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LittleFe 2012 Buildout Event

The LittleFe team is pleased to announce that we have secured funding to support a significant 2012 Buildout program. This year's buildout will be held in conjunction with the SC12 HPC Educators Program (


Apply for a FREE LittleFe mini-cluster for your College or University to use for teaching parallel programming, cluster computing, and computational/data enabled science & engineering (CDESE) to your students and colleagues!

Applications are due August 15, 2012 at 20:00 US-ET, apply on-line here.

LittleFe applicants must commit to attending the SC12 HPC Educators Program (either with or without support, see for more details), and are only eligible to build and receive at most one LittleFe unit.

About LittleFe

LittleFe is a portable mini-cluster which is small enough to fit in a shipping case, light enough to easily move between classrooms, and travels as standard checked baggage to conferences and workshops. The 2012 buildout will feature v4a LittleFe units, this design utilizes dual-core Intel® Atom™ processors with NVIDIA ION2 chipsets which support CUDA/OpenCL programming.

LittleFe's primary focus is turnkey classroom demonstrations of, and exercises in, High Performance Computing (HPC), parallel programming, and Computational/Data Enabled Science and Engineering (CDESE). LittleFe supports shared memory, distributed memory, and GPGPU parallelism.

LittleFe's secondary focus is as a production HPC resource for small institutions that are not yet able to afford or support a full scale cluster; in fact, LittleFe can be used as a gateway to, and development platform for full scale HPC resources.

About the Application Process

The LittleFe project is now accepting applications for our 2012 Buildout. Successful applicants will receive a free LittleFe unit, with an opportunity to assemble and test their LittleFe as part of the SC12 HPC Educators Program.

LittleFe buildout applicants MUST also apply to attend the SC12 HPC Educators Program (with our without support, see their application for details).

In addition, LittleFe buildout applicants and their institutions will need to commit in writing to using these units in their courses and to developing and sharing new parallel computing, HPC and/or CDESE curriculum modules for the LittleFe/Bootable Cluster CD platform. This commitment is made as part of the application process.

Applications are due August 15, 2012 at 20:00 US-ET, apply on-line here.

About the Buildout

The 2012 LittleFe buildout will be held on Monday November, 12, 2012 as part of the SC12 SuperComputing conference's HPC Educators Program in Salt Lake City, UT. This will be an all day event.

The buildout will consist of participants assembling their LittleFe unit from a kit; installing the Bootable Cluster CD (BCCD) software on it; learning about the curriculum modules available for teaching parallel programming, HPC and CDESE; and learning how to develop new curriculum modules for the LittleFe/BCCD platform.

Applicants who cannot attend the SC12 buildout event will automatically void their team's (and their teammate's) application, unless a mutually agreed upon replacement is found in a timely manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is eligible to apply?

  • Faculty from colleges and universities in the USA (including not only states but also territories and other jurisdictions) are eligible to apply.

    Applications should be from teams of two people at the same institution, either two faculty members, or one faculty member and one student (graduate or undergraduate).

    Faculty members should currently be teaching courses either that already have parallel programming, HPC and/or CDESE content incorporated, or into which they would like to integrate such content.

    Eligible courses must be at the undergraduate level. Graduate courses are not eligible, even if those courses accept undergraduates under special circumstances. (Courses that are "slashlisted" as both graduate and undergraduate in the same term, even if under different course numbers, are eligible.)

    Both team members must be at least 18 years old at the time of the event. For legal, liability and cost reasons, we cannot accept minors into the 2012 LittleFe buildout program.

    Both team members must have an unrestricted ability to travel within the continental USA (and to/from the continental USA if necessary).

  • What hardware will the 2012 LittleFes have?

  • The 2012 buildout will feature v4a LittleFe units, this design utilizes dual-core Intel® Atom™ D525 processors with NVIDIA ION2 chipsets which support CUDA/OpenCL programming.

  • What are the application requirements?

  • Complete the application at

    Submit a letter, on institutional letterhead and signed by the appropriate university official authorized to make such commitments, enumerating and committing the institution and your team to the terms listed below under "What do I have to do in return for being selected?"

    A template letter of commitment is available in PDF, doc, and docx formats.

  • What do successful applicants receive?

  • All accepted teams will receive:

    (1) A free LittleFe unit (version 4a).

    (2) Ongoing free support for LittleFe and the BCCD.

    (3) Ongoing free support for curriculum development for the LittleFe/BCCD platform.

    (4) Acceptance into the SC12 HPC Educators Program for both team members. SC12 HPC Educators Program attendees receive free transportation to and from Salt Lake City, UT, free lodging, per diem (which may not cover the full cost of all meals), and free conference materials.

  • What do I have to do in return for being selected?

  • (1) Sign a video/audio release form, so that we can include your image and voice in a recording of the buildout session, and that we make available publicly (for example, as streaming video posted on the LittleFe website).

    (2) Cover the cost of shipping your LittleFe unit back to your campus (typically an extra bag charge from the airline, probably $15-50).

    (3) Use your LittleFe/BCCD unit in your classes.

    (4) Develop and publish at least one parallel programming and/or HPC and/or CDESE curriculum module for the LittleFe/BCCD platform. These will be submitted to the LittleFe team and curated at and HPC-U

    (5) Submit two brief reports, 6 months and 12 months after receiving your LittleFe unit, detailing the classes in which you have used your LittleFe/BCCD unit, the curriculum module(s) that you have used, and the curriculum module(s) that you have developed and published.

    (6) Provide the materials for the curriculum module(s) that you have developed to the LittleFe team.

  • What if I don't follow through and complete those items?

  • If your reports do not illustrate how you have met the requirements, or if you do not submit one or both reports, then we will require you to return your LittleFe unit. This decision will be made at the sole discretion of the LittleFe team.

    You (and/or your institution) will be solely responsible for the cost of shipping to return the LittleFe unit to the LittleFe team.

  • How do I apply?

  • Complete the application at

  • Can I just apply for a fully assembled LittleFe unit and not participate in the buildout?

  • No.

For more information, contact Charlie Peck (charliep at cs dot earlham dot edu).