New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge
Supercomputing: Pushing the limits of "standard" computing du jour.

Challenge Rules and Responsibilities


Each team MUST be authorized by the sponsoring school principal or administration to participate in the competition with the following understanding:

  • Each team may consist of between one and five students only.

  • Each team MUST have a teacher responsible for advising the team throughout the competition. The teacher must be employed by the school district that sponsors the team except in the case of private, parochial and home schools, where the teacher is employed by and responsible to the individual school.

  • In the event that a school enters more than one team, no student member of any team may be a member of another team or participate in another team's project.

  • There will be a $40.00 registration fee for students participating in the Challenge. Also, the school will be responsible for providing telecommunication support to allow the teams access to the Internet plus authority and transportation to attend training sessions and educational functions during the Challenge year.

The Program Rules

  1. The program is open to all middle and high schools (public, non-public, or home schools) in New Mexico.

  2. Schools may enter no more than 5 teams. All teams entered are expected to finish.

  3. Each team will consist of up to five students and a teacher. There may be two teachers assigned to a team. However, the first teacher will assume primary responsibility and no one teacher may be responsible for more than three teams.

  4. An individual student may enter as a one-person team with a teacher; however, teams consisting of one student cannot participate in the Individual Scholarship Competition. Since teamwork is one of the learning principles associated with the Challenge, one-person teams are discouraged.

  5. Each team MUST declare an area of science at the time of registration.

  6. At the time you arrive for the Kickoff Conference, you must submit your hard copy abstract for acceptance. If you do not have an acceptable abstract, you will not be allowed to participate in the Challenge.

  7. All students who come to Glorieta are required to attend classes at all scheduled times while at this training seminar. If you are not in your scheduled class at the scheduled time, you are automatically expelled from the Challenge. Parents will be called to come and get you.

  8. Each team MUST submit an interim report, as identified in the schedule, to be allowed to submit a final report.

  9. Up to the point of submittal of the interim report, teams may change their project but not the area of science originally identified. Once the interim report is submitted, the team MUST stay with that project.

  10. All teams MUST submit an interim report to continue in the program. The purpose of the report is to help the Challenge Staff and the Challenge Judges identify reasonable progress and look for ways to provide assistance where needed (see specifications for Interim Report).

  11. Teams can be made up of any mix of students (up to five on a team) who are enrolled as full-time school students in the district.

  12. The project will be run from each school or school district's existing computer equipment or by connecting to a high-performance computer. Teams without access to computer equipment and supporting network equipment should contact the Supercomputing Challenge staff.

  13. At the end of the program year, a panel of judges will determine the winning projects according to the attached criteria and award scholarships based upon the Individual Competition.

  14. Individual Scholarship Competition: This competition is designed to identify and recognize students for their leadership as well as their accomplishments in the program; therefore:

    • One-person teams are not eligible to compete for these scholarships.

    • Both interim and final reports MUST be submitted for any member of that team to compete for a scholarship.


  16. A key element of the Challenge is your participation. Every effort will be made to ensure your participation. REMEMBER: Cooperation is a two-way street.

Project Rules

The purpose of the Supercomputing Challenge is to foster creativity in devising computational solutions to scientific problems. Projects submitted should therefore present a computational solution to a scientific problem.

These are specific requirements for a project:

  • The problem to be solved MUST represent real science or mathematics and clearly demonstrate that the solution is possible by virtue of using a computer.

  • The computer application software in its final version will be written in a high level programming language.

  • No projects can involve live vertebrate animal experimentation.

  • No project can exceed two consecutive Challenge years and requires submittal of a final report each Challenge year.

  • No projects can involve the use of human subjects unless approved in advance by the Challenge Staff.

  • Software submitted during the course of the Challenge competition will be the exclusive property of each participant.

  • Each participant does grant the sponsoring organizations a non-exclusive right to reproduce, modify, use, display, and distribute the project's reports and software.

