Last year at SC09, Stony Brook won the Cluster Challenge. Most telling for those on the team was that it was not by sheer, raw computing power alone that the competition was won. It was won instead by an amalgamation of other factors. Organization and teamwork played a key role, with team members either working as cluster administrators or specializing deeply in specific scientific applications, but all working together and helping out in all aspects of the competition. It was remarked that in the days before and during the conference everyone learned more about cluster than they had ever learned before, even those that worked with clusters every day.
The Cluster Challenge has always been a friendly competition. Somewhat unique among high-level competitions, the Challenge has always been more about learning and challenging ones own ability, and the teams, than it has about winning. The ability to both work with and compete amicably with other talented undergraduates from the country and world over is something that the team looks forward to again greatly. The conference and the competitions unique environment create opportunities to learn from each other that is unparalleled in the world of HPC.
On Stony Brook's 2010 team are programmers, mathematicians, and scientists. The skills are complementary and provide for a well-balanced highly competitive team. In a couple cases returning team members from the previous year have had their skills honed by the 2009 competition, and are looking forward to passing on that knowledge as well as using it to perform even better this year. Additionally, the returning team members learned a great deal last year in how to manage their time and how to work as a team that will provide a huge boon to the ability to compete this year.
Stony Brook's team eagerly anticipates the 2010 Challenge, looks forward to seeing old friends and new faces, and looks forward to the fun of competing, learning, and gaining new insight into computing, science, and math. Moreover, the advantages Stony Brook has make the team highly competitive and very certain that they can win again.
Supervised by: Dr. David Green, Assistant Professor, Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Vendor Partner: Cray, Inc.