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Teams And Vendor Partners Gearing Up To Build And Race High Performance Computers In SC10’s Student Cluster Competition

NEW ORLEANS, La.—October 14, 2010 - Teams from around the world are revving up for the 2010 Student Cluster Competition, the high performance endurance competition that will be a highlight of SC10, the premier international conference on high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis to be held Nov. 13-19 in New Orleans, La.

This real-time, 46-hour non-stop challenge will feature eight teams of undergraduate students building, tuning and racing high performance computing (HPC) clusters of their own design on the SC exhibit floor. The teams will race against each other and the clock to run the greatest number of applications. An added catch is that teams will be required to run workloads on the same power needed to run only three coffeemakers. Now in its fourth year, the Student Cluster Competition serves to showcase young computing talent and foster HPC education development.

“By showcasing some of the best young talent in HPC at SC10, the cluster challenge is a win for students, the institutions they represent, sponsors and cluster computing itself,” said Tiki Suarez-Brown, co-chair of this year’s competition, “The competition also demonstrates that cluster computing is making HPC more accessible to smaller companies, businesses and educational institutions.”

With the guidance of a team supervisor and vendor sponsors, teams are currently perfecting designs and preparing to build cutting-edge clusters from commercially available components. After the starting gun at SC10, teams will compete to achieve the best HPC benchmark performance and maximum throughput of accurate applications runs, all while remaining at or below their 26 amp energy budget.

Teams and vendor partners competing in the 2010 SCC include:

· National Tsing Hua University (Hsinchu, Taiwan) and Acer Inc. and Tatung Co.;
· Nizhni Novgorod State University (Nizhni Novgorod, Russia) and IBM and Microsoft;
· Florida A&M University and Atlantic Computer, LLC (HP Partner for Higher Education);
· University of Colorado and Dell/AMD/Mellanox Technologies through the HPC Advisory Council;
· The University of Texas at Austin and Dell;
· Purdue University and HP and AMD;
· Stony Brook University and Cray; and
· Louisiana State University and HP and LATG, Mellanox, Portland Group and Adaptive Computing.

“I'm bleeding excitement for the competition though it has made for a hectic school year. The competition was a lot more work than I expected, but I feel like I have grown a lot since we started and have become stronger at managing my time,” says McKendon LaFleur, Team LSU. “At first, I knew very little about HPC, but thanks to the support of CCT [LSU Center for Computation & Technology] and a great group of individuals who love to see students develop into professionals, it feels like I've had three or four years worth of knowledge pumped into me over the last several months,”

Teams also compete to impress SC participants and judges with visualizations, presentations, and interviews. The team from Stony Brook University, NY, won the SC09 Student Cluster Competition, sponsored by AMD, Dell and Mellanox Technologies.

“The SC cluster challenge provides a unique opportunity for students around the world to build a relationship with leading HPC equipment vendors and gain experience with the day-to-day challenges of the high performance computing world,” said Gilad Shainer of the HPC Advisory Council. “At SC09, Stony Brook students, sponsored by AMD, Dell, Mellanox Technologies, and assistance from the HPC Advisory Council, made an amazing run and won the SC09 cluster challenge. It was a great experience for everyone involved and we are thankful that the SC conference organizes such challenges and continues to provide the opportunity for more groups to experience what we had the pleasure to do.“

The Student Cluster Competition (SCC) is organized collaboratively by the SC10 Technical and Communities Programs to foster HPC education development by providing an intense hands-on experience to high school and undergraduate students throughout the year. The SCC is only partially funded by the SC conference. This year’s competition is made possible through generous contributions from Bank of America, Corning, Inc., Cray Inc., DataDirect Networks, LexisNexis, Lockheed Martin, Myricom, Proctor & Gamble, and Whamcloud. For more information, go to: http://sc10.supercomputing.org/?pg=studentcluster.html.

For more information on SC Communities, go to:
http://sc10.supercomputing.org/?pg=participate.html or e-mail communities@info.supercomputing.org

SC10 will be held in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana from Nov. 13-19. For more information, see http://sc10.supercomputing.org/

About SC10

SC10, sponsored by IEEE Computer Society and ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) offers a complete technical education program and exhibition to showcase the many ways high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis lead to advances in scientific discovery, research, education and commerce. This premier international conference includes a globally attended technical program, workshops, tutorials, a world class exhibit area, demonstrations and opportunities for hands-on learning. For more information on SC10, please visit: http://sc10.supercomputing.org/


Media Contacts:
Karen Green
kgreen@renci.org

--and--
Kathryn Kelley
kkelley@osc.edu