The Irresistible Appeal of the ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge

February 11, 2019

The ASC 2019 Student Supercomputer Challenge is underway, with more than 300 teams from around the world will tackle challenges on CESM, the Community Earth System Model for studying climate change; SR, single image super-resolution; and HPL and HPCG, internationally accepted HPC benchmarks in the next two months.

The annual ASC was first held in 2012 and has since attracted over 7,000 college students from all over the world. These students met ASC in the most energetic and creative times of their lives, constantly challenging themselves and feeling the magic of supercomputing. Supercomputing competition is full of mystery in the eyes of ordinary people, but in the students’ eyes, the extremely complex codes are like the notes from a musician’s fingertips, and clumsy servers are the most powerful weapons to interpret the mysteries of the world. What has drawn these students to join in this competition? Let’s hear what the participants described below from their experience, and discover the enduring appeal of the world’s largest student supercomputer event.

For Marcin Mielniczuk from the University of Warsaw, the ASC Challenge has been a major event in his life. He even likes to start learning Chinese because of the competition. “I can definitely say that participating in the ASC Challenge has changed my life. It’s a very unique experience to compete on the Sunway TaihuLight, the world’s fastest supercomputers.”

Alexander Ditter, the advisor of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg team, has participated in the ASC17 and ASC18 competitions with his students. “The ASC competition brings us a new experience, and we were impressed by the organization, support the venue selection, and the team and I am very happy with the previous competitions.” He said, “It’s professional and friendly, with the exchange and extension of knowledge and cultural expansion. We are currently preparing for the new contest in 2019.” In particular, what impressed him most was the unique experience of ASC17. “One of the highlights in the competition was the workload that the student teams actually got to run on the supercomputer – the Sunway ThaihuLight, this allows all students to add a bright touch to their resumes, as not too many college students can claim to have received allocations and run workloads on the world’s fastest supercomputers.”

Shaina D. Le of Texas A&M University noted that although her team did not win the competition, they witnessed each other’s strengths and weaknesses under authentic contest conditions and met a group of enterprising people – from two eager to strengthen their English language skills through volunteering with the competition; to the students from some of the top universities in their respective countries, to doctoral candidates and high-performance computing experts at the forefronts of the fields. “We were immersed in a unique culture for a brief time but the impression it left was fantastic and everlasting.” She added, “Competitions often imply opposition and rivalry, yet I felt the overall goal of this competition to work as a collective in determining solutions beneficial to all.”

The Shanghai University of Science and Technology team, which won the runner-up and e Prize Winner in its first time at the finals, was undoubtedly the most impressive “dark horse” of ASC18. Team leader Xie Zhiqiang used the word “fruitful” to describe the whole experience. He said, “This is not only about the result, but also about the difficulties we face in challenging of high-performance computing and the solutions we designed. More importantly, our team enjoyed the whole contest and cooperated well with each other. At the same time, we have gained friendship with the outstanding students from many other universities.”

Feng Guanyu fromTsinghua University said, “We have participated in the ASC Supercomputer Challenge for many years. The experience of these competitions is very precious. It is a process of continuous learning, mutual complementation and improvement with team members.” The Tsinghua University team so far is the only one in the world that has been honored championships in all three major student supercomputer challenges: SC, ISC and ASC.

Cui Peng, the team leader of the Qinghai University team, has participated in the ASC Challenge for three consecutive years. He believes that “the ASC is very meaningful for college students, because we can learn a lot, from the hardware to software, from system structure to operating system, and apply theoretical knowledge during the competition. We can definitely benefit from it.” The Qinghai University team won the third prize in its first year and the second prize in it’s the second year. At ASC18, the team achieved a major breakthrough by winning the first prize and moving to the finals. Along the way, the team experienced numerous difficulties but still enjoyed the challenge.

Perhaps everyone participating in the ASC Challenge has their own unique views. But it is this unique experience that attracts thousands of college students every year to be obsessed with this challenge, harvesting knowledge, growth and surprise. Learn more ASC at www.asc-events.org/

 

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!

Insights from Optimized Codes on Cineca’s Marconi

February 15, 2019

What can you do with 381,392 CPU cores? For Cineca, it means enabling computational scientists to expand a large part of the world’s body of knowledge from the nanoscale to the astronomic, from calculating quantum effe Read more…

By Ken Strandberg

What Will IBM’s AI Debater Learn from Its Loss?

February 14, 2019

The utility of IBM’s latest man-versus-machine gambit is debatable. At the very least its Project Debater got us thinking about the potential uses of artificial intelligence as a way of helping humans sift through al Read more…

By George Leopold

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. According to Dutch news site Drimb Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE Systems With Intel Omni-Path: Architected for Value and Accessible High-Performance Computing

Today’s high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) users value high performing clusters. And the higher the performance that their system can deliver, the better. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Medical Research Powered by Data

“We’re all the same, but we’re unique as well. In that uniqueness lies all of the answers….”

