2007-2008 Supercomputing Challenge New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge


Final Reports



School Map

Technical Guide

Past Participant Survey



Weekly News Flashes

Monday Morning Message, May 5, 2008

The 18th Annual Supercomputing Challenge is now history.

Congratulations to everyone that participated.

Best Wishes to the seniors.

We look forward to seeing some of the teacher in July for our Summer Teacher Institute (http://www.challenge.nm.org/sti).

We look forward to seeing many of you back for the 2008-2009 Supercomputing Challenge. Start collecting your teams and considering potential projects for next year.

We'll start up the Monday Morning Messages again in August, but we are still here at Consult all summer long, so email us your questions and/or let us know what you are up to.

We hope you finish off this semester well,
Betsy, Celia and David
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting

Monday Morning Message, April 28, 2008

Challenge Survivors!

You made it to the end of the 2007-08 academic marathon! What a lovely time we had at LANL at the Expo and the Awards Ceremony! Aren't those yoyos something?


  1. Time to write thank you notes to your teacher sponsor, your mentors, your principal, your bus driver, and if you were lucky enough to receive an award - to the person who presented you with that award.
  2. Write to consult @ challange.nm.org if you have any questions about the feedback you received from the rubrics on Monday!
  3. Finalist judge, David Janecky, suggests better visual aids and discourages use of flashy PowerPoint features, like sequential point roll in, fades/spins between slides, multiple fonts, etc. These distract from the great science and student excitement about your projects. When he designs a talk, he plans for one major point per slide (a small number of bullets and one or two graphic images) and about one slide per minute, which makes him simplify and focus on the message. A trick that is useful is to print the slides two per page and hold them at arms length -- if he can easily read them quickly, the font is good sized and the graphics are appropriate.

    We will work more on PowerPoint and poster displays at the kickoff next year and here on the Monday Morning Messages.

  4. Please write and tell us your favorite parts of the Expo.
    What tours did you like?
    What activity did you enjoy Monday evening?
    What suggestions do you have for next year?


Consult and the Challenge Board of Directors wish to thank Sandia National Laboratories for supporting the Challenge by donating money for some of the staff members' salaries. Check out their website at http://sandia.gov


Please write to Consult if you think you or your school is interested in our AP class in the fall! We hope to have 20 students enrolled in the class, statewide.


Celia, representing Consult, attended the delicious enchilada end of the year Project GUTS celebration on the 23rd. 8th graders were given a Challenge yoyo in a flying up ceremony welcoming them to the Challenge.

David attended ENGAGE New Mexico Day at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces on the 25th. The day connected all who have a common interest in preparing today's students for the knowledge economy. The day focused on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) awareness, building the future job pipeline for New Mexico and the importance of technology literacy in the 21st century.


Coverage of the Challenge Expo can be found at the bottom of this page http://challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/expo very soon.


N.M. labs take on world's environmental woes

Monday Morning Message, April 14, 2008


We will be eager to greet you next week in Los Alamos! We have some wonderful tours planned, new activities for Monday evening, the GUTS Roundtables, the Expo and the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday! Please plan to join us for some awesome burritos after the Awards Ceremony!

The finalists judges are busy reading all the written reports and they will have a conference call on Wed., the 16th to pick five or six finalists by their written reports. Consult will call those finalists teams and tell them to check out their schedule online. Others teams can join the finalists by excellent oral presentations on Monday.

Registration will take place in the Research Library at the Los Alamos National Laboratory's TA-3 site.


  1. Get your team's HTML version of your final report in TODAY! Team will be selected for an award to be given on Tuesday, the 22nd.
  2. Work on your team's display board: http://challenge.nm.org/expo/displayboard.shtml Team that wins this award will receive a cash prize to share. This board will become the cover of the final reports booklet for the 2007-08 school year.
  3. Work on creating a new 2008-09 logo for our t-shirts, bags, website and stationary. This team will also receive a cash prize. Check out all the awards at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/awards.shtml
  4. Bring a picture ID with you so that you can tour the Lab.
  5. Utilizes the directions, information, schedules available at http://challenge.nm.org/expo
  6. Create your PowerPoint for the finalist judging, Expo or roundtable. Practice it with your family, your dog, your principal, etc.


The Bradbury Science Museum will be expecting Challenge participants from 2:45 through 5:30 (and they will have cookies and a presentation).

The Los Alamos Historical Society Museum will be open for Challenge participants from 5:30 until 8:00. It is located across the street (north) of Ashley Pond in an old log cabin next to Fuller Lodge.

The Explorer Post will have raft rides on Ashley Pond in the middle of Los Alamos, next to Fuller Lodge (the old ranch school). They will have 3 to 4 rafts and life jackets at the pond.

Ashley Pond is located between Trinity Drive and Central Avenue and across the street from the Ashley Hotel and half a mile west of the Best Western.

Dinner -- on your own 5:30 to 8:30.


The scholarship team of judges, Nick Bennett, from Consult, Shaun Cooper from NMSU, Dana from New Mexico Women in Science and Engineering and Willard Smith from NASA and TN State, are finalizing the interview schedule. You will be contacted by Consult shortly.

As in the past, some applicants will be asked to come interview with the scholarship committee. If you are one of these people, you will be contacted by Consult. In ALL cases, each applicant is eligible for a scholarship. Those who are interviewed are being considered for larger awards. We expect to make a number of awards for applicants who are not interviewed.

Congratulations on your recent completion of the Challenge. We look forward to seeing you at Los Alamos.


Veteran teacher helps instill in students the importance of research: After 40 years of teaching at Tennessee's Oak Ridge High, Benita Hackett Albert has helped transform the school's math, science and computer science thesis program into a major force. In 2007, three of her pupils won a $100,000 prize in a competition in which they created a supercomputing tool designed to help scientific researchers develop bioethanol. USA TODAY (4/2) http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/life/20080402/d_teachalbert02.art.htm


Girls, get paid to play computer games! for a study to look at how the brain grows. Read about it at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/abqjournal080414.shtml

See you soon!

Monday Morning Message, April 7, 2008


  1. To each of the 48 teams who have submitted a final report! You have almost made it through the Challenge's academic marathon. The finalist judges are reading all the written reports. They will have a conference call on April 16 to decide on the first round of finalist teams. The second round of teams will be chosen at the Expo, April 21st in Los Alamos.
  2. Project GUTS and the Challenge nominated Irene Anne Lee for the first annual NMITSA (New Mexico Information Technology and Software Association) 2008 Women in Technology awards and she was one of seven women honored at a brunch at the Embassy Suites on April 3, 2008. Celia and Betsy congratulating Irene. Way to go, Irene!
  3. Project GUTS and the Challenge just heard from the Math and Science Bureau of the Public Education Department that we have been awarded a grant for our Summer Teacher Institute at New Mexico Tech this year, July 13th - the 25th. Teachers, register today as spaces are filling up. http://www.challenge.nm.org/sti


  1. Register Online: If you haven't already, please register to come to the EXPO and the Awards Day at: http://challenge.nm.org/expo/registration.shtml
    Our housing list goes in today and we would like to be somewhat accurate. Check the lists at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/housing/ashley.shtml
  2. Create Display Board to bring to the Expo. Details at: http://challenge.nm.org/expo/displayboard.shtml
  3. Create an HTML version of your final report. Details at: http://challenge.nm.org/finalreports/html.shtml
  4. Please fill out the Challenge post-survey at: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/post-survey_login.php
    If you don't remember your login information, click on the link and it will be sent to you.
  5. Upcoming sophomores, juniors or seniors: There is still room for the MESA Hispanic Youth Symposium, July 9 - 12, 2008 at University of New Mexico. Register now at: http://symposiums.hispanicyouth.org
    Cost to you is $10. Transportation provided. Four days to learn about college and careers!

