About the Student Cluster Competition

For the past 4 years there has been a competition held at the SC conference just for undergraduate students. Teams from around the world come to compete in the competition to test their skills running and optimizing a real HPC cluster. The requirements are:
  1. The team is composed of (6) undergraduate students
  2. The cluster must not draw more than 13 amps from either of the two provided circuits
  3. 48 hour time limit
Everything else is a free for all.  Teams are free to use whatever equipment they can get their hands on, as long as its commercially available at the time of the competition.  Each team is on their own to acquire sponsors to support their efforts and provide them with hardware.  The scoring of the competition is based on the correctness of the models and speed.  The teams are also judged on how well they know the application and models that they are running.  Part of the competition is a "fan favorite" award, in which the CU team took home the top honors at SC10

SC is the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, and the 2010 edition was held in New Orleans, LA. As part of the Student Cluster Competition, the teams are granted access to the conference's full technical program, allowing them to attend all conference sessions, workshops, exhibits and events such as the Top500 awards.  At SC10, The CU team was an entirely new group of students experiencing their first SCC.  It was a monumental learning experience for them and set them up well for SC11 in Seattle: http://sc11.supercomputing.org/