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The Northeast Parallel Architectures Center (NPAC) at Syracuse University is using the expertise of its CRPC researchers and other scientists active in World Wide Web technology to pioneer new courses and certification programs in computer science over the Web.

The new Internet-based Computational Science Education Program (ICPSEP) '96 is an experimental project led by CRPC researcher Geoffrey Fox of NPAC that offers a formal higher education program over the Internet. Established in March, ICPSEP '96 features NPAC-designed curriculum and coursework that is accessed via the WWW by select students from a mirror site at the Parallel Computing Technology (PACT) laboratory at the Harbine Institute of Technology (HIT) in China.

The ICPSEP certification program includes four 10-week courses designed to teach students the basic concepts and techniques of contemporary parallel programming and prepare them for future work in distributed parallel computation. The courses are "Introduction to Computational Science," "Parallel Programming Based on MPI," "World Wide Web Technology," and "Text Processing in Perl." Homework and projects are assigned and collected via email or ftp. Students receive a certificate issued by Syracuse University when they complete the course requirements and pass the exams.

Current plans are to extend the offerings of professional certificates in Web Technologies to a set of "scalable certificates" in five levels, ranging from a one-day certificate to an entire Master's program.

Another new Web-related course, "Software Techologies for the World Wide Web," was initiated at Syracuse this spring to introduce undergraduate students to emerging software technologies relevant to the Web and equivalent subsets, such as "enterprise networks" established within corporations. Lectures are closely integrated with laboratories for hands-on experience. The lectures discuss the languages PERL, Java, and JavaScript and their use on the Web, including the development of interactive "applet" programs that are distributed via a network for execution on a receiving client machine. This course is one of a suite of new courses in computational science related to computational techniques for the Global Information Infrastructure.

The Physics Department at Syracuse is developing undergraduate science courses for non-science students taught from Web-based materials. This course, called "Science for the 21st Century," has developed several content modules with funding from the NSF Course and Curriculum Development Program. Curriculum is also now being developed that would increase the interactive nature of the web materials by using parallel supercomputer simulations. This is funded by an NSF MetaCenter Regional Alliance with the Cornell Theory Center.

For more information about the above programs, see http://old-npac.ucs.indiana.edu/projects/cpsedu .

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