Science Link

Sandia researchers purposely damage batteries to see how much abuse they can take. http://www.sandia.gov/news/resources/releases/2008/batteries.html

Monday Morning Message, March 31, 2008


Challenge Teams -- Submit your final reports by NOON on Wednesday, April 2nd. Judges start looking at them at 12:01. See: http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports/specs.shtml for details. The first final report has been submitted, way to got team 56! and others are coming in as well. Watch for your report at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports.

GUTS Teams -- Send finalreport08 @ challenge.nm.org an email indicating you intend to present your project at the GUTS Round Table event, include: team's school, the names of the team members and their grade in school, and the subject area (epidemic, egress, traffic, pollution or ecosystem).


Learn about the April 21st Expo at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo

Register (as a team) to attend the events at: http://challenge.nm.org/expo/registration.shtml so that we can plan food, housing and schedules. Look for a confirmation email after registering. In preparation for coming, tag all your bags and backpacks and such with identification.


Start working on the poster for the Expo, see: http://challenge.nm.org/expo/displayboard.shtml

Dream up a design for the logo competition where participants select the logo for next year which will be used on t-shirt, the web page and stationary.


Consider making an HTML version of your final report for the "Best HTML Version of a Final Report", for details see: http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports/html.shtml


Help the Challenge with plans to offer the Advanced Placement Computer Science class next year through distance education. See the Challenge home page for surveys to fill out by both teachers and students.


Want something to do this summer? Take Sun's free Java class so that you can better your programming skills. You will be taking this class under the Supercomputing Challenge umbrella. Please write to consult @ challenge.nm.org so that we can register your school and you!

Information on the Sun Academic Initiative Program is located here: http://www.sun.com/products-n-solutions/edu/programs/sai


Los Alamos Technology to be Featured on CSI: NY

Consult can't wait to see you in Los Alamos on the 21st and 22nd of April. We hope that you have "run" the academic marathon and that you are coming to celebrate with us.

Monday Morning Message, March 24, 2008


Remember, April 2nd is the deadline for Challenge teams to submit final reports and for GUTS teams to indicate they intend to present a project at the GUTS Round Tables on April 21st. Watch the final reports start coming in at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports

Send in your Word document, as an attachment called team_xx_report.doc (where xx is your team number), to finalreport08 @ challenge.nm.org

If you are on a GUTS team, send the following information to finalreport08 @ challenge.nm.org: the team's school, the names of the team members and their grade in school, and the subject area (epidemic, egress, traffic, pollution or ecosystem).

We also need to know who is coming to make housing, food and tour plans so register your team at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/registration.shtml

More details about the Challenge/GUTS Expo are at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo and that web site continues to be updated.


Consider making an HTML version of your final report for the "Best HTML Version of a Final Report", for details see: http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports/html.shtml


Begin working on your poster as well, if you haven't already. http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/displayboard.shtml. Posters are used as talking points when you present at the Expo to the three or four Expo Judges. A laptop may also be brought to be used during the Expo judging.


If you didn't get to tour UNM's Electrical and Computer Engineering department on March 10th (or even if you did), see http://excel.ece.unm.edu/welcome about a Custom Tour.

SCIENCE LINK from our library guy in Artesia

Anti-Fraud Scheme: Disposable Credit Card Number http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080319/sc_livescience/

Security experts nowadays are trying to help address this fraud by developing disposable credit card numbers (DCCNs).

Under one new proposal, the disposable digits would be good only for a single transaction. As detailed in a recent edition of the /International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensic/s, researchers at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K. suggest a scheme whereby consumers submit a DCCN instead of their regular card number when making online purchases.

Monday Morning Message, March 17, 2008


Approximately 75 students and teachers toured Sandia National Laboratories and UNM last Monday. For pictures of the events, see: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/sandiatour

Here is a report from Jake Green of Artesia about the Sandia tour: This weekend we went to Sandia National Labs to go and see the super computers. We were able to see Redstorm and Thunderbird. We learned that the cost of redstorm was 83 million dollars. To cool the computer down they had to make an extra building. From the building it would shoot up cold air underneath the computer

We got to hold one of the little computers that was inside the super computer. We also took a tour of the storage space with all the data from the computer.

We continued on to the theatre room where we watched a presentation on a barrel of gasoline catching fire. Then we heard some presentations from earlier in the day about a meteor breaking up in the atmosphere and what type of damage it does to the earth.

After the presentations we went to the back of the theatre to see the sixteen projectors that were perfectly aligned. Once we had finished the projector tour we headed for the bus and the trip home.

We hope to have a report about the UNM tour in next week's MMM.


Remember, April 2nd is the deadline for Challenge teams to submit final reports and for GUTS teams to indicate they intend to present a project at the GUTS Round Tables on April 21st. Watch the final reports start coming in at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports

More details about the Challenge/GUTS Expo are at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo and that web site continues to be updated.


Here is a slightly different science link, Science in Pictures: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/03/14/science/031408Sciencepix2_index.html
It is a collection of several slide shows with commentary. In this show, the way alligators use their lungs as flotation devices is shown.

Sunday Night Message, March 9, 2008

Since some of Consult is helping with the tours on Monday, we thought we would get this message out early.

Sandia/UNM Tour

Seventy five Challenge participants will be touring Sandia National Laboratories or the UNM Center for High Performance Computing and other UNM departments on Monday March 10th. See what they will be doing at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/sandiatour.

Final Reports

In just three weeks, your final reports are due (that's NOON on April 2nd). Look at your calendar now! When is your spring break? Do you need to get the written report finished and submitted before spring break or during spring break?

Look over http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports for the Final Report Guidelines and the How to Efficiently Write a Technical Report as you work on your final report.

The final reports need to be emailed to finalreport08 @ challenge.nm.org by NOON on the 2nd. Please send them as attachments in MS Word format. Let consult know if you have problems doing this.

GUTS Teams Round Table Registration

GUTS teams need to register for the April 21st Round Table event that will be held at Los Alamos National Laboratory by sending an email message to finalreport08 @ challenge.nm.org by NOON on April 2nd. The email message needs to include :

  1. the team's school,
  2. the names of the team members and their grade in school,
  3. the subject area (epidemic, egress, traffic, pollution or ecosystem) and
  4. title of the project they intend to present at the Round Table.
Teams will have 15 minutes to present their Power Point presentation and StarLogo model to three other teams during a one-hour roundtable.

