August 7, 2023 Students Student Cluster Competition Students@SC Share this page: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email By Kevin Jackson The SC23 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) offers a chance for students to showcase their skills, participate in a healthy competition, and make lifelong professional contacts and personal friends. The competition is a microcosm of a modern HPC center that aims to teach students the basics involved in forging a career in supercomputing. “Students are exposed to everything from systems administration to applications,” says Jenett Tillotson, the SCC Chair at SC23, and Senior HPC Systems Engineer at NCAR . “Vendors also benefit by partnering with teams to lend them hardware for the competition. Students get experience with real-world hardware and real-world applications and the vendors can show off the latest and greatest HPC technology.” On top of the technical experience student’s gain, these newcomers to the industry are also able to collaborate with other young minds as well as veteran mentors. “Once they get to the conference, it is an amazing opportunity to show off their new skills, network and make professional connections,” says Dan Dietz, the Vice Chair for this year’s competition, and HPC Engineer in the User Assistance and Outreach group (UAO) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “This is especially great for students who will be moving into the workforce soon! The advisors get many of the same benefits – they get to work with and mentor their aspiring students, and help them grow into their professional lives.” While there are many layers to the SCC competition—for instance, the IndySCC event is intended for less-experienced teams and focuses on education and inclusion—it is a complex and complicated competition with deep roots at SC. Let the Games Begin! This year’s crop of SCC contestants will feature fierce competition between both new and veteran teams. Each team will consist of six students, an advisor, and vendor partners that provide hardware and software. Each SCC team works toward the goal of proving their skills by building and operating a modern, functional HPC cluster using specific hardware, all within a fixed power limit. The fast-paced design/build competition will take place during a non-stop, 48-hour challenge on the SC23 Exhibition floor. Good luck to all SC23 SCC competitors! Peking University, China Team Name: Radiance of Weiming Shengyu Liu Yuanhang Sun Tianle Xu Zhuofeng Wang Jiameng Huang Jiaqi Si Although Peking University did not compete in last year’s SCC competition, the students in Team Radiance of Weiming intend for the university’s return to be a successful one. To create their team and prepare for the competition, Peking University organized a competition – PKU HPCGame – which was the first HPC competition in China aimed at every skill level from beginner to expert. The event garnered participants from different majors at the university, allowing the team to gather the most talented and enthusiastic people. Radiance of Weiming also arranged workshops about various HPC topics and recruited many new members from both PKU HPCGame and the HPC From Scratch program. The team is excited to gain access to various hardware and software solutions and explore the trend of next-generation HPC systems in a competitive setting. They also are interested in competing and communicating with their competition from other universities. The University of New Mexico, USA Team Name: The Roadrunners Ryan Scherbarth Carter Frost Alex Knigge Ellie Larence Maisy Dunlavy Abdalaziz Raad The team from the University of New Mexico (UNM) is new to SCC, and they have big plans for their first competition. Naming themselves The Roadrunners, this team has been preparing for SCC since the beginning of this year. The team was able to secure equipment earlier this year to build clusters that they used for practice, and they have familiarized themselves with the software that the teams will be using. They hope this will give them an edge over the competition. In fact, The Roadrunners formed as a result of a semester-long competition throughout the spring that resulted in multiple members receiving and accepting job offers from the UNM’s Center for Advanced Research Computing over the summer. The team members hope this experience will be a defining feature of their experience at SCC. Shanghai Tech University, China Team Name: GeekPie_HPC Aibo Hu Jiajun Cheng Lei Huang Siyan Zhuo Xuanjun Wen Yichi Zhang ShanghaiTech University is quite familiar with SCC, and the team name GeekPie_HPC has origins that stretch back to the 2019 competition. The team also won the IndySCC in 2022. Despite the university’s history with the competition, this year will be each current team member’s first time attending an international conference. Creating their team through a combination of HPC enthusiasts and students from the university’s artificial intelligence (AI) laboratory, GeekPie_HPC is focusing heavily on fostering an environment of open communication, collaboration, and mutual respect. They look forward to putting their skills to the test and seeing how well they can perform under pressure. ETH Zürich, Switzerland Team Name: RACKlette Alexander Sotoudeh Hannes Eberhard Sophia Herrmann Samuel Karsko Alexander Pietak Yi Zhu ETH Zürich is another university with history at SCC, and the team name RACKlette stretches back to at least 2019. To prepare for the SC23 competition, the team plans on having more experienced members from previous years hold workshops to teach newer recruits