TACC Claims ‘Student Cluster Competition’ Overall Win

December 2, 2013

AUSTIN, Tex., Dec. 2 — Sponsored by Raytheon and coached by staff of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin, Team Texas won the 8th annual Student Cluster Competition this year at the Supercomputing Conference (SC13) in Denver. Tonight, the University Tower will light orange to acknowledge this accomplishment.

“The University of Texas team competed against teams from China, Australia, and Germany, as well as teams from Massachusetts, Colorado, Tennessee, and California,” said Carlos Rosales-Fernandez, team lead and a research scientist in TACC’s High Performance Computing (HPC) group. “The students put a lot of work into studying the applications before the competition, which gave our team an edge. They did a great job of working out the best execution strategies for the applications while also communicating with other teams,” he said.

The competition challenges rival teams of university undergraduates in a 72-hour-battle to prove that they can design, build, optimize and run the fastest and most efficient cluster computing system within the given power budget. In this real-time, non-stop competition, teams of six students assemble their clusters on the exhibit floor, live on pizza and little sleep, and race to demonstrate the greatest sustained performance across a series of applications and scientific workloads.

“The competition is all about power management ― it’s about getting as much compute power as you can per amp out of two 13-amp circuits,” said Reid McKenzie, one of the competitors and a computer science student at The University of Texas at Austin.

The University of Texas winning team members are:

  • Eric Dawson (biology);
  • Jim Given (computer science, mathematics);
  • Reid McKenzie (computer science);
  • Julian Michael (computer science, physics);
  • Suvamsh Shivaprasad (computer science); and
  • Zachary Tschirhart (computer science, aerospace engineering, mathematics).

The team was coached by Rosales-Fernandez, John Cazes and John Lockman of TACC, and two of last year’s team members served as student advisors: Michael Teng (computer science) and Andrew Wiley (computer science, electrical engineering).

“This competition is a huge educational opportunity for undergraduates and the HPC community,” said John Lockman, TACC’s advanced scientific training coordinator. “It’s the vehicle that drives knowledge transfer from HPC professionals to undergraduate students who would not have been exposed to these topics in traditional educational settings. When we expose new, energetic minds to current technologies and practices, we help to foster the next generation of talented HPC professionals.”

The teams work with company sponsors several months in advance to design and build a cutting-edge system from commercially available components. This year, TACC and Team Texas partnered with Dell, Intel, Mellanox, and Nvidia.

The company sponsors provide the hardware and travel funds, while the TACC coaches worked side by side with the students to teach them the fundamentals of cluster construction, systems administration, and program optimization.

The competition began Monday morning, November 18, when the teams ran the HPCC benchmark, which tests multiple attributes that contribute substantially to the real-world performance of HPC systems. These results are factored into their overall score. They ran the Linpack benchmark independently to compete for the ‘Highest Linpack’ award (this famous benchmark measures the performance of the system solving a large number of linear equations). On Monday evening, all of the teams received the data sets for the scientific applications that they ran over the next 48 hours.

HPCC benchmark scores, results from the scientific applications, and interviews with judges were weighted to determine each team’s final score. Teams were also judged on the presentation of their system, the quality and precision of their results, and interviews with contest judges, who assessed how well the students understood their systems and workloads.

TACC and its industry partners have sponsored student teams in the competition since 2010 when The University of Texas team received the highest Linpack score and was the first team in the competition’s history to submit a Linpack score higher than a teraflop. In 2011, The University of Texas team built an energy-saving cluster that was submerged in mineral oil, which had the highest Linpack score among CPU-only teams. Last year, the team took first place in the overall standings, breaking Team Taiwan’s (National Tsing Hua University) two-year winning streak.

“If we win next year at SC14 in New Orleans, The University of Texas and TACC will be the first-ever three-time winners,” Rosales said.

Nick Troutz, a business development manager in Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business, said: “Raytheon is proud to support these students. We’re impressed with the high-level talent and enthusiasm these students bring to the competition, and we want to encourage more undergraduates to study high performance computing.”

—–

Source: TACC

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!

