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In the months leading up to the conference, teams compete remotely using provided hardware in an education-focused experience supported by HPC experts. A 48-hour contest held concurrently with SC is the culmination of experience and knowledge gained by the teams in the preceding months.

inclusive & education-focused

IndySCC Schedule
November 2024

indy scc

IndySCC Chair
Layla Freeborn, University of Colorado, Boulder

Informational Webinars

Informational webinars are tailored for SCC/IndySCC participants. Future webinars will be added to the YouTube playlist as they become available.

IndySCC Applications

MAR 1, 2024

Applications Open

MAY 15, 2024

Applications Close

JUN 15, 2024

Notifications Sent

Teams & Process

The IndySCC is a virtual companion competition to the SCC that shares many of the same goals. Each year, far more team applications are received than can possibly be brought to the conference. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to put a team together, so the IndySCC was formed to provide additional opportunities for these teams to apply their hard work, gain experience, and come back stronger the next year and make it into the SCC.

Teams applying to the SCC may indicate they would like to be considered for IndySCC if they are not selected to the SCC. Teams who do not indicate they are interested in the IndySCC will not be considered if not selected for the SCC. Indicating you would like to be considered for the IndySCC is not a guarantee to be selected for the competition.

Teams may also apply directly to the IndySCC, without being considered for the SCC. This serves as a lower bar for entry for teams that may not have existing strong vendor relationships or sufficient funding to travel to the conference, or who are looking to gain a footing in the cluster competition world before applying to the SCC. The goal for teams participating in the IndySCC is that they are able to travel to the conference and compete in the SCC in a later year.

The IndySCC is intended for less experienced teams, and final selections will be made considering the strength of the application, motivations as they relate to the goals of IndySCC, and the team’s level of experience with prior cluster competitions.

Selected teams are invited to participate in a remote competition from late summer to November:

  • Phase 1/Late Summer: Familiarizing with the provided resources and learning about the virtual platform
  • Phase 2/August: Learn how to run and optimize industry standard benchmarks and the provided architecture
  • Phase 3/September & October: Real-world applications, the science behind them, and optimizing them for performance
  • Phase 4/November: A 48-hour contest similar to and held prior to the SCC

Application details

Students, with the guidance of their advisor, will craft a proposal that describes their team, their approach to the competition, and what they hope to get out of the experience. This proposal is submitted as a team application for review by the SCC committee. The application consists of several prompts detailed below.

Your proposal will describe your team members, their strengths and weaknesses, and how everyone will work together in order to successfully compete. A good proposal will describe how the team members have different strengths and skills (i.e., academic studies and inclusion of non-STEM majors) and how they will work together and contribute to a strong team. This should not be a simple list of each team member’s qualifications, the reviewing committee will want to see how you will work together as a team.

Additionally, you will need to describe your team’s diversity. This does not mean academic diversity, but rather diversity in other areas such as underrepresented groups in your home region and institution. Diversity is relative to where you are from, so it can be helpful to describe what diversity means to your team and institution. You should also describe what efforts you made to recruit a diverse team – this is especially important if your team is not as diverse as you would have liked.

You will then need to describe the team’s relationship with your institution. Describe any support such as any training or resources they are providing to help you prepare. It takes a village to build a team, so we want to see that you have a village backing you. 

Next you will describe how your team will prepare for the competition. We are looking for evidence that you have a plan to prepare. This could include things like meeting regularly to work on the cluster, explore topics, practice, attend guest lectures, etc. Mentioning any classes the team members are taking that directly relate to the competition may also be helpful, but be sure to explain how they will benefit the team rather than listing a course catalog. 

Finally, you will describe your team’s educational goals and what your team hopes to gain by participating in the competition. In particular, describe why you would like to participate in the IndySCC rather than the SCC. You should be as specific as possible with your goals rather than listing vague high level goals – we want to know what makes your team unique!

