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CHPC announces winners of first Student Cluster Challenge

The Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) announced South Africa's very first Student Cluster Challenge winners. The glittering awards ceremony was held at the Durban International Convention Centre recently.
South Africa will now participate in the International Student Cluster Challenge for the first time in June 2013 and will send its national winners to battle against eight other teams in Leipzig, Germany.

The competition is an opportunity to showcase student expertise in a friendly yet spirited competition. In Germany, the competition will feature small teams that compete to demonstrate the capabilities of state-of-the-art high-performance cluster hardware and software. In a real-time challenge, teams of six undergraduate and/or high school students will build a small cluster of their own design on the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) exhibition floor and race to demonstrate the greatest performance across a series of benchmarks and applications.

Introduction of next generation

The students will have a unique opportunity to learn, experience and demonstrate how high-performance computing influences our world and day-to-day learning. Held in collaboration of the CHPC Advisory Council and ISC, the Student Cluster Challenge is designed to introduce the next generation of students to the high performance computing world and community.

Students were short-listed from the CHPC's High Performance Computing Winter School that was held in Bloemfontein this year, where they were trained in parallel programming - message passing interface (MPI), OpenMP, and CUDA (general purpose graphics processing unit programming). In September, 20 students were assigned teams and given their assignment to design, build and benchmark a cluster. The five teams were each given a R200 000 budget and a parts list courtesy of Dell.

Dell provided the muscle behind the competition by sponsoring R1 million worth of hardware and a R150 000 trip for training the winning team at the Dell headquarters in Austin, Texas. The South African Student Cluster team leaves for Austin in January and for the international competition in Leipzig on 14 June 2013.

Read more: Dell, ISC