Six South African students will be looking to win bragging rights in an annual global supercomputer competition in Germany.

 

The undergraduate students from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the University of Limpopo are traveling to Frankfurt this evening to represent the country at the prestigious Student Cluster Competition – part of the annual International Supercomputing Conference.

 

The students will participate with 12 other teams from across the globe from 25 to 27 June 2018. They will showcase innovative computing systems of their own design, and adhere to strict power constraints, while aiming to achieve the highest performance across a series of standard high performance computing benchmarks and applications.

 

South Africa has been participating in the international competition since 2013, and won it in 2013, 2014 and 2016, coming second in 2015 and 2017.

 

The CHPC is a Department of Science and Technology (DST) initiative, carried out through the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), aimed at addressing the computational requirements of the broader scientific community in South Africa.

 

The team was chosen from 10 participating teams at a national student cluster supercomputing competition held in December last year.

 

Team selection for the national competition takes place at the CHPC's Winter School, which is designed to impart critical knowledge for building a cluster.  This includes using Linux systems, the basic software stack of a cluster, and considerations that should be taken into account when choosing hardware.  Team selection concludes with an assignment that requires each team to build a prototype cluster in the Cloud.

 

South African team representatives have gone through extensive training since joining the running for the international competition, including from experienced supercomputing cluster administrators at the Texas Advanced Computing Centre in Austin, America.

 

The South African team is made up of computer science and engineering students Meir Rosendorff, Joshua Bruton, Kimessha Paupamah, Katleho Mokoena, Nathan Michlo and Njabulo Sithole.

 

They will face stiff competition from the following teams:

  •  Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
  • The Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre at the University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain.
  • Kasetsart University, Thailand.
  • Hamburg University, Germany.
  • Heidelberg University, Germany.
  • Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.
  • The Federal University of Paraná, Brazil.
  • The University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Tsinghua University, China.
  • ShanghaiTech University, China.

 The results will be announced at an awards function that will be attended by thousands on the evening of 27 June. 

Issued by the Department of Science and Technology.