AP Computer Science course survey

The Supercomputing Challenge is considering offering on-line classes to complement its problem-based activity. Our goals in offering classes are to improve the basic skill levels of teams competing in the Challenge and to improve the college graduation rates of our students. Please look at the surveys below, fill it out and send it back to Consult. Teachers fill out: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/teacher_survey_form.doc Students fill out: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/students_survey_form.doc Both forms are available from the Challenge home page.

Science Links

On Tuesday, Renault's Formula One team announced it had purchased a 38 teraflop Appro Xtreme-X2 supercomputer to upgrade its compute infrastructure. Read more at: http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/2191570.html

Saturn's Moon Rhea Sports a Dusty Halo http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php/fuseaction/home.story/story_id/12741

Monday Morning Message, March 3, 2008


We have 19 applicants for the scholarship money we have for this year. There are scholarships from many of our educational partners and a generous amount of money from LANL's Computer and Computational Sciences Division. Applicants will be hearing from Consult about possible interviews on Monday, April 21st in Los Alamos.

Supercomputing Challenge Teacher of the Year Award

Nominate your teacher sponsor! Tell us why your supporting teacher rocks! In 100 words or less, tell us why she deserves to be honored. How has he supported you? How has she helped with mentors? How has he helped you think through your problem?

The winning teacher will receive an award at the Awards Ceremony, in Los Alamos. Your nomination is due April 6th. Just email your nomination to consult @ challenge.nm.org

February Project Evaluations

The Challenge believes that we teach 21st century skills like teamwork, time management and public speaking. Our mid course evaluations are over. Last week, three teams presented at Albuquerque Academy and we would like to thank our three judges who made this possible: Eleanor Walther, Sandia, Max Lazo, SAIC, and Drew Einhorn, Fourth Watch Software.

EXPO Web Guide

You need to start thinking about your team's display board for the Expo! It is not something that can be done on the bus on the way up to Los Alamos for our year end celebration.

Details can be found at http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/displayboard.shtml

The Challenge community will vote for the best display poster which will win a cash award for the team and will have the honor of becoming the cover of the Challenge's Final Reports and Overview 2007-2008.

Challenge Sponsor

The New Mexico PED, Public Education Department, Math and Science Bureau, prints copies of the finalists' reports at no cost to the Challenge. We give these to teachers to use with students as examples of super computational projects. The Finalist Reports book includes a list of all the students who finish the Challenge's year long marathon. Last year, a picture of the Melrose's Agri-Terrorism display board donned the cover of this publication.

Project GUTS Update

Middle school GUTS students in Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Chaparral are working on their fourth unit, pollution. They have completed units in epidemiology, emergency egress, and traffic flow. All of these topics lend themselves to agent based modeling and are good focus areas for next year Challenge projects!

Science Link

David Kratzer and Betsy Frederick, from Consult and Randy Gaylor, teacher sponsor from Artesia, are always suggesting science links for the MMM (Monday Morning Message.) Here are two of their suggestions:

  1. Engineering the world's fastest swimsuit
  2. Interesting summer camp for girls

Happy March to you all,
Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Morning Message, February 25, 2008


Successful friends in southern New Mexico:
CHAPARRAL MIDDLE SCHOOL has been selected to receive a $2,000 Best Buy TeachTM Award based on the application submitted by CARL BOGARDUS, Project GUTS club leader in Gadsden.

Shaun Cooper, scholarship judge, Challenge Board of Directors, and host for February evaluations, has just been appointed Interim CIO at NMSU!


You have completed a huge milestone by attending your project evaluation. Thanks go out to the volunteer judges at UNM-HPC: Max Lazo-SAIC, Victor Kuhns-Cray, Michael Trahan-Sandia, Rebecca Ashton-UNM, Mike Davis-Cray, Salvador Rodriguez-Sandia, Dennis Dinge-Sandia, and Shannon Wamre-Smith Barney.


If you are by a phone early this week, you may wish to give Governor Richardson's office a call and tell his staff that who you are, what your zip code is and that you would like him to increase the amount of money that the Challenge has received from Senate Bill Jr. The Governor's constituent services phone number is (505) 476-2200. Thank you!


You may want to bookmark this challenge webpage: http://challenge.nm.org/expo. It will have all the information about scholarships, awards, rubrics, hotels, directions, etc for our end of the year celebration at LANL, April 21-22.


Intel Corporation gives a $2500 scholarship annually to a graduating senior. This scholarship can be used at any college in any state.


Do you know who's orbiting the moon? The answer might surprise you. (We really like to share info from NASA!) FULL STORY at http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/20feb_orbitingthemoon.htm?list195095

Tuesday Morning Message, February 19, 2008


Seniors, scholarship deadlines are February 28th. Please check out the forms needed at the bottom of http://challenge.nm.org/expo/scholarships.shtml


Congratulations to all the teams that have completed their February Project Evaluations. We still have one big one left this Saturday at the UNM Center for High Performance Computing.


Our special thanks goes to Betsy Frederick from Consult whose time and expertise helped with our legislative campaign. When we find out which legislatures followed through on their promises we will let you know. Thanks for all of you who wrote letters and called.


So maybe after your February evaluation, your team is thinking that it needs a special mentor. Please check out our mentor database at http://challenge.nm.org/resources/mentors.shtml and if that doesn't work out, please write to consult @ challenge.nm.org and let us know how we can help you.


Gulfstream Group and bigbyte.cc always give the Challenge money to help with Awards Day in April. bigbyte serves as New Mexico's only women owned, privately held data center and disaster recovery center. bigbyte's telco-grade infrastructure provides customers the highest level of operational reliability with security, affordable bandwidths and fully redundant systems while providing cost effective, flexible space.


On Wednesday evening, February 20th, the full Moon over the Americas will turn a delightful shade of red and possibly turquoise, too. It's a total lunar eclipse-the last one until Dec. 2010.

FULL STORY at http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/13feb_lunareclipse.htm?list195095

Check out the NASA RSS feed at http://science.nasa.gov/rss.xml!

Monday Morning Message, February 11, 2008


Special thanks to the judges who volunteered their time in both Farmington and Bloomfield: Sharon Deland, Paull Holmes and Levi Valdez. They were flexible enough to travel over to Bloomfield High from San Juan College to accommodate the Bloomfield teams.


There are still some spaces available for the tour on March 10th. Please send an email to sandiatour08 @ challenge.nm.org to register.


Please check the Evaluations website at http://challenge.nm.org/evaluations in case there are any changes in schedules for Los Alamos, UNM, Eastern and NM Tech. David, we appreciate your patience and expertise in re-creating the evaluation schedules. We are still working on the actual location of the February 23rd evaluations so stay tuned.


