It’s no secret that finding good talent is hard. It’s even harder in the HPC and scientific community. To help bridge the gap between the next wave of HPC professionals and the commercial vendors that require their talent, the HPC Advisory Council (HPCAC) has joined forces with ISC Events to host the fourth HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition 2015. The competition will occur during the annual ISC High Performance Event (July 12-16, 2015) in Frankfurt, Germany.
The HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition has been a fantastic addition to the ISC program and is a great showcase for both the universities and their student teams. The main goal of this competition is to introduce the next generation of students to the world of high-performance computing and get them eager to become a contributing member to our community.
Students who take part in these competitions jumpstart their careers in technology and research. They typically spend six months of their time preparing for this competition, all the while learning an incredible amount of skills in software, hardware and scientific computing. As such, these events have led to internships and even full-time, career-track jobs — sometimes right on the show floor! For many of the students, this is their first exposure to the world of supercomputing, and they soon begin to realize the range of opportunities and the careers paths that are available in the industry and research.
The schools sending the teams also realize great value from the contests. Several universities have used the SCC as a springboard to build a more robust computer science and HPC curriculum — sometimes designing classes around the competition to help prepare their teams. The contests also give the schools an opportunity to highlight student achievement, regardless of whether they win.
This year’s competition will again feature small student teams representing universities from around the world: USA, Germany, Spain, Estonia, South Africa, China, Singapore, Brazil, Columbia and India. They’re given real, scientific workloads to run and a power limit they can’t exceed. They will be judged by a panel of high performance computing experts from industry, academia and the national laboratories, and the team with the greatest overall performance will be declared the winner.
The HPC community has embraced these competitions as both a fun and compelling event to watch and an important vehicle they can use to engage students and get them interested in scientific and technical careers.
I invite you to join us in sponsoring the tremendous talent that will be present during the competition and help us welcome these students into the HPC community. The HPCAC offers high-tech enterprises, which utilize the power of HPC in their business, the opportunity to sponsor the SCC in a variety of ways.
All sponsorship funds will flow directly into the competition, enabling the students to travel to Frankfurt and participate in the competition for four days in a comfortable environment. The friendly competition will conclude with an awards ceremony, recognizing all teams in different categories on the keynote stage, in front of all conference attendees. I look forward to seeing the next wave of HPC professionals compete in July.