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ASC20 Finals to be Held in Shenzhen, Tasks Include Quantum Computing Simulation and AI Language Exam January 21, 2020



The 2020 ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC20) announced the tasks for the new season: using supercomputers to simulate Quantum circuit and training AI models to take English test. These tasks can be unprecedented challenges for the 300+ ASC teams from around the world. From April 25 to 29, 2020, top 20 finalists will fiercely compete at SUSTech in Shenzhen, China.


Press release from ASC
January 22nd 2020 | 2027 readers

Photo by Willson Fang on Unsplash
Photo by Willson Fang on Unsplash
ASC20 set up Quantum Computing tasks for the first time. Teams are going to use the QuEST (Quantum Exact Simulation Toolkit) running on supercomputers to simulate 30 qubits in two cases: quantum random circuits (random.c), and quantum fast Fourier transform circuits (GHZ_QFT.c). Quantum computing is a disruptive technology, considered to be the next generation high performance computing. However the R&D of quantum computers is lagging behind due to the unique properties of quantum. It adds extra difficulties for scientists to use real quantum computers to solve some of the most pressing problems such as particle physics modeling, cryptography, genetic engineering, and quantum machine learning. From this perspective, the quantum computing task presented in the ASC20 challenge, hopefully, will inspire new algorithms and architectures in this field.

The other task revealed is Language Exam Challenge. Teams will take on the challenge to train AI models on an English Cloze Test dataset, vying to achieve the highest “test scores”. The dataset covers multiple levels of English language tests in China, including the college entrance examination, College English Test Band 4 and Band 6, and others. Teaching the machines to understand human language is one of the most elusive and long-standing challenges in the field of AI. The ASC20 AI task signifies such a challenge, by using human-oriented problems to evaluate the performance of neural networks.

Wang Endong, ASC Challenge initiator, member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chief Scientist at Inspur Group, said that through these tasks, students from all over the world get to access and learn the most cutting-edge computing technologies. ASC strives to foster supercomputing & AI talents of global vision, inspiring technical innovation.

Dr. Lu Chun, Vice President of SUSTech – host of the ASC20 Finals, commented that supercomputers are important infrastructure for scientific innovation and economic development. SUSTech makes focused efforts on developing supercomputing and hosting ASC20, hoping to drive the training of supercomputing talent, international exchange and cooperation, as well as inter discipline development at SUSTech.

Furthermore, during January 15-16, 2020, the ASC20 organizing committee held a competition training camp in Beijing to help student teams prepare for the ongoing competition. HPC and AI experts from the State Key Laboratory of High-end Server and Storage Technology, Inspur, Intel, NVIDIA, Mellanox, Peng Cheng Laboratory and the Institute of Acoustics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences gathered to provide on-site coaching and guidance. Previous ASC winning teams also shared their successful experiences.


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