Tag Archives: Student Cluster Competition

Holiday Cheer for 12 University Teams Names for the 2017 ISC-HPCAC Student Cluster Competition!

The HPC Advisory Council (HPCAC) had a little early holiday cheer with the announcement of the 12 international teams selected to compete in the sixth annual ISC-HPCAC Student Cluster Competition at ISC 2017, held June 18 -22, in Frankfurt, Germany.

In true global spirit of competition and the exchange of ideas and innovation, the roster of teams selected to compete includes:

• Universitat Politècnica De Catalunya Barcelona Tech (UPC), Catalonia/Spain
• A combined team of students from National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) and the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), China (winner of the SC16 Student Cluster Challenge)
• Universität Hamburg (UH), Germany
• Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
• Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
• A university team to be determined following a run-off competition via the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), South Africa
• University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), United Kingdom
• A combined team of high school and undergraduate students sponsored by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), United States
• A combined team of students from Purdue University and Northeastern University, United States
• A combined team of students, ‘The Boston Green Team’ from Boston University, University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMass Boston); Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States
• Two additional university teams from China to be determined in a run-off competition via the Asia Student Cluster Competition (ASC) to be held in April 2017

Student Teams from around the world will strive to demonstrate breakthrough capabilities using state-of-the-art high-performance cluster hardware and software during the ISC 2017 conference.

The challenge works in real-time, tasking students to build a small cluster of their own design on the show exhibit floor and then, with the clock ticking away, teams racing to demonstrate the greatest performance across a series of benchmarks and applications. The completion concludes with a ceremony on the main conference keynote stage awarding and recognizing all student participants in front of thousands of HPC enthusiasts.

“The Student Cluster Competition is designed to foster the future generation of HPC professionals and scientists, to encourage HPC education, and to broaden the outreach of HPC technology and usage,” said Gilad Shainer, chairman of the HPC Advisory Council. “We are pleased with the worldwide mix of universities and students who are participating in the sixth annual competition. This exciting competition is an excellent educational opportunity for students to showcase their knowledge and skillsets, and to engage with the HPC community.”

“The competition is an opportunity to showcase the world’s brightest computer science students’ expertise in a friendly, yet spirited competition,” said Martin Meuer, managing director of the ISC Group. “We are very pleased to host these 12 compelling university teams from around the world. We look forward to this very engaging competition and wish the teams good luck.”

The competition, of course, doesn’t start for months but team prep starts far before that and includes working with supervisors and vendor partners to design and build a cluster from commercially available components without exceeding strict power limits, and to learn the predetermined HPC applications.

As part of this worthy cause, commercial enterprises embracing the power of HPC in their business are also offered a unique opportunity to sponsor the SCC in a variety of ways. All sponsorship funds flow directly into the competition, enabling students to travel to Frankfurt and participate in the three-day competition in a comfortable environment.

You can check out the teams and find additional information on ISC and the 2017 competition, etc., on our SCC pages!

Picking Faves …

The official countdown on the Student Cluster Competition  (SCC) site ticks down the few remaining hours, minutes and seconds from tomorrow’s kick-off!

If you’re attending the ISC High Performance 2016 conference and exhibition at Messe Frankfurt join us at the HPCAC booth (#1442) for the Monday kick-off at 15:00 which starts with the traditional T-shirt scramble.

This year marks a milestone ~ Five years of SCC!

I’m guessing the big match is between the Tsinghua University and Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) teams as they battle it out in the two time champion tie-breaker.

There’s also the two ASC winners, HUST and SJTU returning to SCC after a two year hiatus. And SCC veterans like USTC, UPC, Tartu and the Purdue University, University of Colorado, Boulder combo. All solid, experienced contenders! There’s the new entrants, like Nanyang, NERSC and the Green Team. And of course local favorite University of Hamburg. It’s anyone’s competition (and guess)!

One of the major elements ISC attendees can directly influence is to vote for your favorite team! Stop by and meet these teams, learn their stories, impart some of your own wisdom and vote!

The competition ends with the Wednesday award ceremony – now at 17:15 in Panorama 2. Awards go to the team to receive the most unique votes in the “Fan Favorite” category, the team to achieve the highest score for the LINPACK award and three awards for “Overall” to the top three teams with the best combined scores for applications, benchmarks and team interviews.

While the competition only runs for three days it has been ongoing for the last seven months and last 48 months or so before that … all thanks to one super human Pak Lui! Mentor, Master of Competition… and just about everything else. Always with a smile. He is amazing!

Twelve teams, somewhere over seventy students. Include the advisors and that’s north of one hundred individuals taking part in the 2016 competition. Thank you Pak! Thank you teams and team advisors too!

My thanks also to the exceptional team at the ISC Group and all of the teams that have helped put this conference and competition together, to David, Tong and our team judges and to Kim McMahon of McMahon Consulting and Dan Olds of Gabriele Consulting along with a host of others and of course to the teams sponsors for their support of the SCC and students. Thank you all! So much!

As I became more familiar with this awesome event it occurred to me that picking a favorite would be more a challenge than I thought … so instead (and since I am not eligible to vote) I pick … all of the above! All my faves for so many reasons! Thank you gang and good luck!

