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Student HPC whizzkids in unusual competition start

Brief bit of shirt-lifting before mental engagement

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HPC blog The ISC Student Cluster Challenge kicked off last night in a unique manner. Rather than a simple shouted “Go!” or a loud tone sent over a bullhorn, the organisers confronted the university teams with a physical challenge, along the lines of the old Le Mans auto races.

Each team had to run across the show floor to gather up six matching shirts (one for each team member). Once they had a shirt for each team member, they could begin to work on their first computing challenge: running HPCC and turning in a score for the highest LINPACK award.

On the accompanying video, Brian Sparks (one of the chief organisers) and I provide relatively lame play-by-play as the various teams either rush or amble their way through the T-shirt gathering and the start of the competition.

The first team back with their shirts on was China’s NUDT, closely followed by home team KIT from Germany, Tsinghua from China, and then American team Stony Brook. The second US team, Colorado, came in last, but the students were only about five minutes behind their competitors.

As you can see in the video, we harassed one of the Colorado team members, but he proved to be unflappable, or perhaps he just thought we were stupid (probably a mix of both). ®

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