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ASC20 to test Student Cluster Teams on Quantum & AI

Today the 2020 ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC20) announced new tasks for the competition: using supercomputers to simulate Quantum circuit and training AI models. These tasks will be unprecedented challenges for the 300+ ASC teams from around the world. The Finals event takes place April 25-29, 2020 in Shenzhen, China.

ASC20 set up Quantum Computing tasks for the first time. Teams are going to use the QuEST (Quantum Exact Simulation Toolkit) running on supercomputers to simulate 30 qubits in two cases: quantum random circuits (random.c), and quantum fast Fourier transform circuits (GHZ—QFT.c). Quantum computing is a disruptive technology, considered to be the next generation high performance computing. However the R&D of quantum computers is lagging behind due to the unique properties of quantum. It adds extra difficulties for scientists to use real quantum computers to solve some of the most pressing problems such as particle physics modeling, cryptography, genetic engineering, and quantum machine learning. From this perspective, the quantum computing task presented in the ASC20 challenge, hopefully, will inspire new algorithms and architectures in this field.

The other new task for the competition is the Language Exam Challenge. Teams will take on the challenge to train AI models on an English Cloze Test dataset, vying to achieve the highest “test scores”. The dataset covers multiple levels of English language tests in China, including the college entrance examination, College English Test Band 4 and Band 6, and others. Teaching the machines to understand human language is one of the most elusive and long-standing challenges in the field of AI. The ASC20 AI task signifies such a challenge, by using human-oriented problems to evaluate the performance of neural networks.

Wang Endong, ASC Challenge initiator, member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chief Scientist at Inspur Group, said that through these tasks, students from all over the world get to access and learn the most cutting-edge computing technologies. ASC strives to foster supercomputing & AI talents of global vision, inspiring technical innovation.

Dr. Lu Chun, Vice President of SUSTech – host of the ASC20 Finals, commented that supercomputers are important infrastructure for scientific innovation and economic development. SUSTech makes focused efforts on developing supercomputing and hosting ASC20, hoping to drive the training of supercomputing talent, international exchange and cooperation, as well as inter discipline development at SUSTech.

Furthermore, during January 15-16, 2020, the ASC20 organizing committee held a competition training camp in Beijing to help student teams prepare for the ongoing competition. HPC and AI experts from the State Key Laboratory of High-end Server and Storage Technology, Inspur, Intel, NVIDIA, Mellanox, Peng Cheng Laboratory and the Institute of Acoustics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences gathered to provide on-site coaching and guidance. Previous ASC winning teams also shared their successful experiences.

About ASC

The ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge is the world’s largest student supercomputer competition, sponsored and organized by Asia Supercomputer Community in China 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 annual ASC Supercomputer Challenge was first held in 2012 and has since attracted over 8,500 undergraduates from all over the world.

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