Dell and CSIR team up on Cluster Competition for local university students

  • Dell Technologies and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have announced the Student Cluster Competition.
  • The competition will see 10 teams of local university students compete to build small-scale high-performance computing clusters.
  • The winning team and four additional students will get the chance to travel to Texas and Hamburg for further learning opportunities and competitions.

If you are a South African undergraduate university student currently studying in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics-related (STEM) field, you may want to take note of the Student Cluster Competition that Dell Technologies and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) are partnering on.

The Cluster Competition aims to “empower the next generation of tech innovators” according to the pair, with 10 teams of university students from across the country set to compete.

There are to be four undergraduate members per team and a mentor who can either be a postgraduate student or member. The competing teams will be building small-scale (3-4 compute nodes) high performance computing clusters with hardware sponsored by Dell and supported by various National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System (NICIS) partners.

The students will be tasked with assembling, configuring, and deploying all the components (both hardware and software) necessary to develop a functional high performance cluster. Once all the aspects of a usable cluster are in place, the teams will proceed to run several application benchmarks on their small-scale clusters.

Here the organisers explain that the challenges are devised to give the students real-world exposure to solving problems they would experience should they pursue careers in this field.

“The students will be faced with a diverse and broad range of challenges from a vast array of interdisciplinary fields, including climate change, physics and engineering design problems, modelling billions of years of the evolution of the universe and simulating a quantum computer,” noted Dr. Happy Sithole, centre manager for the NICIS.

From there, the winning team and four additional students will be given the opportunity to extend their training further at the Advanced Computing Centre at the University of Texas, as well as at Dell Labs in Austin, Texas.

On top of this, they will travel to Hamburg, Germany to participate in the International Super Computing Student Cluster Competition, which takes place in May this year.

“It is an honour to collaborate with the CSIR and NICIS. This partnership offers Dell an exciting opportunity to help empower our future generation through training in the critical STEM fields, so that they may be the leaders of tomorrow,” added Doug Woolley, GM of Dell Technologies South Africa.

Those wanting to find out more about the Student Cluster Competition are advised to visit the CSIR website or reach out to them on email via this address – enquiries[at]csir[dot]co[dot]za.

[Image – Provided]


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