16 Teams Reach the ASC16 Student Supercomputer Challenge Final

March 18, 2016

On March 18, the ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge 2016 (ASC16) announced the Top 16 finalists. The final round will be held at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China from April 18 to April 22. The competition will also feature keynote speeches from renowned supercomputer experts. Following assessment from the expert panel, the final winners will be announced during the awards ceremony.

This year, a total of 175 teams from 148 universities across six continents registered for the ASC Challenge. After two months of rigorous evaluation in the preliminary competition, 16 teams advanced to the final round. Among the finalists are teams from

Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Sun Yat-sen University
Dalian University of Technology
Beihang University
National Tsing Hua University
Zhejiang University
Northwestern Polytechnical University
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
National University of Defense Technology
Tsinghua University
Hong Kong Baptist University
Boston Green Team (Boston University and Northeastern University)
Nanyang Technological University
Universidad EAFIT
University of Miskolc
Ural Federal University

During the ASC16 Final, the finalist teams will design and build a cluster to conduct a benchmark test LINPACK, a benchmark standard HPCG, a surface wave numerical model MASNUM, a material simulation software ABINIT, and a Mystery Application under 3000W. The Inspur Group will provide their server and other necessary equipment. At the end, all teams will be required to present to the Judge Committee and introduce their system designs, including the final result and analysis. The ASC16 has set up six prizes: Champion, Silver Prize, e Prize, Highest LINPACK, Application Innovation, and Most Popular Team – the total awards amount to nearly $40,000.

DNN (Deep Neural Network), one of the most important deep learning algorithms in artificial intelligence, is the designated topic for this year’s e Prize. As a result of the highly-viewed “Man vs. Machine Battle” between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol, deep learning has gained considerable attention from the public. In the final, the students will challenge DNN over 100,000 pieces of speech data with the objective of training a supercomputer to conduct speech recognition like a human brain.

ASC16 has also invited top researchers and leading professionals to speak at the 12th HPC Connection Workshop. Jack Dongarra will discuss the current trends and future challenges in the HPC field. Depei Qian, Chief Leader of the “HPC and Core Software” Project in the China 863 Program, will share the vision of supercomputing mapped in China’s 2016-2020
Five-Year Plan.  More information can be found via http://www.hpcwire.com/2016/03/14/hpc-challenges-opportunities-workshop-to-be-held-during-asc16-final/

According to Qingming Luo, Vice President of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, “We take great pride in the practice of integrating cutting-edge technologies and talent cultivation. We believe that this event will help students learn more about the world’s latest technologies, applications and concepts, thus contributing to the exchanges between young talent in China and the world.”

Endong Wang, the initiator of ASC and chief scientist of the Inspur Group, emphasizes the significant role of the supercomputer as one of the top three aids for modern scientific research. Wang, who is a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, affirms that supercomputing has become increasingly important and has various uses in a wide range of fields. He envisions ASC as a catalyst to enable more college students to access the front-end technologies and learn about supercomputing. Wang hopes that the competition will inspire its young participants to use supercomputing as a tool to solve problems in the fields of science and public welfare.

First launched in 2012, ASC has quickly become the world’s largest supercomputing hackathon. The Student Supercomputer Challenge serves to challenge and inspire the next generation of HPC scientists and engineers to deliver innovative solutions. Closely following the most cutting-edge technologies, ASC has attracted a growing number of new talent to supercomputing and has greatly promoted communications in the HPC community throughout the world.

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