Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

Interested students who meet the qualifications apply by completing the application form. See the competition home for details.

When will the participants be selected and notified? What if I'm not selected?

Participants will be selected and contacted in late June, so make sure you give us the email address where you can be reached over the academic break. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in July, at the same time the winners' names are announced on this website.

Is there any restriction on what the student is studying?

Not at all. We welcome applications from students who are in non-computing fields (forestry, agricultural or life sciences, liberal arts, etc.) but who have an interest in how computation and data analysis can be applied in their areas.

Are students eligible if they are studying outside the US?

Yes. We understand that other institutions might not use a grade-point-average, so on the form just include whatever scoring mechanism you university uses. Note that in many cases, a visa will be required for international travel to the SC conference. We will provide a letter of invitation, but it will be up to the student to apply for the visa.

What if my faculty reference only has a gmail account (no university email)?

We ask for an institutional email address so we can verify that the reference is a faculty member. If yours only uses gmail, specify that email address. But then, in the middle section where it asks "If you will be in a different department....," add a comment saying "My faculty member uses gmail for email, but he (or she) is listed on the official faculty directory located at <URL>". As long as it specifies a URL that is clearly a University website, we will be able to use it to verify faculty standing.

What if I am only enrolled part-time?

It doesn't matter what your major is, but you must be enrolled as a full-time student in an undergraduate program, both at the time you apply and at the time of the competition.

What if I will be getting my undergraduate degree next year?

You must be enrolled as an undergraduate, both at the time you apply and at the time of the competition. Since there will be follow-up activities in early 2019, you should not apply if you anticipate finishing your undergraduate degree before March 2019.

Is there any restriction on nationality or gender?

To further the competition's diversity goals, some preference will be given to women, minorities, students from majors outside computer science, and students at the sophomore or junior level. But there is no "quota," and any undergraduate who meets the requirements stated on the competition home is invited to apply.

Do I have to be a member of ACM or SIGHPC to apply?

No, applicants do not have to be members of any group in order to apply.

What if my question isn't listed here?

If the competition home doesn't help either, contact us directly at Please give us a day or two to reply.