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Team NTU from SCSE wins the Student Cluster Competition LINPACK at SC17 in Denver, Colorado.

Published on: 23-Nov-2017

The winning team members are Mr Liu Siyuan – Captain (CS Year 4), Mr Shao Yiyang – Vice-Captain (CS, Year 4), Ms Hao Meiru (CS, Year 2), Mr Chen Hailin (CS, Year 3), Mr Shi Ziji (CS, Year 3), Ms Tang Shuqian (CS, Year 3), A/Prof. Francis Lee Bu Sung – Team Advisor (2nd from left).

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.

This year Student Cluster Competition held in conjunction with SuperComputing 2017 (SC17) at Denver, Colorado from 13-15 Nov 2017. SC is the premier conference and exhibition event for high performance computing. Nanyang Technological University – Team Supernova, won the Overall award by obtaining the highest score at the competition, beating 15 other universities from around the world. Along the way to winning the Overall award, they utterly destroyed the Student Cluster Competition LINPACK record by posting a score of 51.77 TFlop/s taking the Highest LINPACK award. This is only the second time in the 11 years history of the competition, where ONE team has taken both awards.

Team Supernova used a two node Intel E5-2699 based cluster with a whopping 16 NVIDIA Volta V100 GPUs to take the trophy for Highest LINPACK (although there isn’t an actual trophy). Astonishingly enough, their high score, using only 3,000 watts, is enough to top the most energy efficient systems on the Green500.

The team put in a lot of effort to optimise the code and in some cases ported the code to run on the nvidia v100.

They are encouraged to research the applications from various sources. They learn from the web, from domain experts, from books, from research papers, and from code. They believe this would give them a unique and comprehensive understanding of the applications.

SC is a great opportunity for networking, they make friends with other teams and HPC professionals. It took them about 21 hours in total to get to Denver, with a 4-hour layover in Tokyo. The return flights are even more interesting, a short flight from Denver to LA and an 18-hour direct flight from LA to Singapore.

Well done to Team Supernova, the pride of NTU Singapore!

Watch video for the prize ceremony at SC17 in Denver, Colorado:


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