Student Cluster Competition madness is spreading like a particularly aggressive fungus, infecting everyone who comes near it. Jack Dongarra, the Frank Sinatra of HPC, is a big fan of the cluster competitions and is one of the judges for the ASC events.
I’ve found Jack to be a cluster competition aficionado. At nearly every competition, I’ve seen him at one time or another roaming through the student booths, asking questions, getting to know the students, and offering encouragement and even a bit of advice here and there.
I know the students appreciate his attention and are highly flattered that he would take the time to talk with them. To the students, Jack is kind of a legend – thus the “Frank Sinatra of HPC” moniker I’ve hung on him. There was only one Frank and there is only one Jack, right?
I had my camera handy when he made the rounds at ASC19 and did a short interview to get his take on cluster competitions in general. That’s in Part One of the extremely high-quality video linked below.
One aspect of these events which is especially interesting to me is how former student participants are still involved in the competition.
As the unofficial historian of these competitions, I’ve noticed a growing trend of students who have used up their amateur eligibility (i.e. graduated) becoming coaches and mentors for new undergraduate teams. I met two of these competitor/coaches at ASC19 in Dalian, China.
The first was Keun (I’m probably not spelling his name correctly) from Shanghai Jaio Tong University. I have seen this kid at what seems like every ASC and several ISC competitions in the past. He was always his team’s spokesperson and I was impressed by his eagerness and aggressiveness. He was one intense dude when under competitive pressure. But I was very surprised to see him at ASC19, since I was sure he had already played in his final competition.
I was correct, he had used up his amateur status by graduating, but was coaching Team Shanghai at ASC. Fortunately, I had my camera ready and interviewed him on the spot. That’s part two of the video below.
The second competitor turned coach is Andre Tattar from Team Tartu – the student whiz kids from Estonia. Andre was the guy who sacrificed his own blood after cutting his hand at the “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” ISC competition. I didn’t get him on camera this time, but I will interview him at ISC19 in Germany and have him retell the story on camera. Plus we’ll see if he has any lasting physical scars from the event.
Next up, we’re going to briefly talk to some of the winners in the benchmarks and applications parts of the competition. After that, we’ll show you the overall champions of ASC19 and tell you how and why they won. Stay tuned…..