Storage Informer
Storage Informer

Greetings Programs!

by on May.20, 2009, under Storage

Greetings Programs!

I don&apost promise that is my last cheesy Tron reference, but I can promise lots of cheesy references. My students get the shorter end of the stick cause they have to put up with it for 18 weeks at a time.

Blogs and blog posts end up have a life of their own, serendipitously in unexpected fruitful directions. That is my hope for this series of blog postings.

My current druthers for this blog strongly lead towards programs and problems. I spend my summers working with university and college faculty, helping them learn parallel and distributed programming ( Together with my partner-in-crime, Intel&aposs Paul Steinberg, I help interview smart people in "Teach Parallel" blogtalk radio series (

Yesterday Paul and I interviewed one of Intel&aposs resident smart persons, Tim Mattson, who authored the seminal book "Patterns for Parallel Programming", which is oriented towards helping working professionals gain insights towards effective parallel programming rapidly, leveraging what the rest of us denizens of the SuperComputing lunatic fringe painstakingly learned through the standard engineering method: a light at the end of a tunnel, other than a gorilla with a flashlight, that we migrated towards, i.e. a constructive passion for failure.

I can&apost use Tim&aposs book directly in the classroom. I need programs and problems; programs since I&aposve found that students learn best by torturing working programs into doing what they desire either for their own amusement, or because some teacher gulled them into it. Also, hollowing out a working program and filling it in with what you want is a time-honored way of getting the job done.

I need problems because we all learned the art part of computer science only by getting our hands dirty and breaking code. Some of us love breaking code so much, that once it is working, we gleefully abandon it, cackling as we search for the next challenge. (One variant is to do a lot of muttering and "aaaargs", but that is usually in logarithmic proportion to the number of hours preceding Sept 19).

I also need problems because that is what I need to formally assign students.

Tim&aposs patterns, sometimes encountered as UCB dwarves, are the catalyst leading to our mining deposits of problems and programs from this blog, all while relishing the ensuing discussions.

What say ye?

… Tom


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