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Virtual Student Cluster Competition Team Members
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Virtual Student Cluster Competition
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TimeThursday, 19 November 20208:30am - 5pm EDT
LocationPoster Module
DescriptionWake Forest University is a liberal arts university with a predominantly undergraduate population currently listed on US World News Reports with a National Rank of #27. Located in North Carolina, Wake Forest University has about 5,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students and prides itself on its low faculty-student ratio (1:10). In 2018, we were the first school from North Carolina to participate in the SC Student Cluster Competition (SCC), and we have now competed for two consecutive years. Last year, we finished #11 out of the 16 competitors (improving from #13 the previous year), and we were 1st in the Reproducibility Section.

To prepare for the competition, the Computer Science Department created a brand new High Performance Computing class in Fall 2017. It has been taught for six (6) consecutive semesters by Prof. Samuel Cho (Associate Prof., Depts. Computer Science & Physics), who is the primary advisor for this team. Prof. Cho has extensive experience performing research and teaching classes in GPU Programming, Parallel Algorithms, Computational Biophysics, and Machine Learning. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and NVIDIA, Inc. for research in those subjects. In addition, our team has three secondary advisors, Adam Carlson (Senior System Administrator), Cody Stevens (Senior System Administrator), and Sean Anderson (System Administrator); together, they comprise the High Performance Computing Team at our university’s DEAC Supercomputing Facility (3.5k+ x86_64 compute and 12k+ GPU cores). All three advisors have extensive practical experience in compiling, running, benchmarking, and maintaining a variety of HPC applications. To date, 30 unique undergraduate students have taken the High Performance Computing class. In addition, the Department of Computer Science has, in previous years, committed to funding the travel of our team and ship hardware through a generous donation from an alumnus. This year, they have committed to provide Azure Cloud credits until our team receives credit from the SCC organizers, and they will dedicated space in the department for the team to compete. We hope that it is clear that we have a strong institutional investment, a strong set of instructors, and a growing number of undergraduates who are dedicated to the success of our team.

Our current undergraduate student team consists of Junior (2) and Senior (4) students with majors in Computer Science, Mathematics, Mathematical Statistics, Applied Mathematics, and Engineering (5/6 are double-majors) along with Biology, Computer Science, Economics, Japanese, and Neuroscience minors. Two are returning veterans who participated in the previous SC19 SCC, and four are new. They have taken many relevant classes, including Data Structures I and II, Databases, Parallel Computing, GPU Programming, and Machine Learning. Moreover, students have exposure to coding languages such as C/C++, Java, Python, MATLAB, R, CUDA, Swift, HTML, and Javascript. Our students have taken a wide array of upper-level mathematics and statistics courses, allowing them to leverage new and modern techniques for solving many of the logistical challenges of high performance computing, as well as giving them the ability to adapt to applications from many fields.
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