Student Cluster Challenge


The SC Student Cluster Competition is a real-time, 48-hour race between teams of undergraduate or high-school students to build and deploy small cluster computers on the exhibit floor at the annual SC conference. Once deployed, these teams strive to deliver the highest performance on a suite of scientific applications. The rules of the game constrain each cluster to no more than 26 amps of electricity, making efficient solutions a must.

Held in collaboration with the Communities Program, the Student Cluster Competition is designed to introduce the next generation of students to the high-performance computing community. Over the last couple years, the competition has drawn teams from around the world, including Europe and Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Russia, and Taiwan.

TACC and its industry partners have sponsored student teams in the competition and TACC staff have led previous University of Texas/TACC teams to success including:

  1. 2010: the first team in the competition's history to submit a Linpack score higher than a teraflop;
  2. 2011: the first team to build an energy-saving cluster submerged in mineral oil, which had the highest Linpack score among CPU-only teams;
  3. 2012: taking first place in the overall standings, breaking Team Taiwan's (National Tsing Hua University) two-year winning streak;
  4. 2013: winning first place in the overall standings.


Funding Source(s)

  • Pending
John Cazes

Manager, HPC Applications Group | 512-232-5777

Carlos Rosales

Research Associate | 512-232-5189

Luke Wilson

Research Engineer/Scientist Associate III | 512-232-7351