CIUK 2021 student cluster challenge

Leading up to the in person Computing Insight Conference in Manchester last week, university students have been competing to solve a series of mini supercomputing challenges.

The competition has seen students take on eight challenges focused on hardware and software optimisation in high performance computing.

Specific challenges the students had to solve included logging into a remote cluster, configuring it to run machine learning workloads, using the Slurm tool to manage job scheduling, building a molecular simulation program, and running deep-learning tasks.

Each of the challenges hosted by alcesflight, Boston, OCF and Lenovo are designed to allow students to showcase their skills to the UK and International HPC and AI communities.

A joint team of six students, including Bath Computer Science students Joseph Dowling and Arnold Gomes, got together to form a strong Team Bath/Bristol.

The competition made up of eight individual challenges proved to be a close contest between Team Bath/Bristol and Team Durham, with the two teams neck to neck throughout most of the competition. Team Bath/Bristol pulled through to take the top spot in the final and hard-fought challenge.

Speaking about the competition, Arnold and Joseph said: “We had great fun participating in the challenge, and we got to work with a lot of exciting technology that we were previously unfamiliar with. Taking part in the competition allowed us to attend the CIUK conference in Manchester, where we met many folks from the industry. In just two days, we learned a lot about the HPC job market and how students can break into the industry.”

Following the win, the two Bath students are hoping to make it into Team CIUK, which next year will compete against some of the best student teams from around the world in the International Supercomputing Student Cluster Challenge in Hamburg, Germany.

Find out more: CIUK 2021 Cluster Challenge.