This is the second year that Wolfram Research, Inc. has offered free use of their software to Challenge students. Mathematica powers the math behind hit CBS series NUMB3RS Last year the winning team used Mathematica in their project: Optimization of Trajectories


Check out two upcoming competitions for middle school students, the NM Regional Science Bowl, and the hydrogen fuel cell car competition. See http://community.lanl.gov/08sciencecompetition.shtml for details. Application deadlines are Feb. 22, 2008.


Rick Matheny from Farmington shared the Google Summer of Code. Google Summer of CodeTM is a program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects. Google will be working with a several open source, free software and technology-related groups to identify and fund several projects over a three month period. Historically, the program has brought together over 1,000 students with over 100 open source projects, to create hundreds of thousands of lines of code.

If interested, check it out at http ://code.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?topic=10442

Monday Afternoon Message, February 4, 2008


The Challenge and Project GUTS will be represented at the first Math and Science Day at the RoundHouse, Tuesday, February 5th. Teams and students from Bosque School, Los Alamos Mid, St. Pius and Santa Fe Indian School will be talking with legislators about their projects. Erika DeBenedictis, a first place winner from last year from St. Pius, Daniel Pedro, a leader at Santa Fe Indian School and Representative Nick Salazar, sponsor of our current legislative bill, will receive awards from the Public Education Department for their participation in the Challenge.


Teams scheduled for February 5th at UNM-Los Alamos, Building 2, Lecture Hall
7:00 Team 55 Los Alamos High, Polar Bear Demographics
7:30 Team 59 Los Alamos Mid, Otters and their effect on Riverine Ecosystems
8:00 Team 15 Aspen Elem, Cryptrography Study
8:30 Team 54 Los Alamos High, The Wal-Mart Effect

Teams scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8th at San Juan College, Farmington, NM, Business Occupations wing, rooms 1214 and 1216
9:00 Team 40 Farmington High, Farmington Bomb Escape Simulator
9:30 Team 73 Navajo Prep, limits
10:00 Team 74 Navajo Prep, Mechanical Exploration
10:30 Team 75 Navajo Prep, communication
11:00 Team 25 Bloomfield High, MRSA
11:30 Team 26 Bloomfield High, The Energy of Skateboarding

Thanks to Project GUTS and Supercomputing Challenge students in the Santa Fe and Las Cruces areas for attending their project evaluations last Saturday, the 2nd!

Special thanks to the judges who volunteered their time: Cheri Burch, Chuck Burch, Sharon Deland, Drew Einhorn, Tom Johnson, Larry Landis, Tom Laub, Louise Mendius, Bob Robey and Eleanor Walther.


There are still some spaces available for the tour on March 10th. Please send an email to sandiatour08 @ challenge.nm.org to register.


Information about scholarships can be found on the same page as the EXPO information at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/scholarships.shtml. Seniors, your deadline for a scholarship packet is approaching, as it is Feb. 28.


VanDyke Software in Albuquerque has software for network administration and end user access where security is critical.

VanDyke Software is a privately held software company located in Albuquerque, NM, with more than 1,000,000 registered users in over 100 countries worldwide. We thank VanDyle for their continual financial support!


We might get to hear Mark on the Sandia Tour. Learn about

Monday Morning Message, January 28, 2008


HB 131 and HB 137 passed the first hearings at House Education Committee. Next stop is House Appropriations. It is still very useful for you to contact your legislator to urge support for our funding bills. One legislator (Jimmie Hall) reported that the reason he was supporting the House Bill 131 was because a student at Jackson middle school in his district had sent him a letter asking him to help the Supercomputing Challenge.


Teams in the Santa Fe area please check http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations/schedule.shtml#SFCC for the updated schedule of times and room numbers for your project evaluations that will be happening this Saturday.

Everyone else, look at when and where your team is supposed to present and make sure your team is listed and you are available at that time. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations


Sandia National Labs will host a tour day for participants in the Supercomputing Challenge on Monday March 10th, 2008. Students are eligible to come to the tour day if their team has submitted an interim report and participated in the regional judging. Participants MUST be US citizens.

Space is limited to 50 Challenge participants and registration will be on a first come first served basis. There is financial support available for lodging for those schools traveling long distances (so they can spend the night on Sunday). We will meet off-base and be bused on base. We will meet at 8:00 AM (We will let you know of the location in a later email). The agenda is still in flux so we are not yet sure what time we will be finished. We are shooting for about 3:00 PM. Lunch will be provided.

See more details at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/sandiatour and send an email to sandiatour08 @ challenge.nm.org to register.


Considering applying to participate The Summer Science Program. A six-week, research based residential enrichment program in which teams of three students use astronomy, physics, calculus, and programming to observe a near-earth asteroid and calculate its orbit, taking place at two campuses, Ojai, CA and Socorro. The $3600 tuition is paid for by the state of NM. Students must be in at least pre-calculus. http://www.summerscience.org


Learn about RAPTOR, a Thinking Telescope! http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php/fuseaction/1663.article/d/200801/id/12334

Monday Morning Message, January 21, 2008

Good Day,

If you see any of these legislators around, please thank them for their support of the Challenge:

Rep. Richard Berry, Alb.
Sen. Joe Carraro, RR and Alb.
Rep. Gail Chasey, Betsy, Alb.
Rep. Jimmie Hall, Alb.
Sen. Gay G. Kernan, Artesia
Rep. Moe Maestas, Alb.
Sen. Richard C. Martinez, LA, Rio Arriba, Taos
Sen. Cisco McSorley, Alb.
Sen. Gerry Ortiz y Pino, Alb.
Rep. Danice Picraux, Alb.
Rep. Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert, Sandoval County
Rep. Nick Salazar, Espanola
Sen. Bernadette Salazar, Alb.
Rep. Don Tripp, Socorro
Rep. Jeannette Wallace, LA
Rep. Peter Wirth, Santa Fe

Consult and Board of Directors are sending thank you notes and reminding these people about their pledges.

We are working with Rep. Nick Salazar to make House Bill 131 pass. Do email, call or tell your legislator today to support this bill by pledging $10,000 or with a thank you note.


  1. Did you do a practice run of your project presentation? Please do so before your February Evaluation.
  2. Do respond to the mentor who will be giving you online feedback on your interim report.
  3. Seniors--plan to apply for Challenge scholarships in February. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/scholarships.shtml for details.


Look at our statewide participation on our map at http://challenge.nm.org/map.shtml

We have an outreach program planned in the north central and northeast part of the state and hope to reach more schools in the southern portion also!

SPONSOR OF THE WEEK http://challenge.nm.org/sponsors

The Los Alamos Laboratory Foundation has generously allotted two grants to the Challenge. One is a three year reoccurring grant to sponsor northern NM students at the Expo in April. The second is a one year grant to sponsor five northern NM teachers to our Summer Teacher Institute in Socorro at NM Tech from July 13th - 25th.


We misspelled Farmington High's Rick Matheny's name from last week's Science Link. Apologies, Rick!

Congratulations to McCurdy team member Ben Dosier for being selected a semifinalist in the 2008 Intel Science Talent Search contest.

