Reinventing HPC


14 teams from universities around the world will compete online and showcase mastery in HPC and AI

FRANKFURT, DE & SUNNYVALE, CA, May 19, 2020 – The HPC-AI Advisory Council (HPCAIAC), a for community benefit organization promoting high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) education, along with the ISC Group, organizers of Europe’s premier HPC forum, ISC High Performance (ISC 2020), today announced that the 2020 ISC-HPCAIAC Student Cluster Competition (SCC), regularly scheduled as a three-day live event during the ISC conference, will be held as an online competition. Through the generous support of the National Supercomputing Center (NSCC) Singapore, 14 student teams from around the world will utilize the supercomputing platforms at NSCC to remotely configure, code and benchmark a series of HPC and AI applications.

Augmenting the all virtual ISC-HPCAIAC SCC, this year’s competitors join the global fight against COVID-19 demonstrating their applied learnings in accelerating educational applications, such as Tinker-HP. The fourteen undergraduate teams will be challenged to share real-world results by running the same applications currently in use throughout the bioscience research community to combat the virus, discover treatments to help cure the sick, slow its continued and future spread and bring an end to the global pandemic. Students will also demonstrate mastery of several other, comparable, complex challenges from climate change analysis using Elmer-ICE to running molecular dynamics and cosmology simulations using GROMACS and ChaNGa respectively. The 2020 competition will also introduce an all new AI coding challenge utilizing Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT), the Google-developed technique for Natural Language Processing (NLP) pre-training to better understand user searches.

Since 2011, the SCC has focused on introducing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students to the world and help them develop critical skills they will use long after completing their current studies. Each team, comprised of six students and up to two advisers, will compete in the competition that takes place at ISC, the conference and networking event for the international HPC community. This year the SCC is proud to host teams from China, Germany, Indonesia, Lithuania, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the U.K.

“The SCC is designed to foster the future generation of HPC and AI professionals and scientists and is an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their knowledge and skillsets with the HPC and AI communities,” said Gilad Shainer, Chairman of the HPC-AI Advisory Council. “We, as well as the student teams, are extremely happy to be able to continue the competition through this new online format. We would like to express our gratitude to the National Supercomputing Center Singapore for the supercomputing resources and support for the 2020 competition.”

“The SCC has become an integral part of the ISC experience in the last nine years, bringing the international community together to promote HPC as a rewarding study and career pursuit for our young, aspiring student teams,” said Thomas Meuer, ISC General Co-Chair. “Through the SCC, they learn essential skills that can be applied to their future careers in HPC and AI, research and development, and a range of disciplines, markets and industries. Through the tremendous support of the HPC-AI Advisory Council and the National Supercomputing Center Singapore, we are grateful that our student teams will be able to continue with this year’s competition online.”

ISC 2020 has transformed into ISC 2020 Digital this year and will be held online from June 22 to June 25. The 2020 ISC-HPCAIAC Student Cluster Competition will run from June 1 to June 24, starting with an opening ceremony, live via webcast, on Monday, June 1 at 9am Central European Summer Time. The closing award ceremony will also be broadcasted, live via webcast, on Wednesday, June 24, at 9am Central European Summer Time.

More information on the competition can be found on the SCC website.


About HPC-AI Advisory Council
Founded in 2008, the HPC-AI Advisory Council (HPCAIAC) is a for community benefit organization with over 400 members committed to bridge the gap between high-performance computing and artificial intelligence use and its potential, bringing the beneficial capabilities of HPC and AI to new users for better research, education, innovation and product manufacturing, and brings users the expertise needed to operate HPC and AI systems, provide application designers with the tools needed to enable parallel computing, and to strengthen the qualification and integration of HPC and AI system products. For more information, please visit:

About ISC 2020 Digital

ISC 2020 Digital will showcase the latest advancements in HPC, encompassing all the key developments happening in system design, applications, programming models, machine learning, and emerging technologies through a consolidated online event. This event is free from registration fee, and as the largest online HPC event this year, the organizers anticipate registration numbers to match the live Frankfurt conference & exhibition, which is approximately 3,700 attendees.

First held in 1986, ISC High Performance distinguishes itself as the world’s oldest and Europe’s most prominent forum for the HPC, machine learning and data analytics communities.


Media contact:

Nages Sieslack

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