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The Student Cluster Competition: an insider's view

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SC10 An insider's view of the Student Cluster Competition

So what’s it like to compete in the SC10 Student Cluster Competition (SCC)?

You’re a college student, one of six on a team representing your university. Your team is charged with designing, building and benchmarking a cluster that outperforms rivals built by seven other teams in the competition. A few rules constrain your design, the hardware has to be readily available, you can only use 26 amps, and your cluster has to fit into a single rack.

You have a faculty advisor to help you along and vendor sponsors who provide the gear. Buut when the competition starts, your only support is your team mates and the knowledge you’ve picked up along the way.

In our last webcast, we talked to Hai An Nam, the SC10 SCC committee co-chair, for delivered an overview of the competition. In this SCC webcast we get the inside view from Dustin Leverman, who captained the University of Colorado (Boulder) team at the first SCC in 2007. Dustin tells us the story of his team, and their highs and lows, and also talks about what it takes to successfully compete in the SCC.

In Dustin’s case at least, it’s not an overstatement to say that it changed his life. He received an internship offer at SC07 and it changed his career trajectory.

He is now a HPC Systems Administrator for the National Center for Computational Sciences at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Nice.

And don't forget to tune in to The Register's HPC Community channel, for free-to-air news and views. Alternatively, you can sign up for our HPC Newsletter, delivered to your inbox every two weeks.

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