  • Mark Tykocinski, MD, Provost, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Thomas Jefferson University

Getting the answers to what causes some people to develop diseases and not others is driving the groundbreaking medical research being conducted by the Computational Medicine Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Read more…

South African Weather Service Doubles Compute and Triples Storage Capacity of Cray System

February 13, 2019

South Africa has made headlines in recent years for its commitment to HPC leadership in Africa – and now, Cray has announced another major South African HPC expansion. Cray has been awarded contracts with Eclipse Holdings Ltd. to upgrade the supercomputing system operated by the South African Weather Service (SAWS). Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Insights from Optimized Codes on Cineca’s Marconi

February 15, 2019

What can you do with 381,392 CPU cores? For Cineca, it means enabling computational scientists to expand a large part of the world’s body of knowledge from th Read more…

By Ken Strandberg

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

UC Berkeley Paper Heralds Rise of Serverless Computing in the Cloud – Do You Agree?

February 13, 2019

Almost exactly ten years to the day from publishing of their widely-read, seminal paper on cloud computing, UC Berkeley researchers have issued another ambitious examination of cloud computing - Cloud Programming Simplified: A Berkeley View on Serverless Computing. The new work heralds the rise of ‘serverless computing’ as the next dominant phase of cloud computing. Read more…

By John Russell

Iowa ‘Grows Its Own’ to Fill the HPC Workforce Pipeline

February 13, 2019

The global workforce that supports advanced computing, scientific software and high-speed research networks is relatively small when you stop to consider the magnitude of the transformative discoveries it empowers. Technical conferences provide a forum where specialists convene to learn about the latest innovations and schedule face-time with colleagues from other institutions. Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

Trump Signs Executive Order Launching U.S. AI Initiative

February 11, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) today launching a U.S Artificial Intelligence Initiative. The new initiative - Maintaining American L Read more…

By John Russell

Celebrating Women in Science: Meet Four Women Leading the Way in HPC

February 11, 2019

One only needs to look around at virtually any CS/tech conference to realize that women are underrepresented, and that holds true of HPC. SC hosts over 13,000 H Read more…

By AJ Lauer

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

Assessing Government Shutdown’s Impact on HPC

February 6, 2019

After a 35-day federal government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, government agencies are taking stock of the damage -- and girding for a potential secon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Unveils Shasta, Lands NERSC-9 Contract

October 30, 2018

Cray revealed today the details of its next-gen supercomputing architecture, Shasta, selected to be the next flagship system at NERSC. We've known of the code-name "Shasta" since the Argonne slice of the CORAL project was announced in 2015 and although the details of that plan have changed considerably, Cray didn't slow down its timeline for Shasta. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

AMD Sets Up for Epyc Epoch

November 16, 2018

It’s been a good two weeks, AMD’s Gary Silcott and Andy Parma told me on the last day of SC18 in Dallas at the restaurant where we met to discuss their show news and recent successes. Heck, it’s been a good year. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Reportedly in $6B Bid for Mellanox

January 30, 2019

The latest rumors and reports around an acquisition of Mellanox focus on Intel, which has reportedly offered a $6 billion bid for the high performance interconn Read more…

By Doug Black

US Leads Supercomputing with #1, #2 Systems & Petascale Arm

November 12, 2018

The 31st Supercomputing Conference (SC) - commemorating 30 years since the first Supercomputing in 1988 - kicked off in Dallas yesterday, taking over the Kay Ba Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Looking for Light Reading? NSF-backed ‘Comic Books’ Tackle Quantum Computing

January 28, 2019

Still baffled by quantum computing? How about turning to comic books (graphic novels for the well-read among you) for some clarity and a little humor on QC. The Read more…

By John Russell

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

Deep500: ETH Researchers Introduce New Deep Learning Benchmark for HPC

February 5, 2019

ETH researchers have developed a new deep learning benchmarking environment – Deep500 – they say is “the first distributed and reproducible benchmarking s Read more…

By John Russell

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Quantum Update: Q System One Launch, New Collaborators, and QC Center Plans

January 10, 2019

IBM made three significant quantum computing announcements at CES this week. One was introduction of IBM Q System One; it’s really the integration of IBM’s Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Jensen Huang Delivers Vision for the New HPC

November 14, 2018

For nearly two hours on Monday at SC18, Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, presented his expansive view of the future of HPC (and computing in general) as only he can do. Animated. Backstopped by a stream of data charts, product photos, and even a beautiful image of supernovae... Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Reflections and (Mostly Hopeful) Predictions

December 19, 2018

So much ‘spaghetti’ gets tossed on walls by the technology community (vendors and researchers) to see what sticks that it is often difficult to peer through Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

The Deep500 – Researchers Tackle an HPC Benchmark for Deep Learning

January 7, 2019

How do you know if an HPC system, particularly a larger-scale system, is well-suited for deep learning workloads? Today, that’s not an easy question to answer Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Confirms 48-Core Cascade Lake-AP for 2019

November 4, 2018

As part of the run-up to SC18, taking place in Dallas next week (Nov. 11-16), Intel is doling out info on its next-gen Cascade Lake family of Xeon processors, specifically the “Advanced Processor” version (Cascade Lake-AP), architected for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and infrastructure-as-a-service workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This