Professor Receives Prestigious NSF Grant

Akshaye Dhawan, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, was awarded a curriculum initiative grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the IEEE Technical Committee of Parallel Processing (TCPP). It is one of 17 awards made worldwide, 11 to U.S. institutions.

Akshaye Dhawan

In the past decade parallel and distributed computing has become commonplace, Dhawan explains.  “Most people now have a multicore processor on their laptops, desktops and even their phones. However, little has changed in the undergraduate computer science curriculum in order to keep up with these technological advances.” The NSF along with the IEEE TCPP is putting together a new curriculum recommendation in computer science that strives to introduce these topics to undergraduates.

Professor Dhawan’s grant looks at how existing courses in the computer science curriculum can be redesigned to introduce students to the complexities of working with machines that have multiple processors. His work will also look at how the curriculum initiative can be adopted within the liberal arts model. As one of these early adopters, Professor Dhawan will introduce some of his ideas in two courses at Ursinus over the next year and his feedback will be used to develop the proposed curriculum recommendations. The title of the proposal is “Incorporating the TCPP Curriculum Recommendations in a Liberal Arts Setting.”.