Hey kids – want to be an HPC bigshot? Don't have a secret exascale supercomputer?

Enter the Student Cluster Competition

HPC blog Do you want to secure a place in HPC (high performance computing) history? One route would be to single-handedly design and implement an exascale supercomputer, which most would categorize as "hard".

However, an easier route is to participate in the various Student Cluster Competitions (SCCs) that take place around the world. And you don't even have to be a student.

There are three ways to get involved. The first is to be associated with a university, put together a team, and launch it into the SCC fray. Students can also organise their own teams, recruit an advisor, and jump into the competitions. The third route is for an HPC vendor to contact a university, and help them get into the competitions.

In the competition, undergraduate student teams build their own HPC clusters and compete live against other universities to see which cluster offers the best performance.

It's a great learning experience for all involved. The students get to build their own true supercomputer, run real HPC applications on it, and meet students and HPC professionals from around the world.

The best way to start is to listen to the podcast we recently recorded with current (and former) team advisors and the current SC16 Cluster Competition committee head, Purdue's Stephen Harrell.

In this podcast you'll learn everything about starting your own Student Cluster Competition team. This includes how to get your academic institution on board, how to get the hardware, how to get financial support for your team, and how to train your students without the use of HPC performance-enhancing substances. (These competitions are clean, damn it ... other than massive amounts of caffeine, of course.)

If you want to compete at SC16 in beautiful Salt Lake City, there's still time, the application process has a month remaining. For more information, click your clicker here. If you've definitely decided you want a chance at HPC immortality, or simply have some questions, shoot them an email at: student-cluster-competition@info.supercomputing.org. ®


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