Illinois Institute of Technology
Final IIT Team for SCC@SC18
Alex Ballmer*, Brendan Batliner*, Anna Benson*, Blake Ehrenbeck*, Zhen Huang*, Parker Joncus*
Mentors: Ioan Raicu*#, William Scullin^, Ben Allen^, Alexandru Iulian Orhean*
*Department of Computer Science, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago IL, USA
#Mathematics and Computer Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne IL, USA
^Advanced Leadership Computing Facility, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne IL, USA
The team is composed of six IIT undergraduate students (all computer science majors); the final team is composed of five male students and one female student. The team had 3 mentors that met regularly with the students since July 2018: William Scullin from ANL, Ioan Raicu faculty mentor from IIT, and Alexandru Orhean graduate student mentor from IIT. Ben Allen from ANL has also been working closely with William Scullin on the hardware platform for this year's SCC competition. The team also has 1 backup student who has been working with the team from the start, Travis Koehring. The team is pictured below in the IIT machine room where their test hardware is installed.
Chicago Fusion Team for SCC@SC18; starting at the left, Ioan Raicu (IIT mentor), William Scullin (ANL mentor), Brendan Batliner (SCC student), Parker Joncus (SCC student), Anna Benson (SCC student), Blake Ehrenbeck (SCC student), Zhen Huang (SCC student), Travis Koehring (SCC student backup), Alexandru Orhean (IIT mentor), and Alex Ballmer (SCC student)
- What is the name of your team and why did you choose it?
Our team name is Chicago Fusion. The original thought was that we would have students from all over Chicago representing all the major universities on the team. Although we had applicants from many institutions in Chicago, and even had 4 high-school students training on SCC focused activities in the summer of 2018, in the end the final student makeup consisted of only IIT undergraduate students.
- Why do you think your team will have an edge in the event (what's your secret sauce)?
We have a closet shrine to Jack Dongarra, although after wearing those heavy VR headsets for so long, its hard to keep track of what is real and what is not?!
- What have you done to prepare that makes your team unique?
We are robots, we sleep under desks during the day, and dream of electric sheep. On a more serious note, we have access to a variety of hardware, from Haswell to Skylake processors, and NVIDIA K40 to V100 GPUs (and everything in between). We have been making extensive use of both hardware from the DataSys laboratory at IIT, as well as hardware from the Chameleon System (https://www.chameleoncloud.org) that is managed by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and is located at University of Chicago (UChicago) and Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).
- What are you most looking forward to in the competition?
Free food, and a free trip to Dallas Texas! Did we mention partying all night long with Mountain Dew, potato chips, candy, and playtime on a quarter million-dollar toy.
- How long will it take you to get to Dallas?
About three months from start to finish—if we practice, practice, practice.
- What do your team members do for fun?
We are working on some cool visualizations through virtual reality. We are having a lot of fun learning how to use and program an Oculus Rift and a HTC Vive Pro.
- If your team had a theme song, what would it be?
Numa Numa (aka Dragostea Din Tei by O-Zone)! If you have never heard it before, check these videos out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HR4hp_-kSI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnopHCL1Jk8
- Can you share an interesting fact about your team?
First time in 4 years we have an all IIT team!!!