Engineering students triumph at International Student Cluster Competition

A team of South African computer science and engineering students has won second prize in the International Student Cluster Competition (ISCC), held at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, in June.

Philip Goosen and Lydia de Lange of Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Electrical and Electronic Engineering department formed the SA team along with Mishka Mohamed, Kyle Jordaan, Tyrone de Ruiters and Liam Doult of the University of the Western Cape.  Each year, the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) trains students from various South African universities in its annual winter school held in July. Students are selected for the National Student Cluster Competition, with the winners then advancing to the International Student Cluster Competition.

“The competition was a stimulating experience with interesting challenges,” Goosen said. “The venue was at the ISC conference in Frankfurt which showcased the latest research and development in the field. We also had the opportunity to meet other students and experts in the industry. It was a very educational experience for which I am very grateful to have participated in. Initially it was quite a daunting thought to be competing against the best teams from all over the world, of which some qualified for this final competition by winning similar smaller competitions in their respective regions. We were the only team from Africa and were composed of purely undergraduate students.”

Some of the other competing teams included Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, the American ‘Boston Green Team’ which comprised Boston University, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Hamburg from Germany and Tsinghua University from China. Tsinghua University emerged as this year’s overall winner.

The CHPC won the top prize in the ISC Student Cluster Competition last year, as well as in 2013 and 2014, and took second place in 2015.

Photo:​​​ Team South Africa was represented by Mishka Mohamed, Kyle Jordaan, Tyrone de Ruiters, Liam Doult all from University of Western Cape as well as Philip Goosen and Lydia de Lange from Stellenbosch University.​​​ Credit: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).