Support provided

All teams will be provided remote or cloud-based HPC resources and guidance on accessing the resources. Continuous support is provided by HPC experts in the months leading up to the competition. Webinars are recorded for the virtual platform, the benchmarks, and the two applications. At the end of each phase, teams will turn in a report and receive feedback from the experts. There is no in-person component to the IndySCC – the competition is fully remote – however, participants are encouraged to source travel support from their local institution and supporters to attend the conference in person.


High-Performance Linpack (HPL)

The HPL benchmark solves a (random) dense linear system in double precision arithmetic. It is often used to measure the peak performance of a computer or that of a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster. The ranking of the TOP500 supercomputers in the world is determined by their performances with the HPL benchmark.

Read more:

MLPerf Inference

Machine Learning (ML) is increasingly being used in many scientific domains for making groundbreaking innovations. MLPerf Inference is a benchmark suite for measuring how fast systems can run models in a variety of deployment scenarios. The key motivations behind this benchmark is to measure ML-system performance in an architecture-neutral, representative, and reproducible manner.

Read more: 


This is the fourth year for the IndySCC. See the IndySCC pages on the past SC websites for information on the first year’s competition, including team profiles, photos, winners, and more.


Q: What is the IndySCC? How is it similar to the SCC? How is it different from the SCC?

Additionally, IndySCC program runs in a “university-course-style” educational format. HPC experts offer webinars, assign homeworks, grade homeworks and provide feedback. The goal of IndySCC is to provide support and prepare teams to have a stronger SCC application in future years.

The competition portion of the program will be held simultaneously with the SCC. IndySCC teams will run the same benchmarks and applications as the SCC.

Q: How to apply to IndySCC?

A: All teams that apply to the SCC have the option to indicate if they would like to be considered for the IndySCC if they are not selected for the SCC. Additionally, teams may apply only to the IndySCC.

Q: What HPC resources will IndySCC teams have access to?

A: All IndySCC teams will be given access to Indiana University’s Jetstream2 supercomputer. Support for this is given through the NSF ACCESS program.

Q: What’s the schedule for the IndySCC?

  • End of August/beginning of September: IndySCC Orientation, IndySCC teams get access to hardware
  • September 9 – October 22: Application 1 webinar + homework
  • September 23 – October 6: Application 2 webinar + homework
  • Week of October 7: Benchmarking application webinar
  • October 18 – November 8: “Hero” runs (24 hours per team)
  • November 9-14: Infrastructure “reset”
  • November 18-20: Final 48-hour competition, takes place at the same time as the SCC.

Q: Can IndySCC teams go to Atlanta to attend SC24 in-person? Is travel support provided for IndySCC teams?

Yes, all students are welcome and encouraged to attend SC24 in Atlanta and participate in the Students@SC program. IndySCC teams do not receive support from the conference (like travel, registration, or hotel). They will need to secure arrangements through other means.

Limited number of fully funded opportunities – travel, hotel, registration. Focus on teams from HSIs, HBCUs, other MSIs or similar institutions outside the US, and historically underrepresented teams.

IndySCC Mystery Application

IndySCC is looking for scientific applications from the HPC community that could be used as the IndySCC Mystery Application. If you have a scientific application that you think would be a great fit for the competition, please consider submitting.

The application should not have export control restrictions, require non-disclosure agreements or other such restrictions — and must have up-to-date documentation. Submissions and selections must be kept confidential until the beginning of the IndySCC when the mystery application selected will be revealed.

Each submission must list an application owner who will:

  • be responsible for answering questions from the IndySCC teams,
  • prepare test and input decks for the competition, and
  • be available to serve as judge during SC24.

Applications Open March 1–May 31, 2024

Ready to Apply?

Create an account in the online submission system and complete the form. A sample form can be viewed before signing in.

If you have questions about IndySCC applications, please contact the program committee.


During the Student Cluster Competition, teams of undergraduate students build, operate, and tune powerful cluster computers.

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