eduWRENCH - Pedagogic Modules Parallel and Distributed Computing Courseware

Wrench Pedagogic Modules

A guided set of educational activities focused on parallel computing, distributed computing, and cyberinfrastructure concepts, all taught using the WRENCH simulation framework.


The goal is to achieve various learning objectives in the areas of parallel computing, distributed computing, and cyberinfrastructure computing. This is achieved via pedagogic modules that explore, at first elementary and later sophisticated, relevant concepts. Most modules include hands-on "activities" in which students explore and experiment with simulated application executions using the WRENCH simulation framework. These modules can be used to enhance/augment existing courses, such as university or on-line courses, or can simply be done in sequence by independent learners. High-level Learning Objectives include: (i) Be able to explain and apply the fundamental concepts of sequential, parallel, and distributed computing; (ii) Be able to describe typical parallel/distributed computing (PDC) applications and the platforms on which they run; (iii) Be able to reason about and improve the performance of PDC applications; and (iv) Be comfortable with and able to use standard tools provided as part of current CyberInfrastructure deployments.

What this is not about

Teaching computer programming skills is not an objective of these pedagogic modules, and no computer programming is required. This said, the content often makes reference to particular computing programming techniques, and sometimes even suggests programming activities or projects. This is because many of the learning objectives target concepts that are fundamental for developing (efficient) programs that execute or parallel and distributed platforms. As a result, these modules can be used effectively as part of a course that does include programming learning objectives.


WRENCH is a framework for simulating the execution of parallel and distributed applications on cyberinfrastructures. It is based on the lower-level SimGrid simulation framework, which provides the necessary accurate and scalable simulation abstractions.


B. Cyberinfrastructure Concepts

C. Cyberinfrastructure Services