Enabling Technologies for Teaching an HPC Class as a Distributed Course.



Year of publication 2007
MU Faculty or unit

Institute of Computer Science

Description Louisiana State University with technological support from Masaryk University (Czech Rep.) has decided to launch a unique experimental class on high-performance computing taught by prof. Thomas Sterling in spring semester 2007. This class enables students of multiple universities to participate interactively using high-end multimedia technologies. The class uses low-latency interactive uncompressed high-definition video at 1.5Gbps and AccessGrid audio to connect LSU, Louisiana Tech University, University of Arkansas, MCNC and Masaryk University. In this talk, we will focus on the enabling technologies used, namely the video and audio (from both hardware and software perspective) and the distribution system. Supporting technologies---like streaming solutions using VLC, QuickTime, Webex---will be mentioned as well, as they are utilized namely to provide the content to participants connected via other than very high bandwidth networks. Because of problem with different start of semesters at different schools, a recording system has been developed that enables real-time storage of the uncompressed HD video and audio, so that the content can be replayed to the students in the original quality after the semester starts. The talk will also highlight the challenging issues that were encountered both before the course started and during its run, particularly focusing on appropriate audio setup.
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