For its first foray into the Student Cluster Competition, San Diego State University is sending the Bit Benders. “Because most of us are fans of Futurama, bit shifting is so last century, and we make the bits on our cluster bend to our own will.” Which of course led to them choosing the Futurama theme song as the team song.
And which in turn gave them their secret sauce. “We have the edge because we are the secret sauce itself: we like to consume massive quantities of the Bender diet (oil, beers and cigars); we never give up; team members all have a great sense of humor and enjoy the company of everyone on the team; and we have so much fun.”
And they have long list of things they are looking forward to at SC16:
- Seeing how well our team performs
- Enjoying the SC exhibits and attending some technical talks
- Seeing how our team stacks up against the rest
- Networking with interesting people
- Traveling and meeting a lot of others with the same interests in HPC
- Everything except the sleep deprivation
- Meeting interesting people at SC16
- Learning about cluster computing
- Meeting all the participants and companies at SCC.
Interestingly, none of the team members had formal HPC training before starting on this project. They have a variety of backgrounds and skill levels, while some members are freshmen and sophomores, others are ready to graduate. “We are young but we could be formidable opponents. None of us are allergic to electrons.” Because their hardware was slow to arrive and get set up, they had less than a month of optimization time on the final architecture.
“Many of us are interested in machine learning and software security, video games, beer and wine. We also have a shared love of popular culture; Tap tap tap on our QWERTY keyboards with the occasional `rm -rf /’ to spice things up. We also enjoy torturing our cluster so that we could gain max performance from it. Other interests include Web/Cyberinfrastructure programming, camping and traveling, movies; reading a lot of books and doing a lot of homework.”
To get to Utah from Southern California, the trip with take “three hours by flight from San Diego, even longer by bike.”