February 6, 2022

The second annual Winter Classic Student Cluster Competition will begin in earnest on Monday, February 7. This competition is unique in that it exclusively features student teams from Historically Black Universities (HBUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).

Organized by Intersect360 Research, the competition has a radically different architecture than other cluster competitions. Rather than have each student team sponsored by an industry vendor, the Winter Classic has lined up four mentor organizations to provide hardware and HPC education to all of the student teams. The student competitors will work on a ‘week on, week off’ schedule with each of the four mentors – learning how to use the mentor clusters and learning how to run and optimize the mentor selected HPC application or benchmarks.

Dan Olds and Addison Snell of Intersect360 Research will be hosting a series of “2022 Winter Classic Studio Update Show” episodes that take a deep dive into the competition, interviewing mentors, students, faculty advisors, and competition sponsors. In order to do this justice, the hosts are decked out in broadcast sports standard mustard colored blazers with cluster competition emblems, plus logo coffee mugs to complete the ABC Sports throwback vision. The shows will be lively and fun, and you can see the first episode by clicking on the video  box below.

In this episode, Addison and Dan give an overview of the competition and discuss the new architecture. They also reveal the mentor partners, who are all industry heavyweights. Mentors include HPE (who will be mentoring the LINPACK and HPCG benchmarks), NASA Ames (mentoring parts of the NAS Parallel benchmarks), AWS (application unknown at this time), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (application yet to be revealed).

The hosts also reveal the Platinum Sponsors of the 2022 competition, Intel and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, without whom this competition wouldn’t be possible. Along the way, they touch on the benefits to students from competing, the Brueckner Award Scholarships, and express our appreciation to our media partner, HPCwire, and Tom Tabor for giving us space to cover the competition.

What wasn’t revealed in this episode is the list of teams. That’s for the next episode:  2022 Winter Classic Studio Update Show – Who’s In?

Once you start following this competition and getting to know the teams, you’re going to be hooked. These kids are highly intelligent and hungry. They want a future in our industry and are devoting a lot of time and effort towards making that happen. You will have a front row seat as they go through the two month plus process of learning HPC and finding out that they’re capable of much more than they thought.

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