First Indian Student Supercomputing Challenge Coming this June

By Tiffany Trader

December 7, 2015

During June 1-4, 2016, the first ever Indian Student Supercomputing Challenge (ISSC) will take place in Mumbai, India, in tandem with the inaugural distributed & embedded-High Performance Computing (de-HPC) symposium. ISSC is being organized by the academic partners Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and industry partners Syncthreads Computing with the official support of the HPC Advisory Council (HPCAC). The event follows in the footsteps of the Student Cluster Competitions held annually at SC in the US, ISC in Germany, and the Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge in China.

The purpose of ISSC, according to its organizers, is to introduce the next generation of students to the HPC community and its technology. The event will welcome 8-10 student teams – four to six from India and four from the international community – each team comprised of six undergraduates and a mentor. Over a three-day period on the de-HPC exhibition floor, these teams will build a small cluster computer of their own design and will run a series of HPC benchmarks and applications, as agreed upon by HPCAC worldwide and the technical committee. In line with the other student cluster contests, there will be three known applications, one surprise application plus the LINPACK benchmark run. The teams will also be required to present their findings to a panel of judges to show how fundamentally they understand the applications and results.

There will be one selection round, the criteria for which will follow a mix of SC, ISC and ASC rules. The winning teams will collaborate with vendor sponsors to get all the necessary hardware to prepare for the competition event. The challenge will follow a standard track where there is no strict limit on hardware, but teams will have to stay within the power limit of 3kW (or approximately ~13A) while running the benchmarks and applications specified.

Umesh Gupta 2015
Umesh Gupta, member of research staff, Syncthreads Computing

At SC15, HPCwire spoke with one of the main visionaries behind this event, Umesh Gupta, who was a research fellow with CUDA Center of Excellence at IIT Bombay before joining of the research staff at Syncthreads Computing. Gupta recalled his first ISC event in 2014, where he encountered the student teams and advisors who had come from around the world to take part in the Student Cluster Competition. Gupta was impressed at their enthusiasm, dedication and commitment and was motivated to work with his team at Syncthreads to start a similar program in India. Syncthreads saw the student engagement activity as fitting within India’s National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), the government initiative to address HPC challenges like training and education in India to generate niche engineers.

Eager to kick-start this event, Syncthreads formed a strategic alliance with one of the premier institutes of India, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, who agreed to be academic partners for the event. This was followed up with a formal proposal to have IIT Bombay host the event and it was enthusiastically accepted through the Center for Studies in Resources Engineering (CSRE). The HPC Advisory Council (HPCAC), which sponsors the HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition, added its support, and the event was formally announced at HiPC in Goa, India, in December 2014.

“The student cluster competition to me is a perfect way to introduce, develop and enhance the HPC technologies in the community,” commented Gupta. “Although the phrase ‘student competition’ is prominent, the event involves participation on every level, senior mentors, faculty advisors on up to top management. Being a student researcher myself, I believe ISSC opens up an interesting and innovative platform for HPC student fraternity in India to experience computer science and computational science,” Gupta added.

Synchtreads team has been prominent in organizing this event, but they are not doing it alone. The HPC community has stepped up in a big way to support this effort. Professors Surya Durbha and B.K Mohan from CSRE IIT Bombay are heading up the organizing committee. Professor Rajat Moona, director general of C-DAC, assured strong support for the event and reached out to HPCAC and other industry partners at ISC 2015 in Germany. The ISSC Technical Committee includes Stephen Harrell of Purdue University, Kurt Keville of MIT, and Doug Smith, assistant dean for Programs and Engagement at University of Colorado, among others.

Deputy chair of the SCC at SC15 and SC16 SCC chair, Harrell acknowledged the way that Gupta has brought in resources from the other student competitions. “I think he’s doing it right and we want to help,” Harrell said. “It’s so important to get students using high-performance computing at the undergraduate level. It’s not common and it needs to be.”

