Official Competition Rules
- A team consists of five or six students with up to two official coaches/mentors. Additional mentors can work with the teams at any time except during the actual competition period from January 25th to January 28th, 2021.
- Teams are typically composed of students from the same university or associated with a research institution. However, teams can be from different institutions as long as they compete under a common team name.
- Any student who has not received an initial degree by July 30th, 2020 is eligible to participate in this competition.
- European students who have received their two-year degree but have not received their four-year degree by July 30th, 2020 are eligible for this competition.
- High school students of any age are also eligible to compete either as an entire team or participating as part of a university team.
- Each team can have as many informal coaches or mentors as they want, however, they can only have a maximum of two official coaches.
- Coaches/mentors do not have to be faculty members of the team institution.
- Teams are encouraged to ask their sponsor for assistance during the months leading up to the competition.
- Teams cannot receive any assistance from coaches/mentors during the competition period (January 25-28).
- Each team will have at least one sponsor which will provide technical assistance, remote hardware access and general support for the team.
- Teams are not allowed to acquire their own sponsor. All sponsors will be acquired by the Winter Classic Invitational Student Cluster Competition sponsorship committee.
- Sponsors and teams are encouraged to closely interact with the goal of forming a tight and successful partnership during the competition.
- Sponsors should provide practice clusters well in advance of the competition and ensure that students receive training on how to access and use the cluster properly.
Applications & Competition Rules:
- Benchmarks: HPL and HPCG
- Applications: Three/four HPC applications plus an Artificial Intelligence Challenge
- Students will have access to their clusters from 8 am to 5 pm local time. No access before or after competition hours.
- Hardware is not allowed to be rebooted during the entire period of the competition, January 25-28. If a system encounters a failure, inform competition committee immediately for reboot permission and observation.
- There is a hard power cap of 3,000 watts. Students will receive a real time readout of the power their cluster is using – as will competition committee members.
- Students need to be aware of their cluster power consumption at all times.
- Teams going over the 3,000 watt mark during competition benchmark/application runs will be penalized at the discretion of the competition committee.
- Penalties for going over the 3,000 watt cap will become increasingly harsher upon each violation.
- Winter Classic Competition staff will be available to handle questions during competition hours.
Hardware Rules & Regulations
- All hardware used must be announced and available for sale at the time of the competition. In other words, no NDA systems allowed, and all technical specifications of the cluster (including software stack) must be provided to the competition committee one month before the start of the event.
- Liquid cooling? Go for it.
- Overclocking? Sure, but work with hardware sponsor to ensure safe implementation.
Software Rules & Regulations
- Teams may use any o/s and software stack desired.
- We recommend that teams preload their entire software stacks on their cluster well before the competition begins.
- Teams may also optimize their applications before the competition begins.
- Each team will receive a webcam and will be required to use the provided webcam for team interviews, judging sessions, etc.
- Teams can expect to be interviewed three or four times during the months before the competition and during the actual competition as well.
- Publicity interviews will be hosted on the competition website as well as on major HPC publications like HPCwire, InsideHPC, and others.
Tentative Competition Timeline
- Early September: all teams announced
- Mid-September: applications and benchmarks announced
- September – October: sponsors matched with teams, sponsors announced
- September – January: teams work with sponsors to configure systems, work on systems, and optimize competition applications
- December: Technical specifications for each cluster must be provided to the competition committee
- Monday, January 25th: Competition begins with “Benchmarks Rise & Shine” where students optimize and turn in results for HPL and HPCG. Once they turn in results for the benchmarks, they get the data set(s) for their first application. Results from first application due by end of day on Monday.
- Tuesday, January 26th: Students work on day 2 applications, turning in results at the end of the day
- Wednesday, January 27th: Students work on day 3 application, turning in results at noon (local time) on Wednesday. Application presentations also due by the end of Wednesday work session.
- Thursday, January 28th: Students will attend brief meetings with judges to answer questions and discuss their results.
- Friday, January 29th: Virtual awards ceremony