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This year’s team from The University of Texas – Austin won in the SC14 Student Cluster Competition overall category. Courtesy of TACCAfter 48-hours of real-time, spirited competition, two triumphant winners emerged in this year’s SC14 Student Cluster Competition. The annual challenge is designed to introduce the next generation of students to the high-performance computing community. Over the last few years, it has drawn teams of undergraduate and/or high school students from around the world, including Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Russia and Taiwan.

Their goal: to assemble a small cutting-edge cluster on the SC14 exhibit floor and to demonstrate the greatest sustained performance across a series of applications without exceeding the 3120-watt power limit. In the competition, teams of six students partner with vendors to design and build their cluster from commercially available components. Both “off-the-shelf” and “off-the-wall” solutions are encouraged, and the students work with application experts to tune and run the competition codes.

This year’s lineup of competitors included

  • The University of Texas – Austin
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • iVEC – Australia
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität – Germany
  • National Tsing Hua University – Taiwan
  • University of Tennessee – Knoxville
  • Purdue University /EAFIT – Colombia
  • The University of Oklahoma
  • The University of Science and Technology – China
  • National University of Singapore
  • Huazhong University of Science and Technology – China
  • Massachusetts Green Team

Each accepted team submitted a final architecture proposal, which was closely determined with this year’s sponsors, including Bank of America, Chevron, Data Direct Networks, Geist Global, General Motors, MathWorks, Procter &Gamble and Schlumberger.

At the conclusion of the two-day non-stop race, two winners emerged and were revealed on November 20, during the SC14 Awards Ceremony:

  • The University of Texas – Austin won in the overall category
  • Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) received the award for highest LINPACK

“The energy and dedication that the student teams bring to the Student Cluster Competition is inspiring, especially as they work around the clock to overcome obstacles and get their systems up and running,” said Student Cluster Competition Chair Dustin Leverman of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “Though they are competing all out against one another, the teams also share a camaraderie as they race to the end.” 

Completing its eighth consecutive year in 2014, the Student Cluster Competition is part of the HPC Interconnections program (formerly SC Communities), which brings together programs designed to support emerging leaders and groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in computing. This program provides opportunities for students, faculty, early-career professionals and international attendees to participate in the SC Conference through Broader Engagement, Experiencing HPC for Undergraduates, Student Cluster Competition, Student Job Fair and Student Volunteers activities. 

The SC15 Student Cluster Competition has already been announced at http://sc15.supercomputing.org/conference-program/student-program

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