Of the ten teams that Purdue has sent to student cluster challenges, Harrell has been the advisor for seven of them. He’s taken four to SC, two to ISC and one to the Asian Supercomputing Challenge, so he has a broad perspective to share with the ISSC committee. He thinks we need to have more of these competitions. His big projects are getting HPC into the undergraduate curriculum at Purdue, both in the domain sciences and in the extra-curriculum.

“It’s a tool,” Harrell said of HPC, “you wouldn’t give someone a degree in chemistry if they can’t use tools. I see it as a lab component in domain science. There are not many fields that don’t have at least some HPC requirements.”

“HPC pushes science forward and if there’s something that’s going to help the world it’s more knowledge,” Harrell shared, “and I believe science is our best tool for getting that knowledge. To me supporting HPC, getting students inspired by HPC changes the world.”

ISSC will be co-located with the distributed & embedded-High Performance Computing (de-HPC) symposium. This will be a full-fledged conference spotlighting HPC-based research in various domains along with an opportunity for HPC vendors across the world to introduce their latest products to distinguished dignitaries and students representing both academics and government institutions in India.

Along with keynotes and thematic sessions by distinguished national and international delegates, programming workshops for students, tutorials, BoFs and poster sessions, there will be special emphasis on research in HPC for energy-efficiency and low-power supercomputing.

Dr. Rhushabh Goradia, director of Syncthreads Computing, comments, “The idea of the de-HPC initiative is to bring the entire HPC community of the country, be it academics, government organizations and vendors with top HPC products, under one roof and give them a platform to collaborate and work towards solving bigger inter-disciplinary challenges. Our work goal is to evangelize HPC movement in India, and de-HPC is our first step.”

He further adds, “The agenda of de-HPC is very different from a standard conference track. For example, here we would also be focusing on expert panel discussions, thematic sessions, real-time HPC quizzes for practical problems, and also hands-on expert tutorials being conducted for students to instill the confidence in them that ‘Yes! I can utilize the benefits of HPC as a part of my research and be a part of the worldwide HPC community!’”

The call for participation and call for sponsorships are starting now and interested parties can go to de-hpc.org or email at info@de-hpc.org for more information.

“We have been approached by many HPC industry stakeholders during the conferences and competitions in China, Germany and the United, States. There is strong interest because everyone is looking forward to being part of an Indian event,” said Gupta.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Bill Gropp – Pursuing the Next Big Thing at NCSA

March 28, 2017

About eight months ago Bill Gropp was elevated to acting director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Read more…

By John Russell

UK to Launch Six Major HPC Centers

March 27, 2017

Six high performance computing centers will be formally launched in the U.K. later this week intended to provide wider access to HPC resources to U.K. Read more…

By John Russell

AI in the News: Rao in at Intel, Ng out at Baidu, Nvidia on at Tencent Cloud

March 26, 2017

Just as AI has become the leitmotif of the advanced scale computing market, infusing much of the conversation about HPC in commercial and industrial spheres, it also is impacting high-level management changes in the industry. Read more…

By Doug Black

Scalable Informatics Ceases Operations

March 23, 2017

On the same day we reported on the uncertain future for HPC compiler company PathScale, we are sad to learn that another HPC vendor, Scalable Informatics, is closing its doors. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Quants Achieving Maximum Compute Power without the Learning Curve

The financial services industry is a fast-paced and data-intensive environment, and financial firms are realizing that they must modernize their IT infrastructures and invest in high performance computing (HPC) tools in order to survive. Read more…

‘Strategies in Biomedical Data Science’ Advances IT-Research Synergies

March 23, 2017

“Strategies in Biomedical Data Science: Driving Force for Innovation” by Jay A. Etchings is both an introductory text and a field guide for anyone working with biomedical data. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its assets. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Launches New Machine Learning Journal

March 22, 2017

On Monday, Google announced plans to launch a new peer review journal and “ecosystem” Read more…

