On March 24, 2014 ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (hereinafter ASC14) held the press conference in Beijing, and officially announced the 16 teams qualified for the final, which will be held in the Sun Yat-Sen University (Guangzhou) on April 21-25. The conference has speakers from the domestic and overseas teams and embassy related. It also has many supercomputer experts and professionals presented.
After two months intense preliminary contest, sixteen finalists are selected with tough evaluation. The finalists are: Singapore Nanyang Technological University, the United States Purdue University, Brazil Universidade de Sao Paulo, Russia Ural Federal University, Hungary University of Miskolc, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, National Tsing Hua University, Taiyuan University of Technology, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Beihang University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, National University of Defense Technology and Sun Yat-Sen University.
As introduced by the organizing committee, the preliminary contest of ASC14 presents two major characteristics. First, many registered teams are world class. For instance, Sun Yat-Sen University has very competitive advantage in the field of application optimization and won the best grade in Gromacs application in ASC13. National Tsing Hua University, Purdue University, Tsinghua University, and National University of Defense Technology have prizes in both SC and ISC for many times. Second, ASC contest problems are very challenging. The participating team needs to accomplish a leading edge application architecture migration, parallel computing, performance optimization, and overall process of supercomputer application and development. The entire process demands deep understanding of the application and high operational abilities.
According to the final requirements, the 16 ASC14 finalists shall build a small cluster with their own design and under 3000W power budget limit. The cluster serves as the base platform for each team. More important, the finalists will also compete an application scalability on the Tianhe-2 supercomputer, which is moved to the Sun Yat-Sen University very recently.
In order to encourage youth to bravely break the performance limits, the ASC committee announced that the e Prize will be awarded in ASC14 final for the team, which obtains the highest scalability and performance optimization of supercomputer applications. “e” is the most important natural constant in science, and also represents the next generation supercomputer ( exascale). ASC hopes the e Prize become ‘Gordon Bell Prize’ of youth talents.
Mr. Wang Endong, ASC initiator, Director of the State Key Laboratory of High-end Server and Storage, and senior vice-president of Inspur Group, said that “the development of supercomputer application and talent cultivation are the key issues in current HPC development. It is expected that ASC will be a good catalyst for the issues.”
Besides, Mr. Zhu Xiping, vice-president of Sun Yat-Sen University put forward that “Application development plays important role for supercomputer usage. Holding ASC Challenge will let more people know supercomputer, get familiar with supercomputer, and love supercomputer. The challenge will attract more outstanding university students to participate in and devote to scientific research and industry development with the supercomputer contribution.”
ASC14 is co-organized by Asia Supercomputer Community, Sun Yat-Sen University and Inspur Group. This year, its registered teams reach historical amount, 84. The teams are from five continents around the world, including the developing areas such as Brazil, Russia, South Africa, India, and China. The goal of ASC is to promote the applications of supercomputer and culture the new HPC talents. Through the challenge, the ASC hopes to gather the HPC talents, motivate them toward HPC, and inspire their innovation passion of Wisdom Unbound. We believe with the impacts of ASC, many young talents will start their journey of meeting HPC, understanding HPC, and loving HPC. Some of them may finally take HPC as a career option, such as some students from National Defense University team have already contributed to the Tianhe-1A and Tianhe2. The final goal of ASC is to culture the HPC scientists and engineers, who will contribute to exploring the unknowns and realizing the dreams of the entire human being.