Feeds

Comp sci boffins Venus: HPC newbies post respectable score

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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
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
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.