1st Student Cluster Competition Focusing on Racial Inclusion Slated for January

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The inaugural Winter Classic Invitational Student Cluster Competition to include historically black and minority universities in the supercomputing challenge arena is slated for Jan. 25, 2021.

To date, participating colleges include Prairie View A&M University, Fayetteville State University and Tennessee State University. With the support of top technology sponsors, Student Cluster Competitions train students to design and build supercomputing (HPC) clusters and optimize real-world scientific and artificial intelligence programs, providing valuable industry, team building skills and experience.

The Winter Classic Invitational joins SC, ISC and ASC global competitions as the fourth major cluster competition held annually to support the need to mentor and learn for university students interested in HPC, AI and science-based computation.

The virtual competition runs from January 25-29, 2021, with student teams remotely running on vendor-provided hardware in vendor data centers.

“I strongly believe that the cluster competition will benefit our participating computer science students by giving them the opportunity to learn more about high performance computing” said Professor Radoslav Nickolov, chair of the Fayetteville State University’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. “Our students will also greatly benefit from the mentoring they will receive from sponsoring vendors and improve their future career prospects.”

Technology vendors sponsor individual teams and provide training and system time on clusters in their data centers. In return, sponsors will be at the forefront of addressing economic inequalities and will receive recognition and publicity for their participation, along with early recruitment opportunities.

“As technology leaders, it is our responsibility to get involved and support these deserving teams and to take meaningful action against racial and economic inequities,” said Trish Damkroger, VP and General Manager of High Performance Computing at Intel Corporation. “Participating in a Student Cluster Competition will give these students and institutions the confidence and opportunity they need when it comes to making a difference in the technology industry, specifically the fast growing HPC and artificial intelligence areas.”

Advisory Board Members for this competition include Dr. Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee; Happy Sithole, Director of the South Africa Centre for High Performance Computing; Brent Gorda, Senior Director of HPC at Arm; Gilad Shainer, Chair of the HPCAI Advisory Council, Patricia Damkroger, VP and General Manager of Intel’s Extreme Computing & Data Platform Group and many others.

Applications for schools opened on August 1, 2020 on the Winter Classic Invitational website. The competition will include up to 16 teams, with the final list of participating teams announced in October. Prospective sponsors can obtain more information by contacting the competition committee.

Cash prizes and scholarships will be granted to winning competition participants. This includes the Brueckner Award to honor long-time HPC journalist Rich Brueckner. The award is two $2,500 scholarships for the most outstanding students.

Dan Olds

About the Winter Classic Invitational Student Cluster Competition

The WCISCC is led by Dan Olds, with his 25 years in the high technology industry, including positions with Sun Microsystems, IBM, and currently as head analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group. Dan has been a judge and organizer and has covered every student cluster competition since 2010. His coverage includes hundreds of articles and videos that have appeared in The Register, insideHPC and HPCwire where he continues to contribute. For more info, please visit the WCISCC website.