SUSTech hosts ASC20-21 Student Supercomputer Challenge finals
Adrian Cremin | 05/12/2021

The ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge is the world’s largest student supercomputer competition, sponsored and organized by Asia Supercomputer Community and supported by Asian, European, and American experts and institutions. It aims to encourage the exchange and training of young supercomputing talent from different countries, improve supercomputing applications, and promote technical and industrial innovation.

From May 8 to 12, the 2020-2021 ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC20-21) finals were held at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech). Among the 21 teams participating in the on-site competition, SUSTech was the only team from Shenzhen and achieved their best result in the history of the competition, ranking fifth overall.

The ASC20-21 Supercomputing competition was jointly organized by the Asian Supercomputing Community, SUSTech, and Inspur Group. More than 300 university teams from around the world signed up for it.

After the preliminary rounds, a total of 28 teams were selected and advanced to the finals. The ASC20-21 finals adopt an innovative competition system that combines on-site and online competitions. There were 21 university teams from mainland Chinese that participated in the on-site competition, while the 7 teams based outside of mainland China competed online through the cloud computing platform.

The finals required each team to design and set up an on-site supercomputing system under the constraints of 3000 watts of power consumption. They had to perform tasks such as running optimized international benchmark tests, pulsar search, language exam, quantum computing simulation, high-performance benchmarks HPL & HPCG, and a mystery application.

The standard of competition in the ASC20-21 finals was exceptionally high. In the end, SUSTech placed fifth in the finals, which was their best performance in the competition. The Jinan University team won the championship, with the team from Tsinghua University placed second.

Endong WANG, ASC Initiator, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), and Chief Scientist of Inspur Group said “COVID-19 has made us more aware that only broader cross-border and cross-regional collaboration and innovation can better respond to the major challenges faced by mankind. Supercomputers are used to solve major scientific issues. The ASC competition hopes that through the form of competition, students will continue to expand their technological horizons, enrich their knowledge structure, cherish team spirit, and strengthen their sense of cooperation so that they can grow into the next generation.”

Qikun XUE, President of SUSTech, spoke at the award ceremony. He said “The ASC competition is an international super-computing competition for college students with an open and innovative gene. The event, which is held for the first time at SUSTech in Shenzhen, will give a strong impetus to the training of SUSTech’s supercomputing talents, international exchanges, and cooperation, as well as discipline construction. It will also promote the further development of Shenzhen’s supercomputing application technology, provide computing support for emerging industrial applications such as artificial intelligence, life sciences, and marine technology, and help make Shenzhen a central city for the construction of China’s southern supercomputing platform.”

“The ASC aims to challenge and inspire students to come up with innovative solutions using cutting-edge technologies. I’m very happy to see that everyone has overcome most of the challenges. Computational science is a fusion of mathematics, computer science, and a variety of applications. I hope that the participating team members will fully appreciate this fusion and grow into the next generation scientists and engineers in high-performance computing,” said Jack Dongarra, Fellow of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and Professor at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.

The competition has been held for 9 consecutive years and has attracted more than 10,000 college students from all over the world. It is currently the world’s largest and most participated in college student supercomputing event.

2021, 05-12
By Adrian Cremin

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