[Beowulf] Re: A start in Parallel Programming?

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Tue Mar 13 14:35:49 PDT 2007

I thought it was getting normal for large enough places to have multiple
departments? I expect EE to teach C, CIS to teach LISP, or whatever is
cutting edge in the theory of artificial linguistics, and the business
school to teach COBOL and VisualBASIC.

But maybe I'm spoiled by OSU. They have more computing departments than I
can count (literally, it's nondenumerable. Really remarkable place)

You know when they first starting talking about a GRE Advanced Test in
computing, all of us (that I know, but I was in math) were flabbergasted at
the thought of defining a curiculum. That still flabbergasts me. I don't
envy anyone that job.


On 3/13/07, Robert G. Brown <rgb at phy.duke.edu> wrote:
> On Tue, 13 Mar 2007, David Mathog wrote:
> >> Nobody knows why CPS departments no longer teach students
> >> to code in C (and instead teach a bizarre mix of C++, java, lisp, and
> >> god-knows-what else first.
> >
> > I know, I know!  The folks who teach computer science consider
> > functional languages like C and Fortran to be both uninteresting and old
> > fashioned.  They also tend not to use those languages in their research,
> > which is often on esoteric subjects having little to do with "crunching
> > these numbers as fast as possible with as much accuracy as possible."
> > They think these sorts of languages, along with God forbid, assembly
> > language, should be taught in trade schools and not the CS department.
> > This causes endless battles and the occasional undergraduate revolt,
> > because all of those Engineering, Physics, and etc. students paying
> > 35000 dollars a year to the University don't want to also attend a
> > trade school, and they need and want to learn how to write fast
> > efficient code in exactly those languages that the CS types don't
> > want to teach.
> >
> > Regards,
> Y'know, I think that somehow, amazingly, you are so absolutely dead on
> correct that it's kind of scary.  So I'm really, really wrong.  Somebody
> DOES know.  You do!  I'm getting little chills.
> If only I could think of who to send this to in our computer science
> department.  If only I thought it would make a damn bit of difference if
> I did.
> Of course one would think that at least a few bodies in the CPS
> department would be on this list, wouldn't you?  At least if you weren't
> right...
> (Oh damn, now I'm in trouble.  In a public forum yet...:-)
> (Besides, there might be a couple of CPS faculty on the list.  Might be.
> I can think of a couple.  But they probably code in C.)
>    rgb
> >
> > David Mathog
> > mathog at caltech.edu
> > Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech
> > _______________________________________________
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> --
> Robert G. Brown                        http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
> Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
> Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
> Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu
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