I caught up with the team from UT Austin just before they turned in their final results. As you can see in the short video, they’re pretty cool and composed, but I thought I sensed a little bit of anxiety under the surface. As it turns out, they should have been more relaxed – they were on their way to winning the 2012 Overall Award.
This is Team Longhorn’s third year in the competition, and they seemed more focused and businesslike than before. At their first outing at SC10 in New Orleans, the Longhorn booth was festooned with posters and flair highlighting their “TACC to the Future” theme. In 2011, their Seattle booth was dominated by their mineral oil immersion cooling solution. (They had some sort of theme that year too, but it wasn’t memorable enough to stick with me, and I’m too lazy to look it up in my voluminous archives.)
The Longhorn effort this year had no theme, few (if any) team giveaways, and a stark booth. They didn’t seem like the outgoing and fun-loving bunch we’ve seen at past competitions. Of course, it could be that they were sick of me hanging around – which is certainly understandable (and not the first time I’ve heard this, or even the first time I’ve heard this today).
Team Texas was on a mission, and highly focused on winning all the marbles. And they accomplished this goal, bringing the coveted SCC Overall Award to Texas for the first time ever. They also broke with tradition Longhorn tradition by bringing a hybrid system (CPU + GPUs) to the big dance. Their new box and renewed focus paid off with a big win for the Longhorns.