ASC18 competition enters final week as top 20 teams face off.

May 7, 2018

The final round of the 2018 ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC18) kicked off on May 5, 2018 at Nanchang University in China. Twenty of the 300+ enrolled teams from around the world entered the 5-days competition for the Champion, the Silver prize, the Highest Linpack award, and the e-Prize award of the competition.

The 20 finalists independently designed and built clusters (up to 3,000 Watts) to run HPL/HPCG benchmark, solve difficult questions in AI reading comprehension, perform RELION optimization, utilize CFL3D, HPL, HPCG, and to compete on a “surprise application” undisclosed to the contestants. On the fifth day of the competition, the results will be presented in English before the jury.

2018 ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge Finals

Date: May 5-9, 2018

Venue: Nanchang University

Time Agenda
May 5 08:00-20:00 The announcement of final rules; cluster system setup
May 6 08:00-20:00 Cluster system setup
May 7 08:00-18:00 Competition: HPL, HPCG, RELION, surprise application
May 8 08:00-18:00 Competition: CFL3D, Answer Prediction for Search Query
13:30 -17:30 18th HPC Connection Workshop
May 9 08:30 -12:15 Presentation and verbal defense before the jury.
14:30-16:30 Closing and awarding ceremony

 

In an effort to address crucial issues in AI development, the 2018 competition final involves using AI machine reading and comprehension provided by Microsoft. The winner will be awarded e-Prize Computing Challenge award. Other competitions include optimization of the 3D reconstruction algorithm RELION – a core application of the cryo-EM that won the 2017 Nobel in chemistry, and NASA’s well known computational fluid-dynamics code CFL3D. By including these HPC applications in the competition that have made significant contributions in the life science and aerospace industries, ASC18 hopes to highlight the potential supercomputing to address the world’s most pressing problems.

This year’s ASC also features a new scoring system and larger cash prizes. ASC18 is to combine “completion points” and “performance points” with each accounting for 50% of the final score. After each team present their results, verified on correctness, they obtain the “completion points” for each task. The best-performing team will receive full “performance points”, and the others are graded on a normalized curve to the best result. This new scoring system is a better reflection reflects of each team’s ability and makes the final ranking more realistic and difficult to predict.

The ASC18 provides the largest cash prizes of any student supercomputer challenge, with the total prize money of exceeding 200,000 RMB. The champion team will receive 100,000 RMB, the runner-up 50,000 RMB, and the winners of the e-Prize Computing Challenge 27,182 RMB.

On May 8, 2018, ASC18 will also have the 18th HPC Connection Workshop with the theme “The Next Frontier: AI, Computing and Science”. The event will have talks from renown guest speakers: Jack Dongarra – Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee professor; Fu Haohuan – Deputy Director of the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi; Marek Michalewicz – Professor at the University of Warsaw; and Anne C. Elster – HPC-Lab Director and Professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

The annual ASC Challenge plays an important role in cultivating young talents and promoting international exchanges in the supercomputing. By bringing together university students from around the world, it encourages the participants to both compete and learn from each another by building cluster systems and embark upon a series of AI and HPC applications. ASC believes that building bridges of cooperation and friendship will help establish a strong foundation for future international and scientific collaboration.

The ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge was initiated in China and supported by experts and institutions from Asia, America and Europe. By promoting exchanges and fostering the development of talented young minds around the world, the ASC aims to improve R&D of supercomputing applications and accelerate industry innovation. The first ASC challenge was launched in 2012. Since then, the competition has continued to grow into the largest supercomputer challenge with more than 1,100 teams and 5,500 young talents from around the world having participated. ACS18 is jointly organized by the Asia Supercomputer Community, Inspur Group, and hosted by Nanchang University in China.

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