Coding Illini make it to the finals at SC13!

11.25.13 -

After defeating Team Ohio in round one, the Coding Illini—a team composed of NCSA staff and University of Illinois computer science graduate students—defeated K2I18 (Rice University) in round two to advance into the finals of the first ever Intel Parallel Universe Computing Challenge at the SC13 conference in Denver, Nov. 18-21. The Coding Illini went up against the Gaussian Elimination Squad (Germany) in the final match on Nov. 21 for the grand prize of $25,000 to be donated to charity.

During this final and most difficult match—which continued to test knowledge of parallel computing through 20 rapid-fire trivia questions and a live coding challenge, requiring the parallelization of a histogram computation—the Coding Illini put forth a solid effort against the German team in both rounds, remaining neck and neck throughout. In the end, The Gaussian Elimination Squad was victorious, proudly donating their $25,000 winnings to the Philippines Red Cross effort.

The Coding Illini are:

  • Nikhil Jain: This third-year Computer Science PhD student is interested in network performance and topology aware mapping. He is a member of the Illinois Parallel Programming Laboratory.
  • Andriy Kot: A post-doctoral research associate at NCSA, he is involved with Blue Waters Advanced User Support team. Andriy received his Ph.D. In Computer Science in 2011 from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
  • Xiang Ni: Fault tolerance is the research focus of fourth-year computer science PhD student Xiang Ni. She is a member of the Illinois Parallel Programming Laboratory.
  • Omar Padron: NCSA research programmer and a member of the Science and Engineering Applications Support (SEAS) team for the Blue Waters petascale computing system. An applied mathematician by training and software developer by trade, Omar’s interests lie in the application of software engineering principles and analytical techniques in the advancement of HPC practice in science.
  • Mike Showerman: With skills in clustered computing, systems management, monitoring and analysis, alternative computing architectures and interconnects, team captain Mike Showerman is a formidable foe.

Face-offs took place live in Intel’s exhibit booth, #2701, and were moderated by Mike Bernhardt, publisher of The Exascale Report. The team’s performance in Intel Parallel Universe Computing Challenge was covered through NCSA on Twitter (@NCSAatIllinois), Facebook (NCSAatIllinois), and Instagram (NCSAatIllinois) with the hashtag #codingillini.

National Science Foundation

Blue Waters is supported by the National Science Foundation through awards ACI-0725070 and ACI-1238993.