Proceedings paper

An Entertaining Approach to Parallel Programming Education
E. Buzek, M. Kruliš
2018 IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops (IPDPSW)

Despite the facts that multicore CPUs are present in virtually every personal computer or cell phone and distributed systems in the form of cloud services are steadily penetrating various domains of our lives, only a minority of programmers and computer science graduates are able to effectively design and develop parallel and distributed applications. Serial thinking is natural to all humans and it is also encouraged by many computer science curricula. Even though that leading educational institutions are attempting to rectify this trend by introducing parallel programming courses into their study programs, these courses are often dedicated for more experienced students in their fourth of fifth year since mastering modern parallel technologies like OpenMP or CUDA requires certain level of programming skills. It can be argued, that the parallel thinking should be taught much sooner, perhaps even before tertiary education. To this end, we have created an educational platform Parapple that aims to introduce parallelism and related problems like load balancing or synchronization to inexperienced programmers in an entertaining form. Our platform is web-based, so it can run in any modern browser on all operating systems without installation and the users are required to have only a very basic understanding of structural imperative programming.

    title = {{An Entertaining Approach to Parallel Programming Education}},
    author = {Buzek, Emanuel and Kruliš, Martin},
    year = {2018},
    booktitle = {{2018 IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops (IPDPSW)}},
    doi = {10.1109/IPDPSW.2018.00065},
    pages = {340--346},