ASC20-21 Wrapped up with 28 Teams Taking Home Top Honors

May 14, 2021

On May 12, the 2020-2021 ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC20-21) finals came to a close at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen, China. In the on-site competition, Jinan University became Champion, Tsing Hua University won Silver Prize and e Prize, and Sun Yat-sen University the Highest LINPACK. In the virtual competition, National Tsing Hua University won Champion. Many other teams also took home top honors.

ASC20-21 was jointly organized by Asia Supercomputer Community and SUSTech. More than 300 teams from universities all over the world participated, of which 28 entered the finals. As the first international student supercomputer challenge that has resumed onsite competition after the COVID-19 outbreak, the ASC20-21 finals include both on-site and virtual participations. The Top21 teams from the Chinese mainland joined the finals on-site at SUSTech, and the Top7 teams outside of the Chinese mainland participated virtually using cloud computing platform.

In the finals, the teams were asked to design and build their own clusters within 3000W power consumption, run and optimize cutting-edge science and engineering applications including HPL&HPCG benchmarks, pulsar search, language exam, quantum computing simulation and a mystery application – MPAS-A (Model for Prediction Across Scales). Moreover, the 28 teams formed 7 groups through a draw and tackled the challenge of VENAS (New Coronavirus Evolution Anticipation).

The battle for Champion of the ASC20-21 finals was extremely fierce. In the end, the Jinan University team performed perfectly in multiple tasks including language exam and quantum computing simulation, demonstrating a comprehensive and profound understanding of supercomputing systems as well as excellent performance optimization. They won their first ASC champion. The Tsing Hua University team also delivered stunning performances in HPL&HPCG benchmarks, pulsar search and other tasks, and won Silver Prize.

The task for e Prize was PRESTO, a software for pulsar search. The participants were asked to use the real observational data gathered by Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) to search for a pulsar in the copious observational data while being interfered with by countless signals. In the end, the Tsing Hua University team greatly improved data access and processing performance through innovative solutions and thus won the award.

The Sun Yat-Sen University team ran the HPL benchmark within 3000W power consumption and achieved consistent floating-point performance of 79.04 TFLOPS, a new world record, and won the Highest LINPACK.

The group consisting of Northwestern Polytechnical University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Tsing Hua University, and Ural Federal University, efficiently optimized VENAS and improved its performance by over 10 times, became Group Competition winner. VENAS classifies the viral genome by comparing the mutation information of the genome, which can help the research on the traceability and spread of COVID-19 to achieve better prevention and control of the pandemic.

In addition, Beihang University, Shanxi University and Tsing Hua University won the Application Innovation Award for their outstanding performance in respective tasks.

In the virtual competition, National Tsing Hua University won the champion. The team of Universidad EAFIT, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Warsaw, and Monash University won the Application Innovation Award.

Jack Dongarra, Member of National Academy of Engineering, and Distinguished Professor at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, said, “The ASC challenge is designed to inspire students to adopt cutting-edge technologies to propose innovative solutions. I am very happy to see that the students have accomplished most of the challenges. In fact, computing science is a fusion of mathematics, computer science and various applications. I hope that the participating teams can fully understand this fusion and grow into next-generation high-performance computing scientists and engineers.”

The ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge is the world’s largest student supercomputer competition, sponsored and organized by Asia Supercomputer Community and supported by Asian, European, and American experts and institutions. The main objectives of ASC are to encourage exchange and training of young supercomputing talent from different countries, improve supercomputing applications and R&D capacity, boost the development of supercomputing, and promote technical and industrial innovation. The first ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge was held in 2012 and since has attracted nearly 10,000 undergraduates from all over the world.

The winners of ASC20-21 finals are:

Onsite competition:

Champion

Jinan University

Silver Prize

Tsing Hua University

Group Competition Award

Northwestern Polytechnical University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Tsing Hua University, and Ural Federal University

e Prize

Tsing Hua University

Highest LINPACK

Sun Yat-sen University

Application Innovation

Beihang University, Shanxi University, and Tsing Hua University

Most Popular Team

Lanzhou University

First Prize

Sun Yat-sen University, Peking University, Southern University of Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Shanxi University, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Beihang University, Shandong University, National University of Defense Technology, Qinghai University, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Zhejiang University, University of Science and Technology of China, Southeast University, Fuzhou University, Lanzhou University, Taiyuan University of Technology, and Hunan University

Virtual Competition:

Champion

National Tsing Hua University

Application Innovation

Universidad EAFIT, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Warsaw, and Monash University

Most Popular Team

Universidad EAFIT

First Prize

University of Warsaw, Universidad EAFIT, Kasetsart University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Ural Federal University, and Monash University

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