NSCC ASPIRE Issue #2 – NTU Student Team Bags Top Honours at Two International HPC Student Cluster Competitions.

Team NTU clinching the Overall Winner award for the Student Cluster Competition at SC17 at Denver, Colorado.
NTU team with Baidu staff (1st row, 2nd from left): Wu Bian (C​S Year 1), Li Yuanrui (CS Year 4), Assoc Prof Francis Lee. (2nd row, 3rd from left) Liu Siyuan (CS Year 3), Shao Yiyang (CS Year 3), Ren Daxuan (CS Year 3), Tan Ying Hao (CS Year 2). (3rd row) Lu Shengliang (CE Class of 2016).​

ISC 17, Frankfurt, Germany, 21 June – Alongside formidable teams from Tsinghua University and Beihang University, beating eight other teams from various international universities, Team from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), sponsored by NSCC and led by Associate Professor Francis Lee Bu Sung, won the Deep Learning Challenge Award for solving the Captcha Challenge and achieving the highest degree of model accuracy at ISC 2017’s student cluster competition, now into its sixth edition. This special award was sponsored by Baidu Cloud.

There were a total of eleven teams from around the world participating this year in Frankfurt, to build a small cluster of their own design to compete in the competition and to test their High Performance Computing (HPC) skills by optimising and running a series of benchmarks and applications.

SC 17, Denver, United States, 17 Nov –  The NSCC-sponsored student team from NTU shattered two benchmark records with their cluster, posting a SCC LINPACK score of 51.77 TFlop/s, beating the previous record of 37.05 TFlop/s, held by Germany’s Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat (FAU).

The team then went on to capture the competition’s HPCG record — a benchmark meant to mimic modern HPC workloads — with a score of 2,056, easily topping the 1,394 record set by the Purdue/NEU team six months ago at ISC’17.

With the two record-breaking wins, it is little surprise that Team NTU was conferred the honour of SC17 Overall Winner, out of a total of 16 teams, hailing from China, Germany, Poland, Singapore, the United States and Taiwan.

“I was a little surprised we won,” admitted modest Nanyang Technical University team co-leader Liu Siyuan, whose team was considered a long shot by industry experts.

“We are very excited to finish ahead of such strong teams,” the other co-leader Shao Yiyang added, who also said they knew the team to beat was China’s Tsinghua University student team. Tsinghua was the favoured team, having won two previous international student cluster competitions in 2017, at ASC17 in Wuxi, China, as well as ISC17 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Congratulations to Team NTU on their wins!