Two students will be jetting off to Germany to represent South Africa against the best in the computing world

TWO THIRD-YEAR computer science students have been selected to participate in the 2019 International Supercomputing (ISC) High Performance conference to be held in Germany from June 16-20.

Anita de Mello Koch and Kaamilah Desai were selected for their performances at the Centre for High Performance Computing Student Cluster Competition (CHPC) in December after an impressive showing at the competition.

“I was very surprised at first and it actually took a while for me to process. After that I got nervous. It’s a big deal representing South Africa. There was some excitement too at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Desai.

The 12th CHPC National Conference held at the Century City Convention Centre in Cape Town from December 2-6 saw Wits students shine in their respective competitions by winning various awards.

The students in the Schools of Electrical and Information Engineering and Computer Science and Applied Mathematics teamed up against students from other universities in their respective categories to build fully functioning small high performance computers on the exhibition floor.

Other notable performances at the CHPC conference included second-year BSc students Hassaan Hameed, Basheq Tarifi, Nathan Jones and Sansha Gupta who won the team award for the most innovative team.

de Mello Koch, Desai, Brendon Swanepoel and Nicholas Kastanos won the best teamwork award. Third-year BSc student Rashaad Cassim was named one of the winners of the social engineering competition in the South African National Research Network Cyber Security Challenge.

A team consisting of Jamie Burns, Thato Moeng, Kilolo Muaku and Meghan Sinclair-Black from the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (CSAM) secured third place in their cluster.

Desai and de Mello Koch were selected as representatives for South Africa for the conference in Frankfurt, Germany, despite the fact that their four-person team had not won their cluster.

“Although our team did not win, judges at the competition decided that myself and Kaamilah Desai would be valuable additions to the International Student Cluster competition team for South Africa,” de Mello Koch said.

The third-year BSc student added, “I was completely shocked. I never expected to be chosen for the Germany team.”

The South African team will compete with computer students from 11 countries, including Germany, China, Singapore, and Poland, among others.

The ISC conference will cover a number of exciting topics critical to the development of the high performance computing field.

FEATURED IMAGE:  The students were selected to represent their country in December at the Centre for High Performance Computing Student Cluster Competition (CHPC) in Cape Town