If you can’t make it to ISC watch your social feeds and  visit the Student Cluster Competition site! And share!

It’s been great leading in to this competition and while ISC promises a busy week for all I hope you’ll have some time for the teams! Look forward to seeing you here or the next!

Student Cluster Competition ISC’15 – the Results

It was a great competition. Universities from all around the world competing on building the best HPC system under the power limitation of 3000 Watts.

The results:

Fan Favorite award went to Purdue University & Universidad EAFIT

The highest Linpack score, and actually setting a new record of 10.7 Teraflop – Jamia Millia Islamia University

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Overall competition 3rd place  – University of Science and Technology of China

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Overall competition 2nd place – the defending champions of 2014, Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC)

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And the Grand Champion – Tsinghua University

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I want to congratulate all teams – by getting to ISC’15 after months of hard work and preparations, they already won. Now it is the time to start working on the 2016 competition. We plan to put out the call for participation by Aug.

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2015 HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition

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The 4th annual HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition (SCC) is a joint event hosted by the HPC Advisory Council (HPCAC) and the organizers of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC). It is an excellent opportunity to showcase students’ HPC expertise in a friendly yet spirited competition. The SCC event will be held during the ISC’15 Conference and Exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany from July 13 to 15, 2015.

The competition will feature small teams that compete to demonstrate the incredible capabilities of state-of-the-art high-performance cluster hardware and software. In a real-time challenge, it will feature 11 teams of six undergraduate students from around the world to showcase the small clusters of their own design on the ISC’15 exhibit floor. In this three-day event, the university teams will race to demonstrate the greatest performance across a range of HPC benchmarks and applications. The participating teams for this year’s competition at ISC’15 are:

  1. Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), South Africa
  2. Purdue University and Universidad EAFIT, United States and Colombia
  3. Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany
  4. University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), China
  5. University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil
  6. University of Hamburg, Germany
  7. Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI), India
  8. University of Tartu, Estonia
  9. Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain
  10. Tsinghua University, China
  11. National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), China

 

The students will have a unique opportunity to learn, experience and demonstrate how HPC can influence our world and day-to-day learning. This experience will help them enhance their knowledge and will become useful for their professional careers. The selected applications for the competition come from different areas of sciences that use HPC:

 

  • LAMMPS is a classical molecular dynamics code, and an acronym for Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator. LAMMPS has potentials for solid-state materials (metals, semiconductors) and soft matter (biomolecules, polymers) and coarse-grained or meso-scopic systems. It can be used to model atoms or, more generically, as a parallel particle simulator at the atomic, meso, or continuum scale. LAMMPS runs on single processors or in parallel using message-passing techniques and a spatial-decomposition of the simulation domain. LAMMPS is distributed as an open source code under the terms of the GPL.

 

  • PyFR is an open-source Python based framework for solving advection-diffusion type problems on streaming architectures using the Flux Reconstruction approach of Huynh. The framework is designed to solve a range of governing systems on mixed unstructured grids containing various element types. It is also designed to target a range of hardware platforms via use of an in-built domain specific language derived from the Mako templating engine.

 

  • Octopus is a scientific program aimed at the ab initio virtual experimentation on a hopefully ever-increasing range of system types. Electrons are described quantum-mechanically within density-functional theory (DFT), in its time-dependent form (TDDFT) when doing simulations in time. Nuclei are described classically as point particles. Electron-nucleus interaction is described within the pseudo potential approximation.

 

There will be secret applications announced on each day of the competition. The intent is to present challenging problems for the teams, thus good teamwork within members of each team is required to analyze and solve the unfamiliar workload.

 

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The teams will have a constraint of power limited to 3 kW on their cluster configuration. The power draw from their compute cluster will have to stay under the 3 KW power limit. Aside from that, it is up for the team to use any of the hardware they can get from their equipment sponsors on the hardware side, as well as any compilers, software and operating systems level tuning they may deploy on the software stack to achieve the best application performance.

 

It all concludes with a ceremony on the main conference keynote stage to award and recognize all student participants in front of thousands of HPC luminaries. In the end, there will be five awards given:

  • Highest LINPACK, for the highest score received for the LINPACK benchmark under the power budget.
  • Fan Favorite, to be given to the team which receives the most unique votes from ISC participants during the Student Cluster Competition.
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Overall Winners, for the 3 overall winner awards given to the teams that are determined by the scoring of all the chosen HPC applications, benchmarks, as well as judging by the panel of HPC experts during the interview sessions.

 

For more information, please visit: http://hpcadvisorycouncil.com/events/2015/isc15-student-cluster-competition

The third HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition will Start Tomorrow at ISC’14

The third HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition, featured at ISC’14, is an opportunity to showcase student expertise in a friendly yet spirited competition. The competition will start tomorrow, and will feature small teams that compete to demonstrate the incredible capabilities of state-of- the-art high-performance cluster hardware and software. In a real-time challenge, eleven teams of six undergraduate and/or high school students from around the world will build a small cluster of their own design on the ISC exhibit floor and race to demonstrate the greatest performance across a series of benchmarks and applications.

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