HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING CURRICULUM IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Y. Tseng

North Carolina A&T State University (UNITED STATES)
Traditionally, engineering and science disciplines have relied on observation, theory, and experimentation as tools to perform research to explore new knowledge. With the introduction of computer hardware and software, numerical simulation based on mathematical modeling gradually becomes an important tool. After high performance computers are mature and commercially available, numerical simulation has become a tool as important as observation, theory, and experimentation to all engineering and science disciplines. In most cases, it is adopted more often than experimentation because it is more economic, less time-consuming, and able to explore infeasible situations. Numerical simulation depends on high performance computers. High performance computers refer to parallel computers, namely computers equipped with multiple processors. Without doubt, high performance computing (HPC) should be promoted. When stakeholders are promoting HPC education, they usually refer to computer science and computer engineering while missing another important branch: information technology (IT). The fastest supercomputer in the world is the Titan supercomputer in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory of United States, which is equipped with 560640 computing cores. Due to the complexity of HPC system hardware and software, undoubtedly IT personnel with sufficient knowledge of HPC is fundamental to effectively support high performance computers. Even most IT educators fail to notice the fact. Therefore, the author develops an HPC curriculum in an IT Department. This paper covers the rationale and details of the HPC curriculum.