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Student Cluster Competition

Student Cluster Competition

Days Held
Monday–Wednesday, November 16–18, 2020


The Student Cluster Competition (SCC) was developed in 2007 to provide an immersive high performance computing experience to undergraduate and high school students. With sponsorship from hardware and software vendor partners, student teams design and build small clusters, learn scientific applications, apply optimization techniques for their chosen architectures, and compete in a nonstop, 48-hour challenge at the SC conference to complete a real-world scientific workload, showing off their HPC knowledge for conference attendees and judges.


Reproducibility Challenge

One of the applications presented to the student teams is the Reproducibility Challenge, in which students attempt to reproduce results from an accepted paper from the prior year’s Technical Program.


Students have the opportunity to interact directly with the paper’s authors as they attempt to reproduce specific results and conclusions from the paper. As part of this challenge, each student team writes a reproducibility report detailing their experience in reproducing the results from the paper. Authors of the most highly rated reproducibility reports may be invited to submit their reports to a reproducibility special issue.



Teams & Process

Teams are composed of six students, an advisor, and vendor partners. The advisor provides guidance and recommendations, the vendor provides the resources (hardware and software), and the students provide the skill and enthusiasm. Students work with their advisors to craft a proposal that describes the team, the suggested hardware, and their approach to the competition. The SCC committee reviews each proposal and provides comments for all submissions. The hardware requirements for team clusters are that they be able to run the applications and exercises of the competition and stay below the power budget stated in the competition’s rules.


Support Provided

Selected teams receive full conference registration for each team member and one advisor. Each team is also provided with three hotel rooms (two beds per room) for the students, plus one room (one bed per room) for the advisor. As the competition is part of the Students@SC program, students can also participate in Mentor–Protégé Matching and the Job Fair. Travel to the conference and per diem are not provided.


SCC Mystery Application

The Student Cluster Competition is looking for scientific applications from the HPC community that could be used as the SCC Mystery Application. If you have a scientific application that you think would be a great fit for the competition, please complete the form at the link below.


The application owner for the selected SCC Mystery Application will receive complimentary registration to SC20.



Each submission must list an application owner who will:

  • be responsible for answering questions from the SCC teams.
  • prepare test and input decks for the competition.
  • be available to serve as judge during SC20.
  • The application should not have export control restrictions.
  • The application must have updated documentation.
  • Submissions and selections must be kept confidential until the beginning of SC20 in Atlanta when the mystery application selected will be revealed.


Submissions will be accepted until April 1, 2020.

More information



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