CIUK 2021 Cluster Challenge
21 Jun 2021







CIUK 2021 Cluster Challenge.jpg

​Team registration for the CIUK 2021 Student Cluster Challenge is now open!!!


  • Teams of six students will complete a number of online mini challenges over the weeks leading up to the conference, followed by a series of challenges during the event on 9-10 December.
  • Based on the CIUK competition, a CIUK team will be identified to compete in the International Supercomputing Student Cluster Challenge in Frankfurt in June 2022.
  • ​​Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate.

Following the success of our first ever Student Cluster Challenge at CIUK 2020 the competition will return in 2021 with some changes that we think will improve the experience for everyone.

At the current time CIUK is preparing to return to a physical, face-to-face conference in 2021. If all goes to plan then the Student Cluster Competition will become a hybrid competition with a series of online challenges leading up to the conference followed by some physical, hands-on challenges during the conference itself. 

Experience gained from last years competition and from our participation at ISC’21 shows that our competition in 2020 was too challenging in terms of the amount of time invested and the number of challenges included. We will be addressing this in 2021 by spacing the online challenges over a longer period of time and reducing the number of challenges required to be completed. 

Here is the draft agenda for the competition - company names will be added once they have confirmed they are happy with their allocated​ dates:

  • Monday 11 October – Alces Flight Presentation
  • Wednesday 13 October – Alces Flight (ONLINE CHALLENGE)
  • Monday 25 October – Boston Presentation
  • Wednesday 27 October – Boston (ONLINE CHALLENGE)
  • Monday 8 November – OCF Presentation
  • Wednesday 10 November – OCF (ONLINE CHALLENGE)
  • Monday 22 November – ***** Presentation
  • Wednesday 24 November – ***** (ONLINE CHALLENGE)
  • Wednesday 8 December –  OCF (pm)
  • Thursday 9 December – ***** (am) / Alces Flight (pm)
  • Friday 10 December – Boston (am) - Results announced (pm)
You will note that each challenge will include an online presentation where the supporting company will present on the system that they are making available, provide instructions for log-on, and outline the challenge that will be completed that week. These presentations will be recorded and shared via the cluster challenge wiki so that they can be returned to for reference. 

If you are thinking about entering a team and are unsure about what is involved the following promotional video summarises the first ever CIUK Cluster Challenge and gives a good overview of the competition, as well as the educational benefit and the experience gained...


Last years challenge winners - Team Durham - along with two members of the Bristol University team that competed, have since gone on to represent Team CIUK in the ISC'21 Student Cluster Challenge against some of the best student teams from around the world. Unfortunately, as that competiton was entirely online they did not get the opportunity to travel to Germany for the competition but hopefully, if ISC'22 returns to a physical conference in June 2022, the winners of this year's CIUK challenge will be able to make the trip to Germany to represent Team CIUK.

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Contact: Computing Insight UK