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RE: Transputer - schools

Hi Richard,
Thanks for the link to http://computingatschool.org.uk/ , I have just registered.

I have a few possible fingers in this pie - I am in communication with a guy in Germany who time-slices an Arm processor so that one gets up to 16 virtual processors on a credit-card sized board; I am also waiting for a student in the USA to complete his thesis and have the time to talk to me about the Beowulf Raspberry Pi cluster he has produced. I see both of these as being highly relevant to  the school multi-processor scenario. I am porting an array manipulation language to them.

My particular interest is in the intersection of agile/concise array programming with parallel processing. I believe that this to be the direction in which I would like to see new developments taking place.

-----Original Message-----
From: Sympa,pkg125 [mailto:sympa@xxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Richard Dobson
Sent: 20 June 2013 18:44
To: occam-com@xxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Transputer

On 20/06/2013 16:50, Barry Cook (4Links) wrote:
> Hi All,
> In case any of you didn't see this ...
> http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/other/4416699/Bristol-Calling
> --Project-plans-to-re-RISC-the-ARM?pageNumber=0
> Take a special look at the last paragraph on the second page (link at 
> the bottom of the above page).
>      Barry.

One quotation:

"If I can get parallel computing into the schools that will be a great achievement, because then we wouldn't get all these kids thinking the world is sequential."

I agree; and a highly concurrent Raspberry Pi-like board could garner a lot of interest - even if to begin with only in the form of a simulator.

May I suggest that those interested in this aspect of educational outreach consider joining the CAS-Online forum**? People working at the architecture end of things are somewhat under-represented there, though there is plenty of hand-waving about "the industry". Discussions about concurrency (beyond the entry-level way one can explore it in MIT's
"Scratch") are conspicuous by their absence. To establish concurrency as a serious topic it needs to be brought to the attention of the examination boards who design the curriculum, as well as to teachers. 
CAS has already responded to the new National Curriculum proposals, but needless to say things are still in a somewhat "melting-pot" stage.

Richard Dobson

** via http://computingatschool.org.uk/