The 2022 Winter Classic Student Cluster Competition is a grueling eight week marathon, combining HPC education and cutthroat competition as student teams optimize real-world HPC benchmarks and apps on mentor provided supercomputers. This competition is unique in that it exclusively features Historically Black Colleges and Universities along with Hispanic Serving Institutions, all competing for the 2022 Winter Classic Invitational Overall Championship, which is sponsored by Microsoft Azure.

Our vehicle for providing updates on the competition is the “2022 Winter Classic Invitational Student Cluster Competition Studio Update Show” (22WCISCCS), a fast moving talk show that takes a Monday Night Football-like approach to covering the event. Addison Snell and Dan Olds of Intersect360 Research host the show and bring on special guest commentators from time to time.

The latest show featured Justin Hotard, General Manager of HPC and AI at HPE. The company is one of the competition mentors, hosting the twelve student teams on HPE clusters, and teaching them how to run the HPCG and LINPACK benchmarks. You can see the results from that part of the competition here and learn about the HPE mentoring process here.

Near the end of the show, Justin Hotard dropped a bombshell on Addison and Dan that left them flummoxed. One feature of the Winter Classic competitions is the Brueckner Award, a scholarship award given to outstanding participants in the competition. This year, Intersect360 Research is giving a $1,000 scholarship to one student on each of the twelve teams. Well, that was the case until we interviewed Justin….

The interview was going great. We discussed the competition, broke down the leaderboard, and talked about the need for new talent in HPC/AI. Then, as we were closing out the show, Justin made his big announcement.

First, HPE is adding $12,000 to the Brueckner Award scholarship fund – doubling the scholarship award for one student on each team to $2,000. And then….he upped the ante even more by adding an additional $500 for each team PERSONALLY to the scholarship fund. This makes each individual scholarship worth $2,500….wow.

Everybody talks about getting more students interested in HPC careers. They also talk about expanding the diversity in HPC. But not so many actually put their money where their mouth is when the rubber meets the road. HPE and Justin Hotard just did exactly that.

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