Student Cluster Competition: FAU Team at SC22 supported by NHR@FAU

Student Cluster Competition Team 2022
Internationally staffed: the Student Cluster Competition Team "FrAUG - Friendly Amphibian Undergraduates"

Each year, the Student Cluster Competition invites teams of six students from all over the world to compete with each other in a set of tasks related to high performance computing and computing center operation. The competition takes places during the largest conference for high performance computing, the Supercomputing Conference.

For this year’s conference in Dallas, Texas, USA, a team from the FAU, jointly organized by the Chair of Computer Science 3 (Computer Architecture) and the NHR@FAU, was accepted to take part in the competition. The team consists of six bachelor students from Computer Science and Computational Engineering.

According to the rules, the students have to select and bring their own hardware, with the only restriction that the system must not exceed a measured power limit of 3.5kW during the competition. The team chose to use a single node that is identical to the ones that make up NHR@FAU’s recently installed “Alex” super computer. The node is kindly provided by our hardware sponsor “Megware,” the system integrator of “Alex.”

The team has a busy schedule ahead of the competition itself: Set up and administration of the competition system, researching, building and testing the applications, and tuning the system as to give the highest performance while making sure that the energy consumption stays below the strictly enforced power limit. Besides runs of classic HPC benchmarks like LINPACK, HPCG, and the IO500, the applications also comprise the fluid simulation code PHASTA, the molecular dynamics application LAMMPS, as well as a mystery application that will only be unveiled at the competition itself.

After more than a semester of lectures, preparations and tests, the students are eager to finally get to the competition, where an intense, around-the-clock, four days long session of testing, trouble shooting, benchmarking, and optimizing waits for them. And maybe, a trophy.

Dominik Ernst, M.Sc. (Hons.)

PhD Student

Erlangen National High Performance Computing Center (NHR@FAU)
Research Division