2013 promises to be the breakout year for student cluster competitions – the most popular HPC-related sporting events in the entire world. 2012 was an eventful year for student clustering, with the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) adding a student cluster competition to accompany their annual June conference.
2012 also witnessed student clustering mania engulf China to the point where they had to conduct an intra-country play-off to determine which two universities would represent the country at ISC’12. And the United States-based SC competition didn’t stand still in 2012 – they added a small system contest to complement their annual big iron battle.
This year, we’ll see a major expansion of the student cluster competition schedule. A new organization, the Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC), has put together a competition that has attracted a lot of interest both within China and internationally. So far, 30 universities from China, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, and Russia have submitted applications to compete at the mid-April final in Shanghai.
In June, the second annual HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition will kick off in Leipzig, Germany. They’ll host nine teams from universities located in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
2013 will close with the annual SC Cluster Competition in mid-November in Denver, Colorado. In addition to usual big iron contest, they’re adding a junior division in which teams use much less expensive hardware. Detailed previews, competition play-by-play, and final results of all of these contests will be covered in future articles – so stay tuned.