Monday, March 2, 2015

Student Cluster Competition from a Student’s Perspective

SC14 Purdue University and EAUSIT University (Colombia) SCC team. Back row from left to right: Alejandro Gomez, Matt Molo, and Kurt Kroeger. Front Row from left to right: Pablo Restrepo, Mateo Gomez, and Fangning Cheng.
My name is Kurt Kroeger, a senior Computer Science major at Purdue University, and I participated on the SC12 and SC14 Purdue University Student Cluster Competition teams. I first heard about SCC through my co-workers at RCAC (Rosen Center for Advanced Computing) who had participated on the SC11 team and told us about openings for the SC12 team.

Participating in both the SC12 and SC14 competitions has been a rewarding experience for me for a variety of reasons. I was able to gain knowledge on hardware, distributed computing, high performance computing, and scientific computing, which are usually not taught or available to students until they have entered graduate school or the workforce.

For my first time participating in the SCC competition, I was brand new to HPC and supercomputing in general. My experience and performance at SC12 and ISC'13 allowed me to return for SC14.   The second time around I felt more comfortable with the competition as I had previous experience.  Also, I was given more responsibility, which allowed me to take more of a leadership role on my team.

SC12 Purdue team from left to right (facing the camera): Kurt Kroeger, Andrew Huff, Nick Molo, and Tyler Reid.

Being able to attend SC is an experience in and of itself. Talking to the universities and vendors allows you to connect with a wide variety of industry professionals that you wouldn't be able to meet anywhere else. I am graduating in Fall of 2015, and this summer will be an intern at EMC Isilon which creates distributed storage solutions.

I will look back fondly of my time participating in Student Cluster Competition and I wish the best for future competitors!