The Blue Waters Petascale Institute: Longitudinal Impact and Assessment-Driven Development of an Intensive, Hands-on Curriculum for Teaching Applications in HPC
TimeWednesday, July 314:30pm - 5pm
DescriptionThe Blue Waters Petascale Institute was a two-week intensive training program that ran annually from 2014–2018. The institute implemented a hands-on, inquiry-based approach comprised of exploratory activities, engaging discussions, and informative lectures. These allowed students to learn parallel programming, high-performance computing, and computational science concepts with relevant examples from a wide range of real-world, domain-specific applications and scenarios. The goal was to provide undergraduate and beginning graduate students with the background and skills necessary to be successful not only during the institute but also in year-long research projects and into their future academic and professional careers. This paper examines the longitudinal impact of the institute on its students and recounts how the institute curriculum evolved over time based on formative and summative assessments. Results show that, overall, students considered the institute a positive experience and felt they gained the confidence and knowledge necessary to be successful in their internships and in their future careers. The institute has made a lasting impact in providing students with the ability to produce top-notch research outcomes of publishable quality, and students have taken what they learned into graduate programs, industry positions, and other career directions.