Team Diablo, a team of undergraduate students from Tsinghua University in China, won the top prize in the Student Cluster Competition at the SC15 conference in Austin, Texas. A team from Germany, Team TUMuch Phun from the Technical University of Munich, won the award for achieving highest performance for the Linpack benchmark.
For the Tsinghua University team, this was their third win, coming on the heels of victories at the International Supercomputing Conference in Germany and the Asia Supercomputing Community Student Supercomputer Challenge.
When they were announced as SC15 winners at the Thursday, Nov. 19, awards session, the team let out a whoop and went to the stage to collect their certificates.
“After they announced it, we were really excited,” said Youwei Zhuo, a senior undergraduate student and team spokesman. “Our secret is teamwork and each member is capable of understanding the hardware and software. When we get stuck on a problem and cannot progress, we always figure it out with more people working on it. We also find potential performance increases this way.”
Zhuo also said the each of this year’s winning teams from his university consisted of different students.
The Student Cluster Competition, which debuted at SC07 in Reno and has since been replicated in Europe, Asia and Africa, is a real-time, non-stop, 48-hour challenge in which teams of six undergraduates assemble a small cluster at SC15 and race to complete a real-world workload across a series of scientific applications, demonstrate knowledge of system architecture and application performance, and impress HPC industry judges. The students partner with vendors to design and build a cutting-edge cluster from commercially available components, not to exceed a 3,120-watt power limit and work with application experts to tune and run the competition codes.
The award for Student Cluster Competition Overall Winner is based on the combined score for correctly completed workload, benchmark performance, demonstrated understanding of architecture and performance through profiling and analysis, and interviews.
In addition to the teams from China and Germany, the SC15 Student Cluster Competition line-up included:
- Team Desert Heat, Arizona Research Computing, United States
- Illinois Institute of Technology, United States
- National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan
- Northeastern University, United States
- Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, Australia
- Universidad EAFIT, Colombia
- University of Oklahoma, United States
The Student Cluster Competition is part of the Students@SC Program. Funding for the SC15 Student Cluster Competition was provided by IEEE/ACM SC15 and supported by Allinea and Schlumberger.
Story from the Computing Sciences Communications Group at Berkeley lab. Photos by HPCwire.