Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Cluster Computing and the Grid (CCGrid 2001)


With the progress of research on cluster computing, more and more universities have begun to offer various courses covering cluster computing. A wide variety of content can be taught in these courses. Because of this, a difficulty that arises is the selection of appropriate course material. The selection is complicated by the fact that some content in cluster computing is also covered by other courses such as operating systems, networking, or computer architecture. In addition, the background of students enrolled in cluster computing courses varies. These aspects of cluster computing make the development of good course material difficult. Combining our experiences in teaching cluster computing in several universities in the USA and Australia and conducting tutorials at many international conferences all over the world, we present prospective topics in cluster computing along with a wide variety of information sources (books, software, and materials on the web) from which instructors can choose. The course material described includes system architecture, parallel programming, algorithms, and applications. Instructors are advised to choose selected units in each of the topical areas and develop their own syllabus to meet course objectives. For example, a full course can be taught on system architecture for core computer science students. Or, a course on parallel programming could contain a brief coverage of system architecture and then devote the majority of time to programming methods. Other combinations are also possible. We share our experiences in teaching cluster computing and the topics we have chosen depending on course objectives.