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April 29, 2014

ASC14 Winners Announced

GUANGZHOU, China, April 29 — On April 25, the largest student supercomputer challenge, ASC14, concluded with great success. Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) was the champion, and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) won the silver prize. “The Highest Linpack award” went to Sun Yat-sen University. The brand new “e Prize” was awarded to Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

ASC14 is organized by the Asia Supercomputer Community, Sun Yat-sen University, and INSPUR Group. The goal of the challenge is to promote the exchange and cultivation of young talent in all countries and regions in supercomputers, as well as to improve supercomputer application level and R&D capacity, and to enhance technical and industrial innovation via the technical driving force of supercomputers. Since launching in November 2013, ASC14 has had 82 teams from five continents register. Over the intense preliminary competition, 16 teams ultimately qualified for the final, which was held at Sun Yat-sen University on April 21-25, 2014.

At the closing ceremony, the chair of the ASC14 evaluation committee, Deputy Director of Beijing Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics, Professor MO Zeyao announced the challenge results and commented on the entire competition. He said that the students’ performance in ASC14 is better than that of ASC13, among which Shanghai Jiao Tong University demonstrated their HPC ability with top applications in 3D-EW (3D Elastic Wave Modeling), Quantum Espresso and LICOM, and finally became the overall champion. Meanwhile, the freshman of the student supercomputer challenge, Nanyang Technological University showed a balanced ability and became the most surprising black horse. The host, Sun Yat-sen University rewrote the record of Linpack and reached a peak performance of 9.272 Tflops within a 3000W budget.

Professor Mo highly praised the excellent optimization of 3D-EW and the scalability on Tianhe-2 achieved by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The team migrated it from serial to parallel, ported it from CPU to CPU+MIC, and contacted the tests on Tianhe-2, eventually scaling up to 1,024 nodes (200K cores) with near linear speedup. That is why they won the “e Prize” award. Here, “e” is the most important natural constant in science, and also represents the next generation supercomputer (exascale). ASC hopes the “e Prize” becomes the “Gordon Bell Prize” of youth talents.

The ASC initiator, Chief Scientist of INSPUR group, Mr. Wang Endong shared his point of view that the achievements human beings will realize in the next 20 years with the help of supercomputing shall be greater than those in the past 200 years. So for each country, supercomputing is not a consumption any more but an investment for the future. Its development rate and level will represent “National Power.”

Nowadays, supercomputing is widely used in scientific research and socio-economic problem solving such as in: many global scientific projects, including the Higgs boson, clean energy from nuclear fusion, and cosmogony; many industry demands, including automobile design and movie animation; many social problems, including smog and global warming. To turn supercomputing into an engine of scientific innovation and economic development, we must start with application innovation and talent cultivation, as well as maximize the computing potential of HPC hardware.

With the increase of the ASC’s impact, there is doubtless enhancement of society’s attention on HPC. More and more people are getting to know HPC and are loving it. This is good preparation for setting HPC related courses or majors. Recently, lots of ASC teams come from universities with HPC courses, especially Sun Yat-sen University. The university set up the supercomputer school, HPC application school, big data research institute, and research center of HPC engineering. It is the most comprehensive HPC focused University in China. In addition, ASC has gathered the top global HPC talents. Their wisdom will greatly benefit the innovation and development of HPC application.

The president of Sun Yat-sen University, Professor Ningsheng XU put forward that supercomputing helps in various aspects of society. The HPC talents with the international view will become the most precious resource of every country. With the attention on the advanced disciplines of culture, science, and medicine, the university encourages the inter-disciplines, which is essential for the HPC development. Professor Xu also emphasized that “well equipped youths lead to a powerful country.” This will be the key session for the real leading country of HPC.

Source: ASC14