Randy Gaylor, the Library Guy at Artesia High shared this link from NASA. "Space shuttle astronauts will attempt an unprecedented in-orbit repair of key Hubble Space Telescope (HST) instruments during the servicing mission scheduled for August 2008."

Project GUTS students are working on Traffic Flow; please visit http://www.projectguts.org/?q=guts/unit/18 for models. Four Challenge teams, Albuquerque Academy 7, Artesia High Team 13, Los Alamos High 53, and Rio Rancho High 80 are all working on different traffic models. Go to the Interim page and notice the different ways teams are approaching the problem. Yes, traffic in space, dangerous drivers, human traffic are all computational science projects.

Monday Morning Message, January 14, 2008

Good Day,

Some of our students will be interviewed by KOAT TV for their new Research ROCKS program! This 30-week long program is a dynamic way for NM communities to sample the excitement our students are enjoying from discovering exploring, building and testing ideas they have about the world around them! Details to follow!


  1. This month we suggest a Peer Review. You can find details at http://challenge.nm.org/peer_review.html. It is time to practice your presentation for other students, teacher and/or parents. It might be a good idea to invite your principal and your legislators.
  2. Seniors--plan to apply for Challenge scholarships in February. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/scholarships.shtml for details.
  3. Please double check the schedule for February evaluations at http://challenge.nm.org/evaluations/schedule.shtml
  4. One of the Challenge's mentors or judges is going to give you feedback on your Interim Report this month. It is polite to write them back and thank them for their time and ask them any questions if you have any.


Please learn to use our Challenge Technical Guide at http://www.challenge.nm.org/ctg Levi Valdez from Bloomfield has some ideas on how to improve this area and would like to hear from you too. You can write him at levivaldez@aim.com with ideas.

SPONSOR OF THE WEEK http://challenge.nm.org/sponsors

One of our primary sponsors, a Gold Commercial Sponsor is Lockheed Martin. They provide the management contract for Sandia National Laboratories. Lockheed Martin Foundation provides the Challenge with an annual grant.

This is an abbreviated list of the areas in which Lockheed Martin provides expertise:


Rick Methany, Challenge student from Farmington High, has created an encryption program, at San Juan Community College. You can check in out at http://sourceforge.net/projects/caesarcipher

Rick, thanks for sharing!

Watch Tuesday night's NOVA program on "Absolute Zero" at 8:00 on KNME Channel 5 that is described at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/zero. Los Alamos scientists have been heavily involved in the quest for Absolute Zero temperatures.

Betsy, Celia and David

Tuesday Afternoon Message, January 8, 2008

Happy New Year!

We have learned along the way, that good communication is often saying things over to make sure it is heard. So we are repeating ourselves a bit in this message.

We are up to 58 Interims turned in.

TO DO (This may look familiar to you!)

  1. Prepare for Project Evaluations: Look at your February calendar and at http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations to see when and where we expect you to make an informal presentation about your project. If you want to present at a location that is not the closest to you, please let us know. If there is a particulate time on your Saturday that you want to present at, please let us know. The preliminary schedule is posted.
  2. Seniors--plan to apply for Challenge scholarships in February. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/scholarships.shtml for details and consider the NASA scholarship mentioned below.
  3. Sophomores and Junior--consider submitting your project to the Siemens competition-see below.


From the "New York Times"
Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology, announced that a winning team of two girls had captured the $100,000 prize in the team category for creating a molecule that helps block the reproduction of drug resistant tuberculosis bacteria. Another senior girl placed first in the individual competition for her studies of bone growth in zebra fish, whose tail fins grow in spurts, similar to the way children's bones do."

Siemens and Intel Science Talent Search are two major competitions in Math and Science.

The Siemens Competition begins with regional competitions and New Mexico teams have participated in the Southwest region. Students prepare projects and enter them in the Siemens' regionals in the fall of their senior year. A paper is the first part of the process. This is followed by a presentation like our April judging event. One team and one individual is chosen from each region to participate nationally in early December.

Descriptions of projects and photos of the finalists can be found at http://www.siemens-foundation.org/en/competition/2007_winners.htm.

WEBSITE GUIDE (This may look familiar, too)

In preparation for the February Project Evaluations, practice with the January Peer Review. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/peer_review.html for a sample description and come up with something similar at your school that will work for you. If you want to use the same rubric that will be used in April, get copies at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/expo_rubric.pdf and/or http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/finalist_rubric.pdf

Learn more about making presentations at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/resources/#presentation and http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports/writing.shtml#visuals

SPONSORS OF THE WEEK http://challenge.nm.org/sponsors

MIT is another educational sponsor. We work with them in StarLogo and StarLogo TNG. Hal Scheintaub from MA works with our Summer Teacher Institute. They are collaborative partners in Project GUTS. Irene Lee works closely with Dr. Eric Klopfer. Learn more about him at http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/teach.html


Many Middle School Project GUTS' students are finishing up their units on Emergency Egress. Here is a resource http://www.access-board.gov/evac.htm. We know one Artesia team is working on this topic also. It is a good example of how agent based modeling can work on in your community.

Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Morning Message, December 24, 2007

We hope everyone has a safe and happy time off.

We are happy to see that 52 teams have turned in Interim Reports.


  1. Prepare for Project Evaluations: Look at your February calendar and at http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations to see when and where we expect you to make an informal presentation about your project. If you want to present at a location that is not the closest to you, please let us know. If there is a particulate time on your Saturday that you want to present at, please let us know. A preliminary schedule will be posted the first week of January.
  2. Seniors--plan to apply for Challenge scholarships in February. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/scholarships.shtml for details and consider the NASA scholarship mentioned below.
  3. Sophomores and Junior--consider submitting your project to the Siemens competition-see below.


From the "New York Times"
Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology, announced that a winning team of two girls had captured the $100,000 prize in the team category for creating a molecule that helps block the reproduction of drug resistant tuberculosis bacteria. Another senior girl placed first in the individual competition for her studies of bone growth in zebra fish, whose tail fins grow in spurts, similar to the way children's bones do."

Siemens and Intel Science Talent Search are two major competitions in Math and Science.

The Siemens Competition begins with regional competitions and New Mexico teams have participated in the Southwest region. Students prepare projects and enter them in the Siemens' regionals in the fall of their senior year. A paper is the first part of the process. This is followed by a presentation like our April judging event. One team and one individual is chosen from each region to participate nationally in early December.

Descriptions of projects and photos of the finalists can be found at http://www.siemens-foundation.org/en/competition/2007_winners.htm.


Several Challenge board members met with the directors of the New Mexico Computing Applications Center to discuss collaboration and it was a very positive meeting. They expect to have the computer (the 3rd fastest in the world right now) available for use by Supercomputing Challenge participants next year. There will be opportunities for Challenge winners and maybe finalists to get summer interns at the NM CAC in the future. There are plans to have many regional gateways which can provide visualization capabilities between the computer and its users and also broadcast events and classes. Maybe next year we can have a Supercomputing Challenge class offered at each of the regional gateways. The scientists using the NM CAC machine will probably be using computer programs/packages that students could use as well on their own projects in future years. Keep your eyes and ears open for news about the NM CAC. They are also seeking funds from the state legislature and so we want the legislators to know that the Challenge intends on taking advantage of this wonderful, powerful state resource.