and hopefully give them an edge. The team is excited to represent both Switzerland and the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre. Moreover, the team members are eager to meet industry professionals, as well as have the chance to see exciting new technologies up close. Tsinghua University, China Team Name: Diablo Runqing Zhang Xinran Cai Xingye Yuan Jiaming Jiang Chengdong Xiang Kai Yang Not only does Tsinghua University have a deep history with the SCC competition, it also has a record of winning. The university was declared the overall winner of SCC every year from 2018 until 2021. However, as Team Diablo remarked this year, simply competing with the outstanding competition offered at SCC is its own reward. To create their team, Diablo built a website to attract students interested in supercomputing. These students then participate in talks led by senior team members and take part in weekly meetings. In these meetings, each member reports on the effort and progress made in the previous week. They also discuss any problems met along the way. The team believes coordination and camaraderie will be a major advantage for them in the competition. University of Kansas, USA Team Name: Embarrassingly Parallel Yara Al-Shorman James Hurd Abir Haque Adair Torres Richard Moser Shad Hameed By their own admission, the group out of the University of Kansas is a “beginner team.” However, by working with professors at the university, they have been able to bring HPC-interested students into the fold to create a team that is hungry for victory. They prepared for this competition by building a cluster they hope will give them the experience necessary to win. They also participated in regular team meetings and found resources through their sponsors and advisors, both within the University of Kansas and elsewhere at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Children’s Mercy Hospital. Boston university, Brown University, UMass Boston, USA Team Name: BU3 Kevin Hsu David Li Julia Hua Yida Wang Shamir Legaspi Yiran Yin Last year, Boston University teamed up with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Northeastern University to compete in SCC. This year, the school is working with Brown University and has come up with a clever name to boot: BU3. Although the team has a history with the competition, they admit this year there are fewer members who are experienced with the SCC challenge. Not only are they working hard to ensure they have the skills necessary to win, the team is also endeavoring to guarantee that everyone will have an engaging experience with the SC Conference. As part of its strategy, BU3 applied for access to the MIT cloud, so the whole team could “play around” with the applications. They also hold biweekly meetings to quickly tackle any issues that arise. Clemson University, USA Team Name: HPC Tigers Ainara Garcia Thomas Joseph Kristen Guernsey Benjamin Schlueter John Karakkattu William Fey Clemson University is no stranger to SCC and has competed at previous conferences, including 2022’s IndySCC. However, they admit this will be each team member’s first in-person SCC experience and expect to encounter technical issues involving the set up and operation of an unfamiliar cluster. That said, they believe their extensive preparation, comprehensive knowledge base, and flexible mindsets will enable them to attain victory. The HPC Tigers have planned strategies to accomplish different competition requirements as efficiently as possible. On top of that, many team members have internships that will build skills necessary to win SCC. University of California, San Diego, USA Team Name: Triton LLC (Last Level Cache) Austin Garcia Francisco Fabian Gutierrez Khai Vu Gloria Seo Kyle Smith Zixian Wang Although they were not the overall winner of SCC at SC22, University of California, San Diego did receive the highest Linpack score in last year’s competition. As such, they have high hopes for success at SC23. This year’s squad was selected in an application process based on each person’s experience and how every team member’s skill set could compliment one another. The team also prepared by having their own competition that tests certain benchmarks on a single-board cluster. This, combined with mentoring from students who participated in previous SCC years, makes Triton LLC confident about their chances for victory. New York University, USA Team Name: NYU Mohan Lu Asaad Al-Barwani Riku Santa Cruz Aisha Roslan Pavly Halim Nina Li The New York University team may be first-time competitors, but they plan for an exciting introduction to their skills. Their team is part of a larger VIP course that teaches students about supercomputing. Although only six students can go to the competition, everyone involved with this course gets a chance to explore the basics of hardware, operating system configuration, and various HPC applications. nanyang technological university, Singapore Team Name: Supernova Luo Yihang Wang Ruisi Duong Ngoc Yen Ding Dao Xian Sharma Aryan Agarwal Lakshya The Nanyang Technological University Supernova team is working hard to showcase their skills at this year’s SCC. Although the team is mildly concerned about shipping their machine from Singapore, their main focus is bringing their international team together to broaden their horizons and learn new skills from experts in the field. The team was formed via an annual recruitment effort that enables the university’s students to register for workshops. The best students are chosen to attend competition, and advisors give feedback that grows and hones their respective skill sets.