ITaP Research Computing sponsoring data science, supercomputing challenges at Purdue Computing Challenge Day

Purdue’s annual Computing Challenge Day, held this year on Saturday, March 23, will allow students to showcase their computing talents for a chance to win over $6,000 worth of prizes. ITaP Research Computing has created two of the available challenges.

Computing Challenge Day (formerly known as IT Challenge Day) is organized by the Purdue chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP). Lunch and dinner will be provided to participants.

The challenges (which are either two, four, or eight hours long) will be held between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and will be followed by an awards banquet. Students should arrive to the Wilmeth Active Learning Center, Room 1018, thirty minutes before the challenge or challenges they are interested in participating in to allow for check-in and setup. Both ITaP Research Computing challenges will last for the full eight hours.

Students who are interested in participating in Computing Challenge Day can register online. Registration will run until capacity is reached. Email for more information. Some challenges, including the ITaP Research Computing challenges, require students to sign up with a partner.

The exact details of the challenges remain a mystery until the event begins, so no preparation is required. The only required equipment is a laptop and charger. The event is open to all Purdue students, regardless of major or class year.

The ITaP Research Computing data science challenge will involve extracting data from a large dataset, validating the quality of data and accounting for missing data, conducting a descriptive analysis, producing informative visualizations and answering high level questions about the data.

The ITaP Research Computing supercomputing challenge will ask students to reverse password hashes using Purdue’s community cluster supercomputers, a process which is computationally intensive and will test the competitor’s Linux abilities and measure who can accomplish the most password recoveries in the time allotted.

In addition to the challenges created by ITaP Research Computing, students have the option to participate in challenges related to the Internet of Things (IoT), security analysis, cyber forensics, programming, systems analysis and design and application development.

Computing Challenge Day is sponsored by Eli Lilly and Co. and ITaP’s Envision Center, in partnership with ITaP Research Computing, Bugcrowd Inc., Purdue ACM SIGGRAPH, the Purdue Competitive Programmers Union and the Purdue Cyber Forensics Club.

Writer:  Adrienne Miller, technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-496-8204,

Last updated: March 19, 2019