NASA MUST (from Dr. Willard Smith, our NASA connect)

Apply Now for MUST Scholarships

The Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology Project, funded by NASA, is a joint partnership between the Hispanic College Fund, the United Negro College Fund Special Programs and the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers.

MUST awards scholarships and internships to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM fields. The MUST Project is open to all undergraduate students and is particularly focused on engaging students from underserved and underrepresented groups to enter STEM fields.

Each year, the MUST Project supports approximately 100 undergraduate students with a one-year competitive scholarship of up to one-half of tuition, not to exceed $10,000. Students who maintain the required minimum grade point average will be eligible for a paid internship at a NASA center or other research facility. Additionally, students will benefit year-round from tutoring, lecture series and mentoring from STEM faculty and peers.

The application period closes on Feb. 1, 2008. For more information, visit: Motivating Undergraduates Science Technology link


In preparation for the February Project Evaluations, practice with the January Peer Review. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/peer_review.html for a sample description and come up with something similar at your school that will work for you. If you want to use the same rubric that will be used in April, get copies at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/expo_rubric.pdf and/or http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/finalist_rubric.pdf

Learn more about making presentations at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/resources/#presentation and http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports/writing.shtml#visuals

SPONSORS OF THE WEEK http://challenge.nm.org/sponsors

A big thanks to ENMU, NMSU, NMT, SFCC, SJC and UNM for hosting the February Project Evaluations.


Cosmic rays reveal atomic materials: http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php/fuseaction/1663.article/d/200711/id/11915 Muons streaming from space could foil terrorist attempts to smuggle an atomic bomb, or its parts, into the country.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Morning Message, December 17, 2007


A big thank you to those teams who submitted their interim reports on Friday! Meeting deadlines is an important part of project planning!


Are you using Java in your project? Do you want to learn more about this programming language? If you would like to participate in Sun's free online Java Technology class, please let us know so you can start taking classes. You will be taking this class under the Supercomputing Challenge umbrella. Please write to consult@challenge.nm.org so that we can register your school and you!

Information on the Sun Academic Initiative Program is located here: http://www.sun.com/products-n-solutions/edu/programs/sai

SPONSOR OF THE WEEK http://challenge.nm.org/sponsors.shtml

Under our Educational Partners is a group called CHECS

New Mexico Council for Higher Education Computing/Communication Service

You may meet some of these people who will be hosting our February Evaluations at a college near you! You will meet their president Stephen Aguirre when he gives away a randomly chosen $500 scholarship at the Awards Day and monetary gifts for the best projects for research and teamwork.

At their annual technology conference, last year in Albuquerque, we found the Apple representative that lent us 30 MACS for the kickoff in October. We also borrowed 20 laptops from Stephen's organization, High Plains Regional Education Cooperative # 3 in Raton, a member of CHECS.

If you need some work study if you attend college in NM, contact the CHECS members listed on their web page and they may be able to help you out with a job. We thank CHECS for being a sponsor of the NM Supercomputing Challenge for 18 years!


Levi Valdez, alum from Bloomfield, worked on our web page this summer. He added a search capability. You can type in a topic at the bottom of each page

Search the Challenge Website:

and find the info you need immediately.

We typed in February Evaluations and the tentative schedule for the presentations popped up at http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations/schedule.shtml

Please check out this page and see where your team will be presenting. We will be making the schedule early in January so if you have a preferred time or place at which you would like to present, please let consult know. Not every team member has to attend, but it does give your team practice with presentations. You will receive feedback on your projects from our mentors and judges.

So perhaps, if you are working on a cryptography program, you could type that in the box and see what other teams have done in the past in this area. This is not cheating, but really a form of research. You could cite that project as a resource. Why reinvent the wheel? Scientists improve on others' work all the time in the real world!


Read this epidemiology article sent in by mentor/judge/Sandia Tour leader Tom Laub. Thanks Tom for your continued support! http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20071027/bob8.asp

This first paragraph might entice you to read on:

"Skeletons paved the cobblestone streets. Thousands had succumbed to the blood plague quickly, but others lingered-only to infect everyone they met. No one was safe. Warriors, mages, and healers all fell. Word spread, urging everyone to flee, but still the plague ripped through the world, creating a holocaust."

Sincerely yours,
The Challenge Management Team

Monday Morning Message, December 10, 2007

Happy December!


When you registered with the Challenge in September, you signed up for a school year long academic marathon. You understood that you were in it for the long run, until Expo/Awards Day in April.

So, now you need to keep your commitment and upload your interim report by Friday, December 14th. Don't forget to share your research in your report.

So go to http://challenge.nm.org/interims and get your report in.

These schools have completed this portion of their school year early! Way to go!

School    Team    Project Title
ALBUQUERQUE ACADEMY    2    Nanoscale Self-Assembly and Pattern Formation
LOS ALAMOS HIGH    53    Human Traffic Flow
RIO RANCHO HIGH    76    Bubbly in the Tummy
RIO RANCHO HIGH    77    Airborne Diseases
RIO RANCHO HIGH    78    Project Wolf-Reintroduction
RIO RANCHO HIGH    79    The Aquatic food chain
RIO RANCHO HIGH    80    Stuck in traffic
ST PIUS X HS    49    Characterizing Movement Through a Medium


Do note that a different quote from an alum comes up every time you log onto the Challenge web page!

Check out the Challenge resource page: http://www.challenge.nm.org/resources

It is in alphabetically order from Computer Science to Technical Assistance and much in between. Visit the information about email hoaxes!


Lets discuss our educational sponsors. We have colleges, universities, institutes, etc. This week we are going to highlight the NM Public Education Department.

We work closely with the Math and Science Bureau of the department. We have received grant money from them for the past two years' Summer Teacher Institute. They also print the finalists' final reports from the previous year. Your teacher sponsor should have a copy of this document with a picture on the front from Melrose's team 68, Agri-Terrorism project.

These final reports give you a picture of what work constitutes excellence and computational science. There are some additions this year. Every student's name who participated and completed the Challenge last year is included.


You think today's computers are fast? Just wait! http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071206/BUSINESS01/712060362

Sincerely yours,
The Consult Management Team
Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Morning Message, December 3, 2007

Happy December,

First, a note from one of our students:

Hey Fellow Supercomputing Challengers,
I am writing to report the events of the 3rd Annual Youth Research Banquet held this weekend at Rio Rancho High School. One message emphasized at the banquet was that it takes hard work and dedication to succeed. The keynote speaker was Katie Liberatore, who grew up in New Mexico, and graduated from Rio Rancho High. When she was a junior in high school, she began studying DNA at a laboratory at UNM, looking at the damage response pathways in yeast. She won both the high school and regional competitions, and went on to place fourth in the Microbiology at the International Science and Engineering Fair. To make a long story short, she is now working at UNM, and applying to PhD programs in Biological Sciences. Amazing stuff, isn't it? Her speech was really inspiring. She said it takes hard work, but it all pays off in the end. Her story proves that. So as we approach the middle of the Challenge year, with interim reports and evaluations just around the bend, tensions tend to rise. Don't forget that all this work we're doing now, all those hours spent programming and writing reports and doing research, pays off. Going off of that, another main theme of the evening was to have fun. Everyone at the banquet, even the adults, had a blast playing with the puzzles, games, and sticky bubbles they handed out. Humans learn through play. Also, to put it simply, having fun keeps us from going insane. So have fun with whatever you're doing, and don't get too stressed out!

