What they don’t teach you in computer science classes…
The SC Student Cluster competitions are marathons. Students are given a set of scientific applications and some data sets, and they have 48 hours to submit their best results – all while keeping their self-designed clusters under the 26 amp (@115 volts) power cap.
Back in the early years of the formal cluster competitions, there was a lot to see during the overnight shift: impromptu games of football, informal laptop-fueled midnight movies, and students looking for the softest (and longest) sofa among the trade show booths to use for a nap.
But in the last few years, the graveyard cluster shift became a much lonelier place. Students figured out how to rig their systems so that they could be managed remotely. This way, they could rest in their hotel rooms while their boxes chugged away. While easier on the students, remote management took a bit away from the traditional flavor of the competition.
This year, students can receive trouble messages from their server but aren’t allowed to connect to it from afar, so there were quite a few teams hanging around between 12 midnight-1 a.m. when this short video was shot.