Software Carpentry

Helping scientists make better software since 1997

The Burning Man of HPC

It’s a small world: Andy Oram, my co-editor on Beautiful Code, just interviewed Brent Gorda, co-author of the first version of the Software Carpentry course, about the cluster challenge that’s running at Supercomputing’07. Don’t be fooled by the purple-on-black titles: this is a very cool idea. Students teams get fixed time (and fixed electrical power) to put together a cluster and run some benchmarks. Doing this earned you a PhD twenty years ago; ten years ago, it would have been a line item in a department’s budget. It’s now a contest for students, and I look forward to finding a cluster in the bottom of a cereal box before I die… 😉

Later: Brent has started blogging about the Cluster Challenge at O’Reilly’s ONLamp site. I’m looking forward to hearing how the teams do.

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Written by Greg Wilson

2007/10/26 at 07:13

Posted in Community, Noticed

One Response

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  1. This event is enjoying a lot of attention at the moment. Perhaps the most interesting, or interested group is that of employers: cluster computing is a rapidly growing area (the fastest growing area if you listen to IDC), and there is a lack of available talent. We have had numerous conversations with potential employers who want resumes from the teams.

    If you are looking for an area that is interesting looks like it will grow for some time, parallel/cluster computing is it. The GHz. wars are over (for the moment), so parallelism is fertile ground.

    We have a team from Edmonton (which, of course is not as far away from Reno as the team from Stony Brook), and Taiwain which is about as far away from Reno as you can get, I think.

    The event is currently scheduled to run again next year, so a call will be going out during the Reno conference for the SC08 Cluster Challenge in Austin (November, 2008). I’m interested in debate on this year’s event and what should be done to make it better in the future.

    Brent Gorda

    Brent Gorda

    2007/11/02 at 10:30


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