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The first :NCHC SCC; activity completed successfully!!

2011/04/11

The first NCHC Student Cluster Competition (NCHC SCC) organized by the NCHC was held on April 9th at the NCHC’s Tainan branch. After six-hour intensive contest, the Room 753 from National Tsing Hua University won the championship.

Endeavoring to strengthen students’ foundation in high-performance computing and continuing to promote student competitions
The NCHC has made efforts to promote domestic high-performance computing (HPC) for years. Following software programming contests from 2001 to 2004, the NCHC held HPC experiencing contest I, contest II, and the matrix computation race from 2006 to 2007. In 2007, the NCHC also introduced the world-class Student Cluster Competition (SCC) to Taiwanese students and actively assisted and encouraged them to participate in the contest. The purpose of NCHC’s hosting the NCHC SCC, seen as a warm-up game for the SCC World Series, was to encourage outstanding domestic students to join the HPC circle and to accelerate the learning of HPC in Taiwan through promoting competitions. 

The NCHC staff gave students final instructions and reminders.  The contest focused on students' problem-solving ability
― Left: before the contest started, the NCHC staff gave competing teams final instructions and reminders.
― Right: this contest focused especially on students’ ability of problem-solving, and teamwork was very important in the contest.

Holding the training camp before the contest in order to strengthen competing teams’ technical abilities
The competition rules of the NCHC SCC were referred to the provisions of the SCC World Series. Its contents focused on the HPCC benchmark competition that students have to tune the performance of cluster computer by themselves. To advance students’ knowledge of the SCC, the NCHC specially organized a training camp on March 26th to strengthen participants’ competency in high-performance computing cluster. In the training camp, participants also can get familiar with the contest and the schedule. On April 8th, the day before the finals, was a day for all teams to test the equipment and for the NCHC’s staff to rehearse the whole contest. Each team was trying to get the best performance and hoped to lay the foundation for the victory. The NCHC also sent a technical team to provide expert advice and guiding directions for competing teams to develop independent thinking and problem-solving abilities.

The NCHC staff patrolled each booth  The training material helped students solving problems by themselves
― Left: the NCHC’s staff actively patrolled each team’s booth to help solving problems.
― Right: the training and lectures in the training camp enabled participants to solve many problems by themselves.

Providing the latest Formosa 3 cluster computer to create a high-quality contest environment
The contest officially began at 9:00 am on April 9th. In the contest, all teams tired their best to resolve and overcome problems in order to derive best performance from the high-performance cluster computers provided by the NCHC. In order to let students access the latest Formosa cluster, the NCHC provided each team with the latest generation cluster, Formosa 3 and the high-speed Infiniband network. Due to the pressure of the limited competition time, after six-hour intensive contest, many students were exhausted and lay on the table for a break. 

Praying for the computer to be "obedient"  Students presented to the assessment committee about the results
―Left: praying for the computer to be "obedient". This contest used the NCHC’s latest Formosa 3 cluster with four nodes, 48 cores, which was a great challenge for students who had never accessed such powerful host.
―Right: after completed the contest, participants presented to the assessment committee about their results and what they had learned. 

A strong assessment committee formed by experts from industry, academy, and research; every school’s elite performing excellently
The assessment committee consisted of Vice-President Ruay-Shiung Chang of National Dong Hwa University, Professor Ce-Kuen Shieh of National Cheng Kung University, Professor Pang-Feng Liu of National Taiwan University, President Venny Yang of CoreTech System Co., Ltd. (Moldex3D), Director Ken GX Lin of Acer, Director Engineer Jia-xing Su of Nvidia, and Deputy Director Wei-Cheng Huang, Senior Executive Assistant Jerry Chang, Division Manager Jee-Gong Chang as well as Steven Shiau of NCHC, and the Vice-President Ruay-Shiung Chang of National Dong Hwa University was elected as the chairman. After the tournament, the NCHC technical team immediately provided the assessment committee with each team’s performance data, along with each team’s presentation evaluation, Room 753 of National Tsing Hua University won the championship and a prize of NT$ 150,000; THU-CS-HPC of Tunghai University won the Award of Excellent Work and a prize of NT$30,000. The other four teams also have excellent performances: South University FIRE of National University of Tainan was rewarded a NT$10,500 prize, and the remaining teams, Innovation, Do Not Come Back if Lose, and Yi Ru Great God, each team was rewarded prizes of NT$5,000.

The champion team, Room 753 of National Tsing Hua University  the group photo of THU-CS-HPC of Tunghai University and President Venny Yang of CoreTech System Co., Ltd.
―Left: the champion team, Room 753 of National Tsing Hua University, received the medal and prize of NT$150,000 from Director Kuo-Ning Chiang of NCHC.
―Right: the group photo of THU-CS-HPC of Tunghai University, awarded Excellent Work, and President Venny Yang of CoreTech System Co., Ltd.

Expecting Taiwan teams to continue to deliever the best performance in the SCC World Series
At the awards ceremony, the NCHC’s Director Kou-Ning Chiang said that this contest was just the beginning of NCHC’s promotion of student high-performance computing cluster competitions. The NCHC will not only continue holding such contests but also extend promotion to high schools, so that Taiwanese students can earlier exposure to the high-performance computing field in order to raise Taiwan’s soft power. The Vice-President Ruay-Shiung Chang of National Dong Hwa University, also the co-organizer of this contest and the Director of the Taiwan Association of Cloud Computing, encouraged participating teams to make persistent efforts and to challenge the world-class high-performance computing contests. On behalf of the academic field, Professor Ce-Kuen Shieh commented that this contest was an important warm-up game for students in participating in high-performance computing contests. This contest would make a great contribution in enhancing Taiwan’s international information competitiveness in the future. President Venny Yang, represented the industry, pointed out that high-performance computing is an irresistible trend for the industry. It will need more young people to join and to create new power for Taiwan in the future. The first Taiwan student cluster competition successfully ended. We expect the winning team of this contest will obtain good results in the SCC World Series this year.

the group photo of Director Kou-Ning Chiang of NCHC and the Assessment Committee  The group photo of the assessment committee and students
―Left: the group photo of Director Kou-Ning Chiang of NCHC and the Assessment Committee. Front row from right to left: Professor Pang-Feng Liu, Vice President Ruay-Shiung Chang, Director Kou-Ning Chiang, President Venny Yang, and Professor Ce-Kuen Shieh.
―Right: the group photo of all participating teams and the assessment committee. It was not easy for six teams to persistently and fully complete this tough contest.

 

 

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