Your Responsibilities as a Challenge Participant

Being a participant in the Challenge is a privilege, and it carries some important responsibilities. You are expected to participate in all Challenge functions and to complete the program year. The success of the program depends on the cooperative effort of everyone involved in the Challenge.

Your Computer Account

Each Challenge participant receives an individual account and password that no one else may use. Always protect your password and the access to your account. If your password is lost or stolen or if you believe someone may have unlawfully entered your account, you must immediately notify the Challenge Staff - Phone: (505) 667-2864, E-mail: consult at .

Your account will give you access to the Challenge machine mode at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and to the Internet. Through these facilities, you will be able to access information on computer systems around the world.

Challenge participants, their parents, and their schools must understand that the Challenge and it's sponsors have NO control over the access to specific systems or the content of information on any system. Some systems may contain material that may not be appropriate for school students. The Challenge and all Challenge sponsors ban the use of inappropriate materials on their own computing systems, and its use by Challenge participants is strictly prohibited.

Wise Use of Resources

You are expected to appropriately use and respect all the resources provided to you. While the use of the computer accounts and loaned equipment is free to you, these resources cost the program a substantial amount of money. To keep the costs of the Challenge within budget, we need your help in controlling expenses.

Delete your email messages as you read them or file them in a mail folder to use later.

If you have problems or questions with connecting, call the Challenge Staff at (505) 667-2864.

Email: consult at

Responsible Actions

All Challenge participants are expected to act in a responsible and ethical manner. You should have reviewed the Authorized Use Policy (AUP). The rules spelled out in this document apply to your activities throughout the Challenge.

You should be aware that some activities will cause you to be removed from Challenge participation. Please observe the following guidelines so that does not happen to you.

Attend all assigned classes at the Kickoff Conference.

Use email properly. Do not start or continue a chain letter, use vulgar language, or harass anyone. Security managers at all computing sites DO READ Challenge participant's electronic mail on a regular basis.

Observe security regulations. Do not attempt to break into areas of any computer system where you do not have authorized access. This is a security violation and subject to criminal prosecution.

Respect all Challenge participants. Any inappropriate behavior or attempt to restrict or inhibit other Challenge participants from using and enjoying the Challenge computing and networking systems is strictly prohibited.

Publish only information that does not violate or infringe on the rights of other people. Do not use language that is abusive, profane, or sexually offensive.

Playing Internet games and sending or acquiring inappropriate material across the network is prohibited.

Publishing information that contains unsolicited advertising or that solicits other participants to use goods or services is not permitted.

Obtain the author's permission to place copyrighted material on any system connected to Challenge. Only public domain files and files in which the author has given expressed consent for online distribution may be transferred by Challenge participants. If you download copyrighted material for your own use, permission must be specified in the document, on the network, or obtained directly from the author. For your protection, be sure to keep a copy of the permission.

Be completely honest and ethical in all areas of your applications, project, reports, computer programs, references, scholarship application letters, or other Challenge documents.

Observe all the rules established by the Challenge Staff and the institutions hosting any Challenge functions.

Obey the law. Do not participate in any illegal activity during a Challenge function. This includes the use of alcohol or other drugs.

The Challenge, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and all institutions that provide computing services to the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge reserve the right to monitor the activities of Challenge participants. These groups will fully cooperate with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation concerning or relating to materials transmitted on Challenge computers.


Enjoy your Challenge account, but keep in mind that it will be terminated immediately for ANY inappropriate actions. If any serious, inappropriate behavior occurs (not just what is listed here), the person is expelled from the Challenge, all computer accounts are closed, and a letter explaining the action is sent to the school principal. There is NO appeal on such rulings. Any student who is expelled from school is automatically removed from the Challenge.

For questions about the Supercomputing Challenge, a 501(c)3 organization, contact us at: consult1516 @

New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, Inc.
80 Cascabel Street
Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544
(505) 667-2864

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