Wishing everyone the best of luck,
Kelly Dickey, Bosque School Junior

Secondly, congratulations Rio Rancho High for being the first ones to submit their Interim reports, which are due December 14th, in 12 days!


  1. Teams with projects, please let us know if you have not received an email review of your proposal. If you have received a review, please write back to the reviewers and thank them for their time and expertise and ask any questions of them.
  2. Project GUTS teams, please send in an interim report that talks about your epidemiology unit. Send the answers to the following questions to consult @ challenge.nm.org and include the first names of your team members:
    1. Problem definition: What is the purpose of your project?
    2. What was the goal of your project?
    3. What was your hypothesis?
    4. What did you focus on in order to make your computer model?
    5. What data were you able to generate?
    6. What did you learn?
  3. Get that interim report in before you take off for winter break.


We are working with NMCAC (New Mexico Computing Applications Center), hoping for a good partnership. See the machine being installed and read more about them at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/nmcac_071129.shtml


We are saluting the NM State Legislature for sponsoring part of the Challenge. They are one of the primary sponsors of the Challenge. We are in the middle of a 2007 - 08 legislative campaign where we are asking several legislators representing your districts to each donate $10,000. This money will help pay for the Expo/Awards Day, the Summer Teacher Institute, the 2008 Kickoff and school visits. We will soon be sending you a database of the contacted representatives and senators so that you and your parents can contact these people and ask for their support in the Challenge.


Teacher Carl Bogardus, from Chaparral Middle School sends us this North American Computational Linguistics Olympiads science link: http://namclo.linguistlist.org

Like former Olympiads, NAMCLO is a Linguistics contest. It challenges you to demonstrate your ability to understand and analyze human language. Unlike former contests, however, the NAMCLO focuses on Computational Linguistics problems, in addition to general linguistic ones.

The puzzle at the bottom of the linguistics article that is interesting and might be of interest to some of you!

The Consult Management Team
Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Morning Message, November 26, 2007

Happy Almost December!

Hope you are enjoying this sunny, winter weather.


  1. Please respond to the volunteer who emails your team some feedback. These people are scientists and mathematicians and you should take their advice seriously. They have a deadline of December 2nd to get you some email feedback. Thank them for their time and ask questions if you do not understand their suggestions.
  2. Interim reports are due December 14th, which is 18 days away. Teams doing proposals can find guidelines at http://www.challenge.nm.org/interims

Your interim report should have the name of your mentor and at least three research citations. At least one should not be from the Internet. Remember, you can find information about your topic or even other programs, which you can use if you cite them. See the HIGHLIGHT below for links to writing bibliographies.

Project GUTS students, you need to write a report about your epidemiology unit and post it on the Interim page also. Format details will follow.


The homepage has new photos from the Kickoff and other pictures are at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/kickoff/pictures. Thank you, David, for posting them! See if you can find someone you know.

Dates for the Challenge are posted on the left hand sidebar of the Challenge home page.

How to write a bibliography can be found under Resources at top of the Challenge home page. Scroll down to Research and choose Citing Internet Resources or click on http://www.classroom.com/community/connection/howto/citeresources.jhtml

Citation Maker is a free electronic tool that will help you write your bibliography: http://citationmachine.net

SPONSOR OF THE WEEK http://www.lanl.gov

This week we are highlighting LANL (Los Alamos National Laboratory), one of our primary sponsors. Their home page touts projects about "new radioisotopes for medical diagnostics and therapies, a new model for the behavior of the universe's largest and rarest exploding stars and ideas about providing clean energy to an energy-hungry world."

LANL invites us all to an EXPO/Awards Day in April with tours, meals, and overnight stays. If you finish your project or your GUTS units, you will be eligible. They host our website and forum and allow David Kratzer to work with us.


An article about the 2007 Nobel Science prizes can be found at http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9942052

Prizes for genetically disadvantaged mice, computer hard drives and the basis of much of industrial chemistry were awarded. How many of these projects do you think use computational science and/or agent based modeling?

Sincerely yours,
Consult - consult @ challenge.nm.org
Challenge Management Team
Betsy, Celia and David, in alpha order!

Monday Morning Message, November 19, 2007

Good Day,

Here's to a Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Before December, the teams doing a project will be receiving some feedback on their proposals. Please write back to the scientist and thank him for his time. Write back with any questions you might have as to her suggestions. These people are busy volunteers who want you to get started on the right foot. These people can be your advocate as they see your growth throughout the year. Use and amuse them!
  2. Sign up to go to the Nov. 30th 3rd Annual Researchers Banquet at http://gotoif.org
  3. Plan to attend the free RoboRav on December 1st in Albuquerque at SIPI. Directions are here http://www.roborave.org/directions.html
  4. Get your research started for your project. Some scientists do research for years before they start their project work. You should have at least three references in your Interim Report, due right before winter break.
  5. View the attached picture of a team of students from Los Alamos Mid doing some hands on research on the Rio Grande. Their project is entitled Otters and Their Effect on Riverine Ecosystems. This kind of research is called Place Based Science, in which information on status and trends in an ecosystem is continually collected, analyzed, and communicated-is generally accepted as the desired approach for managing ecosystems on public lands (Johnson et al. 1998). Such ecological knowledge is often time- and place-specific.

SPONSOR LINK http://www.abbatech.com

Abba Technologies has been a guest at our Computer Faire at the Kickoff.

The first thing that comes to mind about their name is the famous singing group. While they have a diverse taste in music, this was not the inspiration. In a few different languages the word "Abba" means Father or the title of honor for patriarchs. The company name has come to symbolize the guidance and care they give to customers. Because of their expertise and the wide-range of products and services we provide, customers know they can consistently trust Abba to assess their needs and implement emerging IT solutions to create value and mission success.

Check out their neat verbal logo: Information Trustology Notice the awards this company has won!

Ron Davis, employee at Abba and on the Challenge Board of Directors shares, "SGI has contracted our company, Abba Technologies, to perform some of the implementation and optimization of the NMCAC (Computer Center Applications)." See our Science Link for details. Abba will be performing the work starting early next month.


Time to get your team a mentor if you don't have one yet. Perhaps the scientist who offers you some suggestions can help you find one. If not, please go to our online mentor database at http://challenge.nm.org/resources/mentors.shtml We have shared this link before and want to make sure that you are aware of it. This mentor database is part of the Challenge Resources section of the webpage. Yes, we are repeating this information as we believe it is vital to your team's success.

