The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis
Introducing HPC to Young Students.
Authors: Russell Feldhausen (Kansas State University), Scott Bell (Kansas State University), Daniel A. Andresen (Kansas State University)
Abstract: As part of a summer outreach program, we created an activity using Scratch that demonstrated HPC concepts. Our goal was to give students experience working with a multithreaded computer simulation by allowing them to adjust the number of threads used and the model resolution of the simulation. Students observed how those changes affect the time it takes the simulation to complete. Based on those results, they were able to determine the optimal number of threads for the hardware configuration used.
After participating in our activity, 27 of 37 students felt they can learn how to write computer programs, and 22 of 41 students showed interest in a job involving HPC. We plan to expand on this activity by giving students more opportunity to customize the simulation and gain experience working with simple programming concepts. We also plan to refine our survey questions to glean more information from students.