[Beowulf] A cluster of Arduinos

Ellis H. Wilson III ellis at runnersroll.com
Thu Jan 12 12:26:01 EST 2012


On 01/12/2012 10:21 AM, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
> On Jan 12, 2012, at 4:10 PM, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:
>> This is exactly the population you want to hit.  Bring in 100 advanced
>> high school (grade 11-12 in US) students.  Have them all use cheap
>> hardware to do a cluster.  Some fraction will think, "this is kind of
>> cool, maybe I should major in CS instead of X"  Some fraction will
>> think,
>
> Your example here will just take care a big number of students don't
> want
> to have to do anything with those studies, as there is a few lame nerds
> there who toy with equipment that's factor 50k slower (adding to the
> factor 500
> the object oriented slowdown of factor 100)  than what they have
> at home, and it can do nothing useful.
>
> But in this specific case you'll just scare away students and the
> real clever ones
> will get total desinterested as you are busy with lame duck speed
> type cpu's.

You have made it abundantly clear you aren't interested in enrolling in 
such a course.  Thanks for your comments.

On a related note, as I was thinking about 'lame duck' education, I 
remembered that I took an undergraduate machine learning course in which 
we designed players for connect-four, which would compete using recently 
learned techniques against other students in the class.  Despite that 
particular game being a solved one, we all had a blast and got quite 
competitive trying to beat each other out using the recently acquired 
skills.  I would encourage Jim to do something similar once the basics 
of cluster administration are done -- perhaps a mini SC Cluster 
Competition would be a neat application for the Arduinos?

Best,

ellis
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