On February 13th, two teams from The Abelard School participated in the final round of the Big Data competition hosted by software developer SAS and U of T’s SciNet, which operates the Canada’s fastest supercomputer.
The competition involved students from across Toronto employing computational tools to analyze grocery store transactions.
Between November, 2014 and the final round of the competition in February, the students consulted with SciNet technical analysts as the teams developed their reports. Judges assessed the reports in late January. Five teams, including two from Abelard, were invited to present their projects at SAS’s Toronto office on Feb. 13. Judges awarded one of our teams third place and the other won an award for innovation.
SciNet, based at the University of Toronto, operates Canada’s fastest academic computers. The SciNet technology includes an IBM BlueGene/Q, one of the world’s fastest supercomputers. The BlueGene/Q is available for use by groups from the public and private research sectors.
“Everyone needs to be computer literate today,” says Dr. Daniel Gruner, chief technology officer (software) at SciNet and one of the principal organizers of the Big Data Challenge. “Almost all university research today is enabled by big data and high performance computing and the same is true for the business sector in fields such as retailing and manufacturing. So, young people need to be ready to enter the workforce with their computing skills already well developed.”