluster computing, parallel programming and the teaching of those topics. The BCCD can help fill this gap by providing projects in each of these areas. Applying--and subsequently participating--in GSoC will afford us opportunities to increase our developer pool and work towards strengthening the community around the tools and curricula for computational science, cluster computing, and parallel programming. As such, any student accepted into the project will provide a pivotal role in a growing community which seeks to address a critical need in computer science education.
    1515
    1616===> If accepted, would this be your first year participating in GSoC?
     
    4040  * Why does the BCCD interest you?:
    4141  * Project proposal:
    42    -- Include in your proposal an outline of what you plan to do and a timeline of how long you think each (major) step in the process should take.
     42   -- Include in your proposal an outline of what you plan to do and a timeline of how long you think each (major) step should take.
    4343
    4444===> What criteria did you use to select the individuals who will act as mentors for your organization? Please be as specific as possible.
    45   Many of the leaders of the BCCD project are computer science educators, as such we have a significant amount of experience mentoring student software projects and more importantly identifying the characteristics of a good mentor. In our view a good mentor possess a combination of strong technical skills and strong people skills. The technical skills are necessary to help guide and support the student during the design and construction of the software product (when necessary), the people skills are necessary to make sure that support comes at the correct times and is packaged in such a way as to be readily acceptable to the student.
     45  Many of the leaders of the BCCD project are computer science educators, and as such, we have a significant amount of experience mentoring student software projects and more importantly, identifying the characteristics of a good mentor. In our view, a good mentor possess a combination of strong technical skills and strong people skills. The technical skills are necessary to help guide and support the student during the design and construction of the software product (when necessary), the people skills are necessary to make sure that support comes at the correct times and is packaged in such a way as to be readily acceptable to the student. Mentors have been chosen who have prior mentoring experience within our various projects as well as demonstrably strong technical and people skills.
    4646
    4747===> What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?
    48   We would rather prevent them from going missing than track them down after they have disappeared. The BCCD project has been hosting weekly developer telecons for about five years now. All participating students would be expected to join those calls each week to report on their progress, ask questions, etc. In the event that we don't see commits being made regularly to the project repository, or silence on or absence from the weekly telecons, the mentor will immediately reach-out to the student and engage them in a conversation to determine what the obstacles to their participation are. In our experience the sooner one catches these the more likely it is to turn them around.
     48  We would rather prevent them from going missing than track them down after they have disappeared. The BCCD project has been hosting weekly developer telecons for about five years now; all participating students would be expected to join those calls each week to report on their progress, ask questions, and generally be interactive. In the event that we don't see commits being made regularly to the project repository, or silence on or absence from the weekly telecons, the mentor will immediately reach out to the student and engage them in a conversation to determine what the obstacles to their participation are. In our experience the sooner one catches these the more likely it is to turn them around and get them actively working again.
    4949
    5050===> What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?
     
    5454  The BCCD has been tightly coupled with the National Computational Science Institute and the Supercomputing Conference's Education Program since the project's inception. These two organizations have, in some form or another, been holding workshops to teach computational science and parallel computing to college faculty, often using the BCCD, since 2001. These workshops, particularly in the Parallel Programming and Cluster Computing series, have always worked to incorporate students into the instructor pool.
    5555  In keeping with the tradition of involving students in these workshops, we would highly encourage--if not require--GSoC students to attend at least one of these week-long workshops as an assistant instructor to either help run sessions introducing and using the BCCD and/or present to the workshop participants the current state of their project.
    56   This is very similar to the path that many former students, including the author of this application, have taken to become part of Computational Science Education and Supercomputing communities. Most of these workshops are held during the summer and the annual SC conference happens in November, providing outstanding opportunities for the students to present their work to and interact with the BCCD user community.
     56  This is very similar to the path that many former students, including the primary author of this application, have taken to become part of Computational Science Education and Supercomputing communities. Most of these workshops are held during the summer and the annual SC conference happens in November, providing outstanding opportunities for the students to present their work to and interact with the BCCD user community.
    5757  The BCCD developers hold a weekly conference call to discuss current issues and plan for future events and features. Since these calls are an ongoing part of the project, accepted GSoC students will be asked to participate in the calls, encouraged to weigh in on open topics, and asked to give brief updates on their plans or status.
    5858
     
    6464
    6565===> Anything else you'd like to tell us?
    66   One of the principle use cases for the BCCD is as the OS of choice for a project called LittleFe (http://littlefe.net). LittleFe is a small, portable cluster designed to foster teaching parallel programming, cluster computing, and computational science at institutions that can't otherwise afford cluster resources (or even time on other institutions' resources). The BCCD's support for these institutions is two-fold: (a) as the installed OS on LittleFe units; and (b) as a temporary live ISO platform on desktop, laptop, or netbook computers.
     66  One of the principle use cases for the BCCD is as the OS of choice for a project called LittleFe (http://littlefe.net). LittleFe is a portable mini-cluster designed to foster teaching parallel programming, cluster computing, and computational science at institutions that can't otherwise afford cluster resources (or even time on other institutions' resources). The BCCD's support for these institutions is two-fold: (a) as the installed OS on LittleFe units; and (b) as a temporary live ISO platform on desktop, laptop, or netbook computers.
    6767  This is an important relationship as the LittleFe project has secured funding from both Intel and the Supercomputing conference to build and disseminate at least 20 LittleFe units within the summer and fall of 2011. With the pending distribution of these units, the BCCD's usage and community will increase, providing new developers of the project with an opportunity to interact with technology and science educators all over the country.
    6868
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