I was invited to compete in the SC08 student competition last November (yes, I’m behind on my blogging, I know). It was a fun couple of days: it’s amazing how much companies spend on convincing other companies to buy things from them. Some highlights:
- Microsoft dressed up all of their booth reps in AstroTurf (they had a golf theme)
- One of my teammates won a Wii raffle
- There was more computing power than I’d ever seen
- Winning the competition after 8 hours locked in a conference room coding
I’d like to give two incredibly huge thank yous:
First to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center for sponsoring the trip. They were really great, letting us do more or less what we wanted, and paying for everything. Thanks for putting up with us Laura!
The second to nVidia for their last minute donation of a prize. My entire team got Tesla C1060 GPGPUs. These things are insanely powerful: we got to program on them for part of the competition. Talk about generous: we had already won and it came up in some post-victory chats with nVidia reps that we got to program with their CUDA architecture (surprisingly easy), so they figured they’d let us keep coding on them. Now all I need is a kilowatt PSU and a mobo with 2 PCIe slots. Either that, or the card pays for my upcoming trip to San Juan ;).