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Virtual Student Cluster Competition
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TimeThursday, 19 November 20208:30am - 5pm EDT
LocationPoster Module
DescriptionOur team is diverse in backgrounds and interests and we are united in our goals for this competition. Our cross-institutional partnership will allow us to utilize much of the competition experience that our Northeastern University team members have gained from previous competitions while our Williams College team members offer a fresh perspective on how we approach our competition preparation and workload modifications. In addition, our team members’ industry experience and deep involvement in computer architecture research are reflected in our strong software skills.

We all intend to pursue careers in HPC or a related field and believe that the hands-on experience provided by participating in the SCC will strengthen the skillsets we have acquired in school and help prepare us for our future careers. Our team expects to learn how to utilize high performance clusters to implement solutions to real-world problems in the form of applications such as CESM and GROMACS. The experience from the SCC will prepare our team for future careers in HPC and related fields such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Along with gaining technical knowledge, our team hopes to improve our soft skills. We will improve our teamwork skills by coordinating our workloads and optimizations, and we will learn how to work under pressure as we optimize the mystery application. Beyond the competition, we are hopeful that the conference, whether remote or in person, will be an opportunity to connect with professionals in the field and learn more about the wide range of careers within HPC.

The cross-collaboration between our two schools gives us access to a wide scope of coursework, research experience, and work experience. This range in background knowledge will better inform how we approach the different applications. Team members have taken courses in Algorithm Design, Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, Parallel Processing, and High Performance Computing. These courses have helped us learn skills relevant to HPC such as coding in the C/C++/CUDA programming languages, using the Linux operating system, managing memory, and understanding processor architectures such as the x86-64 architectures. We each have varying levels of proficiency in topics such as parallel computing, cloud computing, and architecture—something that will work to our advantage as we work together and learn from each other. Some of this knowledge was obtained as student researchers at the Northeastern University Computer Architecture Laboratory, where a few members have worked on student projects such as distributed matrix multiplication with Raspberry Pis and GPU-accelerated, large-scale data visualization.

By the start of the competition, our team will have worked at 10 different companies and institutions through co-ops and internships. This includes companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Alteryx, Acacia Communications, Analogic, JPMorgan, and MongoDB, as well as research organizations such as MIT Lincoln Labs and MITRE. Furthermore, one of our members received their first internship at MathWorks through SC17 and another member is currently interning with one of our sponsoring vendors, AMD.
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