Student Cluster Competition   
Student Cluster Competition
Student Cluster Competition

Student Cluster Competition
The Student Cluster Competition (SCC) was developed in 2007 to immerse undergraduate and high school students in high performance computing. Student teams design and build small clusters, with hardware and software vendor partners, learn designated scientific applications, apply optimization techniques for their chosen architectures, and compete in a non-stop, 48-hour challenge, at the SC conference, to complete a real-world scientific workload, while impressing conference attendees and interview judges with their HPC knowledge.

SCC Winners

SC15: Austin, TX
Overall: Tsinghua University
Linpack: Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen
(7.134 TF)

SC14: New Orleans, LA
Overall: University of Texas at Austin
Linpack: National Tsing Hua University
(10.07 TF)

SC13: Denver, CO
Overall: University of Texas at Austin
Linpack: National University of
Defense Technology
(8.224 TF)

SC12: Salt Lake City, UT
Overall: University of Texas at Austin
Linpack: National University of
Defense Technology
(3.014 TF)

SC11: Seattle, WA
Overall: National Tsing Hua University
Linpack: State University of
Nizhny Novgorod
(1.93 TF)

SC10: New Orleans, LA
Overall: National Tsing Hua University
Linpack: University of Texas at Austin
(1.07 TF)

SC09: Portland, OR
Overall: Stony Brook University
Linpack: Colorado University, Boulder

SC08: Austin, TX
Overall: Indiana University
Linpack: National Tsing Hua University
(703 GF)

SC07: Reno, NV
Overall: University of Alberta
Linpack: National Tsing Hua University
(420 GF)

SCC 10-year Logo

                  2016 Teams
  • Friedrich-Alexander University, Germany
  • Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China
  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan
  • Northeastern University / Auburn University, United States
  • Peking University, China
  • San Diego State University, United States
  • Team MGHPCC (Boston University, MIT, University of
    Massachusetts, Harvard University), United States
  • Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • Universidad EAFIT, Colombia
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States
  • University of Science and Technology of China, China
  • University of Texas at Austin / Texas State University, United States
  • University of Utah, United States
The SCC was developed prior to efforts to integrate HPC education into undergraduate curricula. Identifying this deficiency early, the original intent was to provide students with early exposure to HPC and motivate undergraduate curriculum development. Despite undergraduate HPC topics slowly becoming mainstream in CS/CE programs, the SCC remains an invaluable tool in HPC education, reaching a multi-disciplinary student population and often provides domain scientists with their first exposure to HPC. The competition also exposes teams to an HPC work environment, requiring teamwork and broad understanding of systems, software, and applications.

Some unique impacts of the SCC to HPC education include providing students the opportunity to work with cutting-edge hardware and software seen in the Top 500 HPC systems. SCC applications and rules are chosen to make teams aware of the interconnections between system architecture and applications, and competition applications are chosen to demonstrate the societal impacts of HPC. For example, simulating how weather and catastrophic events impact urban development, and simulating zombie invasions is similar to understanding the spread of disease. The competition also enables students to be inspired by HPC and use the playful nature of a competition to take risks and drive their own education. By staging the final event during the SC conference, the SCC allows students to see the vibrancy of the HPC community, identify role models, network, establish mentorship opportunities, and learn of career possibilities in HPC.

With the Student Cluster Competition fostering HPC curriculum development in educational institutions, the SCC helps to maintain a computationally-aware work force, to meet the challenges of the future.