HPC Students
Student Cluster Competition Program (SCC)

One of the largest technical meetings in HPC in the world is the annual Supercomputing Conference ( SC is where experts in High-Performance Computing (HPC) meet. HPC spans many scientific computing domains including Math, Physics, Biology, and Data and Environmental Sciences. SC supports many student activities, including the Student Cluster Competition ( SCC was developed in 2007 to immerse undergraduate and high school students in high performance computing. Student teams must learn to design and build small cluster with support from mentors, hardware and software vendor partners, learn designated scientific applications, apply optimization techniques for their chosen architectures. At the SC conference, teams of 6 students compete against teams from all over the world, in a non-stop, 48-hour challenge to complete a real-world scientific workload, keep the cluster up and running, attend conference events, and demonstrate to the judges their HPC knowledge and skills. Acceptance to the SC competition is competitive and requires intense preparation and skill development.

This year, SDSC is sponsoring two initiatives, HPC Students Program and the UCSD Supercomputing Club, with the intent of introducing students to HPC, helping them engage in HPC activities, and to participate in future SCC activities (starting with SC19 in Denver). This Spring, we will be holding HPC Training Sessions, where students will learn common HPC concepts including optimization, distributed computing, cloud computing, GPU acceleration, and parallel computing. Training will be presented by SDSC staff, with the assistance of the Supercomputing Club. Those students who complete the HPC training will receive an SDSC Certificate of Completion in “HPC Training” and will be eligible to apply for the SCC team. A small group of students will have the opportunity to travel to SCC’19 (all expenses paid) and have the experience of a lifetime.


An Orientation Session will be held on April 12th at 1pm in the SDSC Auditorium.
RSVP here to attend.

(Snacks will be provided)

Notes: (1) this will be an annual activity, with future opportunities including sponsoring a team for the ISC High-Performance Computing meeting during Summer 2020 ( (2) Although participation on thei SCC team is limited to undergraduates, participation in the HPC Training Program is open to all intereseted UCSD undegraduate and graduate students.

For 2019, our training activities will include the following key steps or phases:
  • Step 1: HPC Training Schedule for 2019 (Spring quarter):
    HPC Training will be based on a series of sessions, to be held on Fridays from 1:00pm to 3:00pm in the SDSC SynCenter, or the Auditorium. Students will give accounts on Comet, the SDSC Supercomputer, and be given the opportunity to complete several basic assignments. Students who successfully complete the HPC Training program will receive an SDSC Certificate of Completion in HPC Training, and will become eligible to apply to be on the SCC Core team. Note: the final SCC team who will travel to the competition will be chosen from this group.
  • Step 2: Summer HPC Cluster Buildout.
    Once the training sessions have been completed, a group of the top students (appx 20) who have completed the program will be selected to work on the SCC core team. The team will work throughout the Summer to build out and admin an HPC cluster (on loan to SDSC for the competition) and start training on the science applications
  • Step 3: SCC Team Finalization (August):
    The final 6 (plus alternates), who will travel to the meeting, will be chosen from the SCC core group. Core team memebers must commit to traveling to SCC in Denver, CO. from Saturday, 11/16/19 to Friday, 11/22/19. Note: all team members will be participating in preparing for the actual meeting.

The SCC'19 effort is sponsored by the SDSC HPC Students program, the newly formed UCSD Supercomputing Club, and our sponsors. To learn more, see: For questions or comments, contact Mary Thomas. mthomas at