Feeds

Comp sci boffins Venus: HPC newbies post respectable score

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

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.