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All STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) students at Butler University are required to take at least one Computer Science (CS) course in their first year. A typical such course is the traditional introductory programming course (taught in C++ at Butler). It is a service course taught to non-CS majors and all CS students without a high school programming course. We have modified this course to include a month-long unit on parallel programming using MPI [1], rather than introducing objects (as is one traditional practice). In this extended abstract, initial results and feedback suggest the approach is working for a number of goals critical to preparing students for the parallel environment. In particular, our approach prepares students early to engage in scientific computing applications and broadens their perspective on the definition of “computing.” Also, we gain great flexibility in designing a CS curriculum that incorporates parallel computing; for instance, we have already added a required capstone course Parallel Algorithm Analysis and Design, which spans theory and practice in a rigorous fashion.

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