Days Held

Monday–Wednesday, November 15–17, 2021

The Student Cluster Competition (SCC) was developed in 2007 to provide an immersive high performance computing experience to undergraduate and high school students.

With sponsorship from hardware and software vendor partners, student teams design and build small clusters, learn scientific applications, apply optimization techniques for their chosen architectures, and compete in a non-stop, 48-hour challenge at the SC conference to complete real-world scientific workloads, showing off their HPC knowledge for conference attendees and judges.

Reproducibility Challenge

One of the applications presented to the student teams is the Reproducibility Challenge, in which students attempt to reproduce results from an accepted paper from the prior year’s Technical Program.

Students have the opportunity to interact directly with the paper’s authors as they attempt to reproduce specific results and conclusions from the paper. As part of this challenge, each student team writes a reproducibility report detailing their experience in reproducing the results from the paper. Authors of the most highly rated reproducibility reports may be invited to submit their reports to a reproducibility special issue.

Teams & Process

Teams are composed of six students, an advisor, and vendor partners. The advisor provides guidance and recommendations, the vendor provides the resources (hardware and software), and the students provide the skill and enthusiasm. Students work with their advisors to craft a proposal that describes the team, the suggested hardware, and their approach to the competition. The SCC committee reviews each proposal and provides comments for all submissions. The two hardware requirements for team clusters are that they are able to run the applications and exercises of the competition and use less than 3,000 watts of power.

Support Provided

Selected teams receive full conference registration for each team member and one advisor. Each team is also provided with three hotel rooms (two beds per room) for the students, plus one room (one bed per room) for the advisor. As the competition is part of the Students@SC program, students can also participate in Mentor–Protégé Matching and the Job Fair. Travel to the conference and per diem are not provided.

History

For more information about SCC in past years, including team profiles, photos, winners, and more: studentclustercompetition.us

SCC Mystery Application

The SCC is looking for scientific applications from the HPC community that could be used as the SCC Mystery Application. If you have a scientific application that you think would be a great fit for the competition, please complete the form at the link below once submissions open.

The application owner for the selected application will receive complimentary registration to SC21.

Eligibility

  • Each submission must list an application owner who will:
    • be responsible for answering questions from the SCC teams.
    • prepare test and input decks for the competition.
    • be available to serve as judge during SC21.
  • The application should not have export control restrictions.
  • The application must have updated documentation.
  • Submissions and selections must be kept confidential until the beginning of the SCC when the mystery application selected will be revealed.

Mystery Application submissions open February 8, 2021.

SCC Benchmarks & Applications

Three Benchmarks and Applications TBA

Benchmarks

 

LINPACK Benchmark
http://top500.org/project/linpack/

The Linpack Benchmark is a measure of a computer’s floating-point rate of execution. It is determined by running a computer program that solves a dense system of linear equations. It is used by the TOP 500 as a tool to rank peak performance. The benchmark allows the user to scale the size of the problem and to optimize the software in order to achieve the best performance for a given machine. This performance does not reflect the overall performance of a given system, as no single number ever can. It does, however, reflect the performance of a dedicated system for solving a dense system of linear equations. Since the problem is very regular, the performance achieved is quite high, and the performance numbers give a good correction of peak performance.

 

HPCG Benchmark
http://hpcg-benchmark.org/

The High Performance Conjugate Gradients (HPCG) Benchmark project is an effort to create a new metric for ranking HPC systems. HPCG is intended as a complement to the High Performance LINPACK (HPL) benchmark, currently used to rank the TOP500 computing systems. The computational and data access patterns of HPL are still representative of some important scalable applications, but not all. HPCG is designed to exercise computational and data access patterns that more closely match a different and broad set of important applications, and to give incentive to computer system designers to invest in capabilities that will have impact on the collective performance of these applications.

 

IO500 Benchmark
http://io500.org

The IO500 benchmark is a benchmark suite for High-Performance IO. It harnesses existing and trusted open-source benchmarks such as IOR and MDTest and bundles execution rules and multiple workloads with the purpose to evaluate and analyze the storage devices for various IO patterns. The IO500 benchmark is designed to provide performance boundaries of the storage for HPC applications regarding data and metadata operations under what are commonly observed to be both easy and difficult IO patterns from multiple concurrent clients. Moreover, there is a phase that scans for previously-created files that match certain conditions using a (possibly file system-specific) parallel find utility to evaluate the speed of namespace traversal and file attribute retrieval. The final score that is used to rank submissions in the list is a combined score across all the executed benchmarks.

 

Applications

 

Mystery Application
At the start of the competition, teams will be given an application and datasets for a mystery application. Students will be expected to build, optimize and run this mystery application all at the competition.

 

Reproducibility Challenge
One of the applications presented to the student teams is the Reproducibility Challenge, in which students attempt to reproduce results from an accepted paper from the prior year’s Technical Program.

Students have the opportunity to interact directly with the paper’s authors as they attempt to reproduce specific results and conclusions from the paper. As part of this challenge, each student team writes a reproducibility report detailing their experience in reproducing the results from the paper. Authors of the most highly rated reproducibility reports may be invited to submit their reports to a reproducibility special issue.

 

Additional applications will be announced at a later date. 

SCC Logistics

Orientation Briefing & Competition Stages

Full information regarding SCC logistics will be announced at a later date.

SCC Team Applications

Recommendations for Preparing Your SCC Team Application

Full information regarding SCC team applications will be announced at a later date.

SCC Rules

General Rules & System Software

Full information regarding SCC rules will be announced at a later date.

SCC Applications

Applications open February 8, 2021.

Submit your application

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