Take Part In NASA’s Coding Challenge And Speed Up Its 30-Year-Old Code


Short Bytes: NASA has announced a public challenge named High Performance Fast Computing Challenge (HPFCC) to get help from programmers for improving the FUN3D software. NASA is offering the prizes of $15,000 and $10,000 to top contributors. FUN3D is written in Fortran programming language and the contest is limited to the US citizens.

NASA’s FUN3D project was started long back in 1980s. This software is being used by the space organization to simulate fluid dynamics. Not only NASA, other organizations like Lockheed and Boeing use FUN3D to work on optimizations. Now, the agency is looking for someone who can work on the software code.

To attract the talent, NASA has announced a public challenge named the High Performance Fast Computing Challenge (HPFCC). NASA will reward the contenders who’ll be able to manipulate FUN3D’s design and make it run 10-10,000 time faster on Pleiades supercomputer without making any compromises on the accuracy front.

Doug Rohn, director of NASA’s Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP), says that this is the ultimate ‘geek’ dream assignment. The challenge deals with speeding up the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) part.

Also Read: Researchers Create A Time Machine Model, Show That Time Travel Is Mathematically Possible

Before planning to take part in the competition, there are few points that you must note. As FUN3D is an export-controlled software, it isn’t officially available to anyone outside the US. The competition is only for US citizens above 18 years.

Another thing, FUN3D is written in Modern Fortran, which is an updated version of the vintage and infamous programming language, Fortran.

Here are the top awards:

1. HeroX Ideation Awards – up to $20,000

  • First place – $10,000
  • 2 – runner up awards – $5,000 each

2. Topcoder Architecture Awards – up to $35,000

  • 1st Place $15,000
  • 2nd Place $10,000
  • Qualified Improvement Candidate Prize Pool  $10,000


Just in case you’re interested, take a look at the video below and find more information here on the competition page.

Adarsh Verma

Adarsh Verma

Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]
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