Team SA with executive director of the National Integrated Cyber-Infrastructure System, Dr Happy Sithole, and organisers of the SA Supercomputing competitions. Supplied
Cape Town - A team of South African computer geeks has again come out tops at the International Supercomputing Conference in Germany, beating 13 other teams from around the world.

Made up of four UCT undergraduate students and two from Wits University, the team scooped first prize, outwitting fellow competitors from the UK, US, China, Taiwan, Spain, Switzerland, Estonia and Singapore.

Stephan Schröden, Dillon Heald, Jehan Singh, Clara Stassen, Anita de Mello Koch and Kaomilah Dessai won the national competition, beating nine other teams.

The competition required the students to showcase computing systems of their own design, while striving for the highest performance across a series of high-performance computing benchmarks and applications.

The team adviser, who is also the manager at the Centre for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) advanced computer engineering lab, David Macleod, said the team’s winning formula was to have dedicated students and sponsors.

“Our sponsors are excellent, which allowed the team to choose equipment without restrictions or compromise.

“In turn, the students put in a lot of time and effort before the competition and arrived well prepared,” he said.

South Africa is no stranger to winning this coveted prize.

It won the competition on debut in 2013 and repeated the feat in 2014 and 2016, coming second in 2015 and 2017.

One of the team members, Singh, said the team was humbled to have represented the country on the international stage.

“We’re happy we got this opportunity, it was an incredible experience. I’m not sure if it has sunk in for any of the team members. It’s a big achievement,” Jehan added.

Cape Argus