Feeds

Comp sci boffins Venus: HPC newbies post respectable score

Mix of ‘strong’ and ‘struggling’ on scientific apps

Intelligent flash storage arrays

SC12 Video We spent a few minutes on the last day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) talking to Team Venus from the University of the Pacific. This is not only their first year in the cluster competition, but also the first time any of the students have done anything at all HPC-related.

Under the mentorship of Oak Ridge National Lab and their hardware sponsor Appro, the team gave it their best against much more experienced competitors. They posted a respectable 2.33 Teraflop/s LINPACK, which was good enough to put them into fourth place going into the application round of the competition.

On the scientific apps, Team Venus was, as they put it, “Either strong or struggling.” While they all have computer science backgrounds, they don’t have much (if any) experience in running large-scale scientific research applications. But they persevered and busily worked to get their ‘struggle’ apps functioning at a reasonable level.

Team Venus is also noteworthy because it’s the first all-female team to compete in an SCC. This attracted a lot of attention and helped shine a brighter light on women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) fields, and on the cluster competition in general.

Of course they aren’t the only female competitors. The Asian teams have several women on their teams, and Team Taiwan’s player/spokesperson is usually a female. Team Russia (2010 and 2011) had a female coach and female team members, and quite a few of the teams at the ISC’12 SCC included women competitors.

Although HPC and computing in general is predominantly made up of people of the male persuasion, it’s a mistake to say that it’s completely male-dominated these days. There are many women engineers, researchers, and scientists. The male-female ratio isn’t 50-50, but it’s not 90-10 either, and over time it continues to change.

Aside from Team Venus, I think there were four or five women on the SCC teams this year – about the same number as in 2011 and 2010. I don’t have accurate stats on female participation because it’s not something I’ve been tracking; my coverage focuses on teams and individual personalities, what they’ve built, and how they deal with the challenges presented by the competition. To me, that’s the interesting stuff. And Team Venus, regardless of gender, was an interesting team to observe and definitely added some personality to the 2012 SCC. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.