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SC20 Announces Record Number of Teams for Annual Student Cluster Competition

This year’s Student Cluster Competition at SC20 will include two firsts: it will involve the most number of teams (19) in the competition’s 14-year history, and it will for the first time be held completely virtually.

“This year’s Student Cluster Competition will be very different, as it will be 100 percent cloud-based,” explained SC20 SCC Co-Chair Verónica G. Melesse Vergara, from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “Holding the competition in the cloud also allows us to reach a much wider audience by providing access that before would only have been available to in-person participants. Plus, the virtual format reduces cost barriers that have prohibited smaller institutions from applying to the SCC in the past. This will be a great opportunity for the teams to learn a whole set of extra skills in addition to HPC. Having experience in cloud environments will also provide students with an advantage when they enter the workforce.”

VSCC Co-Chair Scott Michael, from Indiana University added, “As the VSCC will be run on Microsoft Azure, the VSCC team is still working on updating the rules to make sure the new ones added apply to the cloud. The students will have to manage their cloud dollars instead of their power budget.”

Here’s a list of participating teams:

Clemson University, USA

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Boston University, USA

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

North Carolina State University, USA

Northeastern University, USA

Peking University, China

Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Shanghai Tech University, China

Southern University of Science and Technology, China

Texas A&M University, USA

Tsinghua University, China

University of California, San Diego, USA

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

University of Texas at Austin, USA

University of Warsaw, Poland

Wake Forest University, USA

Teams, which submitted their cluster proposals in time for an early July deadline, are composed of six students, an advisor and vendor partners. “The students provide their skills and enthusiasm, the advisor provides guidance, the vendor provides resources (e.g., software, expertise, travel funding), and Microsoft Azure provides the cloud credits for the competition,” according to SC20. “Over the summer, students worked with their advisors to craft a proposal that described the team, how the cloud budget would be utilized, and their approach to the competition.”

In a blog today, the conference said the SCC is “a microcosm of a modern HPC center that teaches and inspires students to pursue careers in the field. It demonstrates the breadth of skills, technologies and science that it takes to build, maintain and use advanced computing resources.”

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