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Seidel, Sterling Premiere LSU Supercomputing Course


January 4, 2007

LSU Center for Computation & Technology (CCT) Professor Thomas Sterling believes supercomputing is the technology of the future for business and industry, and he wants to make sure many college students have the opportunity to learn about it.

This is the theory behind Sterling's "Introduction to High-Performance Computing" course, which will be offered at LSU for the first time during the Spring 2007 semester. This course, which offers an interdisciplinary look at using high performance computing, will be the first use of high-definition video over the Internet for distributed classroom instruction in the United States.

The course will be offered for credit through LSU to students at Louisiana Tech University, the University of Arkansas and Masryk University in the Czech Republic. Sterling's lessons will be broadcast via HDTV to students at these sites.

Sterling conducted a demonstration of the technology that will be used for this class on Monday, Dec. 18, at the University of Arkansas for Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and other distinguished guests.

As part of the demonstration, CCT Director Ed Seidel conversed with Gov. Huckabee from LSU via the HDTV connection over the Internet. "High performance computing is affecting every business and every aspect of life," said Seidel, giving a presentation on different companies using supercomputing to improve their products. "And, it's an area where the South is poised to take a leadership role."

Seidel also said that high-speed optical networks such as the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI) here and the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (ARE-ON) allow universities to collaborate, improving research and education. "The dream of HDTV classroom instruction would not be possible without these networks in place," said Seidel.

Sterling gave a presentation in Fayetteville that could be observed at LSU about how supercomputing is the new key to business development. "Supercomputing has exceeded all other technologies in how fast it has grown," said Sterling.

In order to ensure there will be enough people in future generations who can use supercomputing technology effectively, courses such as this are crucial to teach people from different backgrounds the necessary skills, Sterling observed.

"We are honored to partner with University of Arkansas and the state of Arkansas to bring this technology to more people," said Sterling.

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