Wits’ supercomputing students win big
- Wits University
Our teams excel in Centre for High Performance Computing Student Cluster Competition.
Wits students in the Schools of Electrical and Information Engineering (EIE), and Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (CSAM), won various awards in the 2018 Centre for High Performance Computing Student Cluster Competition and the South African National Research Network Cyber Security Challenge 2018.
The competitions were held during the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC)’s 12th National Conference hosted in Cape Town in December where undergraduate student teams from participating universities across the country battled it out to build the small High Performance Computer (HPC) clusters on the exhibition floor from hardware provided by the CHPC and industrial partners. The teams also had to run various performance benchmarks on the clusters as well as an actual simulation and machine learning workload. Essentially, the students vied to build the fastest computer and secure their spot in the 2019 International Supercomputing Conference to be held in Germany.
The students from the School of Electrical and Information Engineering (EIE) who excelled were:
- Hassaan Hameed, Basheq Tarifi, Nathan Jones (second-year biomedical engineering students) and Sansha Gupta (second-year electrical engineering students) won the team award for the most innovative team.
- Third-year information engineering students Anita de Mello Koch, Kaamilah Desai, Brendon Swanepoel and Nicholas Kastanos won the best teamwork award.
- Third-year information engineering students Anita de Mello Koch and Kaamilah Desai were also selected as two of the six-member team to participate in the 2019 International Supercomputing Conference to be held in Germany later this year.
- Third-year information engineering student Rashaad Cassim was named one of the winners of the social engineering competition in the South African National Research Network Cyber Security Challenge that ran concurrently with the CHPC’s Student Cluster Competition.
The students from the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (CSAM) who excelled were:
- The team consisting of Jamie Burns, Thato Moeng, Kilolo Muaku and Meghan Sinclair-Black too third place in the CHPC’s Student Cluster Competition.
Mathematical Sciences Support is the Wits coordinator for the CHPC HPC Ecosystems Project, a training initiative for High Performance Computing (HPC) skills in the SADC region. The HPC Ecosystems Project feeds into the CHPC's training program for Square Kilometer Array (SKA) readiness.
Many of the participants entering the competition prepared for the competition on old decommissioned HPC equipment donated to Wits by the HPC Ecosystems Project and Innovent for the purpose of student training. A team of previous worldwide champions lead by Avraham Bank provided hands-on training and teaching, while Brian Maistry, Scientific & Research Systems Manager in Mathematical Sciences, provided coordination and infrastructure support. The training venue was provided by TW Kambule Mathematical Sciences Laboratories, which supports HPC training and course activities.
The HPC Ecosystems Project is open to all interested Witsies. To get involved, please contact Professor Turgay Celik from the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.