Student Cluster Competition
(University of Warsaw, Technical University of Warsaw)
Dominik Psujek (capitan), Łukasz Kondraciuk, Tomasz Cheda, Iwona Kotlarska, Aleksandra Księżny, Marek Masiak
- What is the name of your team and why did you choose it?
We call ourselves "Warsaw Team" to emphasize the fact that our members come from both of Warsaw’s leading universities - the University of Warsaw and the Technical University of Warsaw.
- Why do you think your team will have an edge in the event
(what's your secret sauce)?
Our members come from various backgrounds within STEM - some of us study not only computer science but also mathematics, others throw cognitive science and physics into the mix. We also have received a lot of assistance from former members of the team, as well as good communication with the sponsors, who are providing us with top of the line competitive hardware.
- What have you done to prepare that makes your team unique?
For the past four months, we organised weekly meetings to deal with problems regarding sponsors, applications, benchmarks, and other organisational issues like visas and flight tickets. This was tricky, as the time that worked for everyone involved was changing with each and every meeting. To make matters worse, most of us were balancing work (sometimes even abroad) with their responsibilities as part of Warsaw Team. However, the team managed to become a group of friends, get stronger, work better on arising problems and difficulties. We also contacted university experts on topics like physics, parallel and CUDA programming.
- What are you most looking forward to in the competition?
There are two main aspects of the competition we’re looking forward to.
First one is the teamwork opportunity. We expect to be constantly sleep-deprived, terribly jet-lagged (8-hour time difference!), and yet we are all incredibly excited for the opportunity to debug those strange, difficult to reproduce errors that only happen in the final hours of a competition, for the opportunity to sit down together and focus on our common goals while trusting each other’s skills, for the opportunity to be able (willingly or otherwise) to work not exactly knowing what’s happening and why. That’s something that can only be experienced during this kind of competition.
The second aspect is the networking made possible by taking part in such a large-scale, international conference. We hope to meet leading experts in the field we all are interested in, to hear about the newest developments, to experience the unique, bustling with energy atmosphere of the biggest HPC conference.
As such, I’m confident there are things we’re looking forward to as part of the competition.
- How long will it take you to get to Denver?
Our first flight is from Warsaw, Poland to Frankfurt, Germany. Two short hours, nothing scary. Next, we have a bit less than three hours on the airport before a direct 11-hour flight to Denver. We hope to get there in about 15 hours, but if we miss the second flight it may take a bit longer. So, it’s not that bad, it’s just a bit far away.
- What do your team members do for fun?
- Dominik likes to tinker with everything – computers, electronics, mechanics, no difference. He also loves long car rides and disassembling everything that can be repaired or improved. Recently he learned how to solder, so no device is safe!
- Łukasz studies both mathematics and computer science at the University of Warsaw. In his free time, he likes to solve algorithmic problems and brain teasers. He is particularly interested in graph problems. In addition to supercomputing challenges, he also participates in coding competitions. His greatest achievements in this field are a silver medal in the Central Europe Regional Contest and sixth place in the Google Hashcode Final Round. He dreams of winning a gold medal in the ACM ICPC World Finals.
- Tomasz Cheda loves bouldering and rock climbing - he thinks it’s the perfect sport to stay fit while putting in hours coding and doing extracurricular activities. A physical, intellectual and psychological challenge, rewarding those who endure the pain with blissful exhaustion - what more could you want after a long debugging session?
- Iwona is one of those outdoors-loving people, who would spend all the time exploring the nature if they only could. She loves hiking (especially in Polish Tatra mountains) and got into climbing recently. She also enjoys dancing, partying and reading. She also cooks, bakes and solves security riddles in her free time.
- Aleksandra likes learning new languages - Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Hebrew. She dreams that one day she will be able to travel to a lot of places and communicate with local people in their mother tongue. She also enjoys baking and cooking for close friends.
- Marek enjoys learning neuroscience and is truly passionate about grasping new and interesting concepts. In the future, he wants to take part in research in that area of science. Besides that, he enjoys cycling and playing basketball with his friends.
- If your team had a theme song, what would it be?
Polish programming related cover of song "Let it go" from Frozen. It’s titled "I’ve got the code": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdWo5zbbGnY
The choir goes:
"I’ve got the code, I’ve got the code,
I’ll compile it in a moment
I’ve got the code, I’ve got the code,
It will be a hundred percent"
It has a tremendous dose of positivity that each programmer needs sometimes.
- Can you share an interesting fact about your team?
We are not afraid to play with new and experimental technologies. Last year at SC18 our team worked with a custom interconnect from GigaIO, which was supposed to outperform InfiniBand by the factor of two. This year at the ISC19 we managed to compete with cluster provided with NEC Vector Engine Accelerators. Although we did not achieve the best results, we gave it everything we could. We believe that our previous experiences will prove to be useful in the future.