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ISC'14 S. African Student Cluster Team Visits Austin


Part of a group of students from South Africa visiting the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

A group of students from South Africa recently visited the Texas Advanced Computing Center, as they prepare for the International Supercomputing Conference Student Cluster Competition in June.

Credit: Texas Advanced Computing Center

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) recently welcomed a new cluster of students from South Africa as they prepare for the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) Student Cluster Competition in June.

Last year, the South African team became the first-ever representatives of Africa, and went on to win the competition. "Being the first African team to enter last year and winning, I think the motivation for the team was the fact that they liked being the underdogs," says Vernon Nicholls, the team's senior adviser from Dell.

The competitions are important because they give students a hands-on experience that supersedes any theory learned in the classroom, while also supporting talent that will boost South Africa's skills economy. In order to give as many students as possible the opportunity to compete internationally, the team consists of the four members of the overall winning team and four of the top competitors from runner-up teams.

Nicholls wanted to take the team to TACC because of the center's prowess in the student cluster competition world. "TACC has competed in the U.S-based ISC student cluster competition many times before--they know the competition, they know the layout," Nicholls says.

From Texas Advanced Computing Center
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