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SC12: Meet the Team: Taiwan's NTHU; Can they three-peat? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 09:30

Team Taiwan (from Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University) has a chance to become a three-time Overall Award winner at the SC12 Student Cluster Competition here in Salt Lake City. They notched their first win at SC10 in New Orleans, repeated the feat the next year in Seattle, and are now looking for the hat trick in Salt Lake. But if you talk to them, you’ll get the impression that they’ll be happy just to get the system booted and to complete all of the tasks. This is a modest and unassuming team but also a confident bunch who obviously know their way around both Xeons and GPUs.

They were mystified by my reference to tattoos... in New Orleans, the team was giving away ‘temporary’ tattoos of their school seal. They put one on my hand during the competition, and it took three weeks of hard scrubbing to get it off. The bright side was that people gave me a wider berth than usual, obviously thinking that my hand tat was a sign of affiliation with some exotic gang.

 

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SC12: Meet the Team: the Red Raiders (Texas Tech University); Overcoming Obstacles PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 09:00

The Texas Tech Red Raiders came to the SC12 Student Cluster Competition with a truly impressive plan. They engineered and built a completely unique immersive cooling solution that looks to be incredibly efficient and, well, incredibly cheap. They took inexpensive and commonly available components, built an enclosure, and combined it all into a homegrown server deep-fryer that shows a lot of promise. In the video they walk us through their configuration, which includes a marine bilge pump, an automobile transmission fluid radiator, and computer case fans.

Unfortunately, we won’t see the true promise of this system. While the team arrived in Salt Lake City without any problem, their hardware didn’t – their system never even made it into the U.S. But all is not lost. In true Student Cluster Competition tradition, other teams (U of Texas and Purdue) gave Texas Tech some spare servers, and vendor partners Dell and Mellanox scoured the show floor to get even more gear to the Red Raider team. So they’ll still be able to compete, but we won’t see anything close to the numbers that their planned system should have delivered.

 

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SC12: Meet the Team: the Longhorns (University of Texas at Austin) PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 08:30

In the video, we meet the 2012 edition of the Texas Longhorn Student Cluster Competition team. This video was shot right after they received the scientific application data sets and had begun their initial processing. We discuss how they parcel up the work in their cluster and the tools they now have to give them a much better idea of what they can (and can’t) accomplish with their hardware. We also talk about why they didn’t bring the immersive cooling gear that they sported last year - better known as the server deep-fryer. And finally, we find that even though they said goodbye to their mineral oil-cooled cluster a little more than a year ago, their hands remain soft and silky smooth.

 

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SC12: Meet the Team: Chowdah (Boston University) PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 08:00

Team Chowdah is competing at the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (Big Iron Division) as a consortium of Boston University, Northeastern University, MIT, and Harvard. But where the clusters meet the floor in Salt Lake City, the only students who made the trip are all from Boston U. The team is mostly the same group who were in Seattle last year, including the set of identical twin brothers who comprise the team’s experiment in exploiting human parallelism.

 

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SC12: Meet the Team: Venus (University of the Pacific); an SCC First PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 00:00

Team Venus, the all-female Student Cluster Competition (SCC) team from the University of the Pacific, tells us how they found their way into the competition. They also discuss how they’re looking to encourage women to enter STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) fields. I confront them about leaving only one member at the Team Venus helm at the beginning of the competition. Their explanation, along with a discussion of the competition and their sponsors, makes for a video introduction that’s both interesting and, well, charming.

 

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