SA team wins computing prize

2013-06-21 13:01
The SUN Hybrid System - in 2009, this platform was ranked as one of the top 500 supercomputers in the world. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The SUN Hybrid System - in 2009, this platform was ranked as one of the top 500 supercomputers in the world. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A team of South African students has won the overall awards at an international computing conference.

SA won the top honours at the international Student Cluster Challenge held in Leipzig, Germany on Wednesday.

The win was a surprise to many as it was the country's first entry into the challenge hosted by the International Supercomputing Conference.

The competition is designed to allow students to demonstrate the performance of high-performance hardware and software.

SA competed against teams from countries that are traditionally regarded as leaders in the field of high-performance computing, including the US, China and Germany among others.


The South African Centre for High Performance Computing is part of the country's cyber infrastructure and associated with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

In 2012, the CSIR called for school students and science teachers to help find solutions to real world problems, dubbed "Real Problems, Relevant Solutions".

"It [the programme] will definitely help because the more we get - especially the young ones coming in with fresh ideas - that will push the numbers," Tendani Tsedu, media relations manager for the CSIR told News24 about the need to increase the number of students interested in science fields.

Few matrics who finish school have the required skills in the key subjects of mathematics and science.

In 2009, 133 505 learners passed maths out of 290 407 who wrote, but that declined to 121 970 passes in 2012, according to the department of basic education's National Senior Certificate Examination School Subject Report 2012.

The CHPC said that the competition was critical to expose students to the cutting edge of computer technology.

"Held in collaboration with the High Performance Computing Advisory Council and ISC, the Student Cluster Challenge is designed to introduce the next generation of students to the high performance computing world and community," the CHPC said.

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Read more on:    csir  |  technology  |  computing

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