By John Russell

Swiss Researchers Peer Inside Chips with Improved X-Ray Imaging

March 22, 2017

Peering inside semiconductor chips using x-ray imaging isn’t new, but the technique hasn’t been especially good or easy to accomplish. Read more…

By John Russell

Bill Gropp – Pursuing the Next Big Thing at NCSA

March 28, 2017

About eight months ago Bill Gropp was elevated to acting director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its assets. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the campaign. Read more…

By John Russell

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

Joint DOE-NSA report responds to the increased global pressures impacting the competitiveness of U.S. supercomputing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Japanese Supercomputing Project Targets Exascale

March 14, 2017

Another Japanese supercomputing project was revealed this week, this one from emerging supercomputer maker, ExaScaler Inc., and Keio University. The partners are working on an original supercomputer design with exascale aspirations. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Debuts HGX-1 for Cloud; Announces Fujitsu AI Deal

March 9, 2017

On Monday Nvidia announced a major deal with Fujitsu to help build an AI supercomputer for RIKEN using 24 DGX-1 servers. Read more…

By John Russell

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the campaign. Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its assets. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a new board design for NVLink-equipped Pascal P100 GPUs that will create another entrant to the space currently occupied by Nvidia's DGX-1 system, IBM's "Minsky" platform and the Supermicro SuperServer (1028GQ-TXR). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which will be Japan’s “fastest AI supercomputer,” Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Wants to be “Red Hat” of Deep Learning

January 26, 2017

IBM today announced the addition of TensorFlow and Chainer deep learning frameworks to its PowerAI suite of deep learning tools, which already includes popular offerings such as Caffe, Theano, and Torch. Read more…

By John Russell

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

Leading Solution Providers

Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

Lost in the frenzy of SC16 was a substantial rise in the number of vendors showing server oriented liquid cooling technologies. Three decades ago liquid cooling was pretty much the exclusive realm of the Cray-2 and IBM mainframe class products. That’s changing. We are now seeing an emergence of x86 class server products with exotic plumbing technology ranging from Direct-to-Chip to servers and storage completely immersed in a dielectric fluid. Read more…

By Steve Campbell

Enlisting Deep Learning in the War on Cancer

December 7, 2016

Sometime in Q2 2017 the first ‘results’ of the Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C) will become publicly available according to Rick Stevens. He leads one of three JDACS4C pilot projects pressing deep learning (DL) into service in the War on Cancer. Read more…

By John Russell

BioTeam’s Berman Charts 2017 HPC Trends in Life Sciences

January 4, 2017

Twenty years ago high performance computing was nearly absent from life sciences. Today it’s used throughout life sciences and biomedical research. Genomics and the data deluge from modern lab instruments are the main drivers, but so is the longer-term desire to perform predictive simulation in support of Precision Medicine (PM). There’s even a specialized life sciences supercomputer, ‘Anton’ from D.E. Shaw Research, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is standing up its second Anton 2 and actively soliciting project proposals. There’s a lot going on. Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Startup Advances Auto-Parallelization’s Promise

January 23, 2017

The shift from single core to multicore hardware has made finding parallelism in codes more important than ever, but that hasn’t made the task of parallel programming any easier. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Technique Propels Deep Learning at Scale

February 21, 2017

Researchers from Baidu’s Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL) have adapted a well-known HPC communication technique to boost the speed and scale of their neural network training and now they are sharing their implementation with the larger deep learning community. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU Benchmarking: Haswell Versus POWER8

June 2, 2015

With OpenPOWER activity ramping up and IBM’s prominent role in the upcoming DOE machines Summit and Sierra, it’s a good time to look at how the IBM POWER CPU stacks up against the x86 Xeon Haswell CPU from Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

Joint DOE-NSA report responds to the increased global pressures impacting the competitiveness of U.S. supercomputing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IDG to Be Bought by Chinese Investors; IDC to Spin Out HPC Group

January 19, 2017

US-based publishing and investment firm International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) will be acquired by a pair of Chinese investors, China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This