News & events


South Africa wins international student cluster competition

Third Quarter 2019 News & events

A team of six South African undergraduate students recently took first prize against 13 teams at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Germany. This spectacular success followed four days of working on a selection of tests and applications to optimise and run their computer cluster to demonstrate the performance of their chosen design.

The team of four UCT students and two Wits students entered the rigorous and fiercely contested competition following their success at the national round, where they beat nine other South African teams. The team took on 102 members of teams from all over the world. The team took first place with the highest overall score for all the benchmarks they were given. Team South Africa has won the competition four times.

The selection phase coincides with the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) Winter School. This is designed to impart critical knowledge for building a cluster, which includes using Linux systems, the basic software stack of a cluster and considerations when choosing hardware. Selection concludes with an assignment that requires each team to build a prototype cluster in the cloud. The teams selected proceed to the national competition. Here participants build small high performance clusters out of hardware provided by the CHPC and its industrial partners. They are given a selection of applications to optimise and run on their cluster to demonstrate the performance of their design. The teams are judged on a combination of the performance of the applications and the design of the cluster.

For more information contact David Mandaha, CSIR, +27 12 841 3654, dmandaha@csir.co.za, www.csir.co.za





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