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Supercomputing students vie for local bragging rights
14 November 2018, News

Students from universities across the country are set to battle it out in building the fastest computer in a bid to secure a spot to compete overseas with other computer students.

Twenty teams from South African universities will be seeking national honours in the 7th Student Cluster Competition. Teams will build small high-performance computing clusters on the exhibition floor from hardware provided, and run a series of benchmarks on their systems. The winning team will be entered into the International Supercomputing Conference Student Cluster Competition in Germany next year. The 2nd Student Cyber-Security Competition will take place at the same time.

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. In June this year, the team came third to two teams from China at the cluster challenge in Frankfurt, Germany.

The national competition will take place during the annual Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) Conference, which takes place in Cape Town from 2 to 6 December 2018. The CHPC is one of three primary pillars of the National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System initiated by the Department of Science and Technology and managed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The director-general of science and technology, Dr Phil Mjwara, will deliver the opening address. The conference will be held under the theme "Transforming the Future through High Performance Computing and Transforming High Performance Computing for the Future".

Three keynote addresses will be delivered – by Patricia Damkroger of Intel, Michael Foley, formerly of the World Bank, and Prof. Elmarie Biermann of the Cyber Security Institute.

Leading technology companies will showcase the latest tech solutions at the Expo Tech Zone. The programme will cover topics like astronomy, computational chemistry, computational mechanics, high-performance computing techniques and earth systems modelling, including ocean, climate and environmental sciences.

The conference will include the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Cyberinfrastructure Forum, which seeks to implement the SADC Cyber-Infrastructure Framework.

The full programme can be accessed at https://events.chpc.ac.za/event/33/timetable/#20181202.


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