Results from the HPC Pop Quiz module in the 2022 Winter Classic cluster competition had a radical impact on the leaderboard. Quiz grades rocketed a couple of teams up the big board while others went in the opposite direction.

The 20 question exam featured multiple choice questions covering HPC history, technology, and current events. Students were given a set of reference materials to read before taking the online test. In a fiendish twist, the test was timed and score penalties assessed based on how long it took the student to complete the exam. This served to encourage the students to read and digest the reference material before tackling the test.

The exam covered a lot of ground, ranging from the first supercomputers to the latest news on exascale systems. In between we asked them about specific HPC technologies like interconnects and accelerators. There were a total of 70 correct answers contained in the 20 questions and the test will account for one sixth of their final score.
So what did the quiz results do to the leaderboard? Quite a bit, as it turns out.

Tennessee State University retained their lead by scoring third on the quiz and adding 96.34 points to give them a total of 294.84 points to date. This has to make them happy, but there are still 400 points left to be earned in the competition.

The big shake ups occured in second, third, and fourth place. Their second place quiz score shot the Texas Tech Red Raider team past FAMU to grab a narrow for second place. FAMU slips slightly down to third, only seven points behind the Red Raiders. UTEP Itzamna used their first place 100 point quiz mark to shoot from sixth place overall to fourth – the biggest move in the charts so far.
Prairie View is holding steady in fifth place while a underpar quiz performance pushed the other Texas Tech team, the Matadors, into sixth.

The Battle of Channel Islands, between the Channel Islands Don’t Panic and Ekhos Engineer teams, is still deadlocked with the Ekhos team only seven points ahead of their rival, barely holding on to seventh place. The teams turned in identical quiz results, so we’ll have to wait until the upcoming NASA Nas Parallel benchmark runs (taking place next week) to see if someone can pull ahead.
Rounding out the current rankings, we see Cal State Fullerton riding their fourth place exam score into the nine slot, while Fayetteville State languishes at number ten. Spelman-Morehouse posted a fifth best quiz score, giving them a much needed morale boost after disappointing Linpack and HPCG rounds. Morehouse is still pitching and got on the board with an 81.71 exam score.

To get more details and some sample quiz questions, click your clicker on the video below to watch the new episode of the 2022 Winter Classic Student Cluster Competition Studio Update Show. In the video, we go through the details about the quiz (including some of the questions), all of the stats, give you a view of the big board, and talk about what’s coming up next for our hardy student competitors. Plus we’re wearing matching blazers, which is well worth the cost of admission.

Next up we’ll meet the teams and have some expert guests from some of our sponsors on the show to offer their commentary. Stay tuned….