Continuing its proud tradition of supporting motivated undergraduate students at German universities, the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) will once again support two team in the Student Cluster Competition (SCC) at this year’s International Supercomputing Conference (ISC22).
The event takes place as a two-part hybrid event this year. The first component, done virtually, allows all 17 teams to connect to high-performance computing (HPC) systems provided by the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, University of Toronto, and the HPC Advisory Council. For the competition, the students will be asked to participate in a coding challenge, successfully run several well-known HPC applications, and perform benchmarks.
This year’s competition will also be open for the European-based teams to travel to the conference, where they will participate in a rigorous, fast-paced series of computational challenges using a cluster they build themselves. The in-person component mirrors the competition’s format before the COVID-19 pandemic forced ISC and the SCCs connected to the other major annual supercomputing conferences to become virtual-only competitions.
This year, GCS is sponsoring two teams based at 3 German universities. The first team consists of students from both the University of Hamburg and the Otto von Guericke Universität Magdeburg (OVGU), and the second team represents Heidelberg University. Both student teams represent a wide variety of experience, fields of study, and skill sets, but one theme remains common—this competition provides all students exposure to using HPC to solve real-world problems.
“Actually, the world of scientific computing and HPC was nothing I had ever considered as a possible area to work in before the competition,” said Eric Kern, a team member on the Heidelberg University team. “I simply had no concrete idea what people do there. Now I think it's definitely an option and I can see myself working professionally in that area.”
“One of the most enjoyable aspects of participating is being able to apply the knowledge gained in various university courses in practice,” said Frederic Voigt, member of the University of Hamburg/OVGU team. “It is extremely fun when aspects of tuning, the problems associated with scientific applications, or the operation of these systems can be seen in ‘real life’ and on real applications. In addition, the SCC is a great motivation to delve deeper into individual areas of interest, especially if these can be used for the respective application.”
For GCS leadership, offering financial support to motivated students not only helps them get valuable experience in scientific computing, it also helps bolster Germany’s medium to long-term technological competitiveness.
“These students have a wonderful opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on experience in HPC,” said Dr. Claus-Axel Müller, managing director of GCS. “We in Germany want to ensure that we are fostering an environment where bright, young students can take an interest in HPC during their studies so they, hopefully, find a passion for the field and can come support our centres’ innovation efforts at the forefront of scientific computing research.”
The students representing Heidelberg University are: Eric Kern, Holger Wünsche, Kevin Klein, Manuel Philipp, Oliver Arndt, Purusharth Saxena, and Sanchi Vaishnavi.
The students representing the joint University of Hamburg/OVGU team are: Christian Grüneberg (OVGU), Niclas Schroeter (UHH), Lukas Schulte (UHH), Frederic Voigt (UHH), Christian Willner (UHH), Johannes Wünsche (OVGU)
For more information about the ISC22 SCC, click here.