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in 2017 with scale-up production for enterprise datacenters and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fine-Tuning Severe Hail Forecasting with Machine Learning

July 20, 2017

Depending on whether you’ve been caught outside during a severe hail storm, the sight of greenish tinted clouds on the horizon may cause serious knots in the pit of your stomach, or at least give you pause. There’s g Read more…

By Sean Thielen

Trinity Supercomputer’s Haswell and KNL Partitions Are Merged

July 19, 2017

Trinity supercomputer’s two partitions – one based on Intel Xeon Haswell processors and the other on Xeon Phi Knights Landing – have been fully integrated are now available for use on classified work in the Nationa Read more…

By HPCwire Staff

Fujitsu Continues HPC, AI Push

July 19, 2017

Summer is well under way, but the so-called summertime slowdown, linked with hot temperatures and longer vacations, does not seem to have impacted Fujitsu's output. The Japanese multinational has made a raft of HPC and A Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE Servers Deliver High Performance Remote Visualization

Whether generating seismic simulations, locating new productive oil reservoirs, or constructing complex models of the earth’s subsurface, energy, oil, and gas (EO&G) is a highly data-driven industry. Read more…

Researchers Use DNA to Store and Retrieve Digital Movie

July 18, 2017

From abacus to pencil and paper to semiconductor chips, the technology of computing has always been an ever-changing target. The human brain is probably the computer we use most (hopefully) and understand least. This mon Read more…

By John Russell

The Exascale FY18 Budget – The Next Step

July 17, 2017

On July 12, 2017, the U.S. federal budget for its Exascale Computing Initiative (ECI) took its next step forward. On that day, the full Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives voted to accept the recomme Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Summer Reading: IEEE Spectrum’s Chip Hall of Fame

July 17, 2017

Take a trip down memory lane – the Mostek MK4096 4-kilobit DRAM, for instance. Perhaps processors are more to your liking. Remember the Sh-Boom processor (1988), created by Russell Fish and Chuck Moore, and named after Read more…

By John Russell

Women in HPC Luncheon Shines Light on Female-Friendly Hiring Practices

July 13, 2017

The second annual Women in HPC luncheon was held on June 20, 2017, during the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The luncheon provides participants the opportunity to network with industry lea Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fine-Tuning Severe Hail Forecasting with Machine Learning

July 20, 2017

Depending on whether you’ve been caught outside during a severe hail storm, the sight of greenish tinted clouds on the horizon may cause serious knots in the Read more…

By Sean Thielen

Fujitsu Continues HPC, AI Push

July 19, 2017

Summer is well under way, but the so-called summertime slowdown, linked with hot temperatures and longer vacations, does not seem to have impacted Fujitsu's out Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Researchers Use DNA to Store and Retrieve Digital Movie

July 18, 2017

From abacus to pencil and paper to semiconductor chips, the technology of computing has always been an ever-changing target. The human brain is probably the com Read more…

By John Russell

The Exascale FY18 Budget – The Next Step

July 17, 2017

On July 12, 2017, the U.S. federal budget for its Exascale Computing Initiative (ECI) took its next step forward. On that day, the full Appropriations Committee Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Women in HPC Luncheon Shines Light on Female-Friendly Hiring Practices

July 13, 2017

The second annual Women in HPC luncheon was held on June 20, 2017, during the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The luncheon provid Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Satellite Advances, NSF Computation Power Rapid Mapping of Earth’s Surface

July 13, 2017

New satellite technologies have completely changed the game in mapping and geographical data gathering, reducing costs and placing a new emphasis on time series Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia and Tiffany Jolley

Intel Skylake: Xeon Goes from Chip to Platform

July 13, 2017

With yesterday’s New York unveiling of the new “Skylake” Xeon Scalable processors, Intel made multiple runs at multiple competitive threats and strategic Read more…

By Doug Black

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-wo Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the cam Read more…

By John Russell

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is the successor to Caffe, the deep learning framework developed by Berkeley AI Research and community contributors. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Engine (GCE) job. Sutherland ran the massive mathematics workload on 220,000 GCE cores using preemptible virtual machine instances. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Six Exascale PathForward Vendors Selected; DoE Providing $258M

June 15, 2017

The much-anticipated PathForward awards for hardware R&D in support of the Exascale Computing Project were announced today with six vendors selected – AMD Read more…

By John Russell

Top500 Results: Latest List Trends and What’s in Store

June 19, 2017

Greetings from Frankfurt and the 2017 International Supercomputing Conference where the latest Top500 list has just been revealed. Although there were no major Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This