Project Guts students will be meeting scientists all year long and can think of these people as mentors.

SCIENCE LINK New Mexico Computer Applications Center at UNM

Governor Bill Richardson praised the report by the TOP500 project that showed New Mexico's supercomputer is the world's 3rd most powerful. The state's new system posted a speed of 126.9 trillion calculations per second in recent tests submitted to the TOP500 project, which tracks the world's fastest supercomputers. "The New Mexico Computing Applications Center is off to a very, very fast start," said Governor Bill Richardson. "The strong performance of this system shows we're making a good investment in a world class project."

Read more http://www.governor.state.nm.us/press/2007/nov/111207_01.pdf

We have been invited to tour this facility by our sponsor of the week, Abba Technologies. Details will follow.

Enjoy your time off from school,
Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Morning Message, November 12, 2007

Happy Monday!

This mild Indian summer weather feels delicious when you spend some time outdoors! Perhaps, we have "fall fever."


Find a mentor. First try our database at http://challenge.nm.org/resources/mentors.shtml Send them a letter similar to the one at http://www.challenge.nm.org/resources/mentor_letter.html If that doesn't work, contact consult @ challenge.nm.org for assistance. Winning teams tell us that having a mentor makes all the difference!

Create a team blog. Invite your mentor to join it. Kudos to Shane Wilson, Team 12 from Artesia and Sam Alva from Chaparral Mid for using the blogs.

Participate in the Challenge Discussion Groups at http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/forum/?q=forum/19 Believe it or not, there is more activity in the restricted for Teachers only blogs than the student blogs.

Register for the 3rd Annual Young Researchers Banquet. See details at http://www.gotoif.org

Legislative Campaign We are asking teachers to adopt at least one legislator. Ask your teacher how you and your parents or guardians can help. Teachers, please let Consult know if you have heard from any of your adoptees.

SPONSOR LINK http://sandia.gov

This week we are highlighting one of our primary sponsors, Sandia National Lab. A big thank you goes to them for supplementing our administrative costs for the next year! They send facilitators and scientists to the kickoff and many of our mentors and judges come from Sandia. We just received word that we are getting an annual grant of $10,000 from Lockheed Martin.

Through this grant, we can invite you to a Sandia Tour next March. There are summer intern programs you can take advantage of from age 16 to Ph.D level. http://sandia.gov/employment/special-prog/index.html

Thanks, Sandia for helping make the Challenge a reality! Special thanks at this time to Sandians James Peery, Eleanor Walther, and Eric Debenedictis, and Bill Blackler, President of the Challenge Board of Directors and David Kratzer, LANL and Consult.


This week we are highlighting our Sponsor page at http://challenge.nm.org/sponsors.shtml

If you ever run into anyone who works for these companies, labs, businesses or schools, please thank them for their continued effort!

Can you figure out what we mean by Primary, Educational, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Friends' sponsors?


We have discussions with the Challenge Board of Directors, Consult and Challenge Sponsors about changing our name. We, the Consult Management team, believe that our name has recognition and even though each project or unit doesn't use a supercomputer, we are all involved in computational science and/or agent based modeling.

Your current desktop is more powerful than the supercomputers in 1990 when we started this program. We like you to know the uses of supercomputing and the power, opportunities and jobs they provide for our state.

A few of our teams do use a supercomputer in their final projects. We hope to put more Supercomputing into the Challenge with our anticipated relationship with the NM Computing Applications Center, the new 170 teraflop machine in Albuquerque. (What's a teraflop? Wikipedia says, "In computing, FLOPS (or flops or flop/s) is an acronym meaning FLoating point Operations Per Second. The FLOPS is a measure of a computer's performance, especially in fields of scientific calculations that make heavy use of floating point calculations; similar to instructions per second.)

Here is an introduction to Supercomputing: http://www.thocp.net/hardware/supercomputers.htm

Here's hoping you have been researching your project or unit and that you have found a mentor.

Consult Management Team
Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Morning Message, November 5, 2007


We will organize our weekly epistles in four sections:

A To Do List
Challenge Website Link
Sponsor Link
Science Link

To Do

  1. Schedule a November visit to your school from Consult and/or its extended family. We can visit your administration, talk to parents, and work with students on proposals or units.
  2. Create an account on our open source content management page! Do so today, if you haven't already at http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/forum/?q=user/register

    There is a Challenge Website Scavenger Hunt there in the forum. Be the first one on your block to report one of the answers. First 10 people to enter a correct answer will win a prize.

    High Schoolers and some self selected mid schoolers: Create a team blog and a Challenge mentor will meet you there to discuss your project.

  3. Sign St. Pius' Erika DeBenedictis' online petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/SCfunding
    if you haven't already. Let's get 1000 signatures on there by December 1, 2007. Ask your families sign it also.
  4. Do research on your topic, use sources besides the Internet, look for solutions or codes already discussed and modify them. Please have three to five references ready for your Interim Report in December.
  5. Sign up for the NM 3rd Annual Young Researchers Banquet
    When Fri., Nov 30, 6:00pm - 9:30pm
    Where Rio Rancho High School
    Description Celebrate yourselves as a young researcher of NM! Hear the inspirational story of Katie Liberatore, a recent UNM graduate back from Australia, whose life changed direction because of her involvement in research and the Intel ISEF. Contact randy@gotoif.org with your vitals (Name and contact information) and he will follow up to finalize your ticket purchase. $20 each or 4 for $60!
  6. Come to the NMRoboRAVE International -- Competition
    A FREE event for the family
    When Sat., Dec 1, 8:00am - 4:30pm
    Where SIPI - along Coors NW and Paseo Del Norte, Albuquerque
    Description Dynamic Competition
  7. Fill out the Pre-Challenge Survey at: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/pre-survey_login.php
    (It was step 7 of 10 on the http://www.challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml web page but only 40 surveys have been completed.)
  8. Teachers: Have you heard back from your legislators? Does anyone need a copy of the sample letter?

Challenge Website Highlights

Each week, we will guide you to a portion of our new and improved website. This week, we share the About section at http://challenge.nm.org/about/ which highlights the 18 year history of the Challenge. Check out the Promotional movie at the bottom of the page. You may see someone you know there!

Notice that each page has a "Search the Challenge Website" feature so you can easily find whatever you are looking for.

Sponsor Link

The Sponsor of the week is MathWorks at http://www.mathworks.com/

Special thanks goes to Cleve Moler for offering MATLAB to Challenge students. Wikipedia defines MATLAB as

MATLAB is a numerical computing environment and programming language. Created by The MathWorks, MATLAB allows easy matrix manipulation, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs in other languages. Although it specializes in numerical computing, an optional toolbox interfaces with the Maple symbolic engine, allowing it to be part of a full computer algebra system.

Cleve's Wikipedia entry reads:

Cleve Barry Moler is a mathematician and computer programmer specializing in numerical analysis. In the mid to late 1970s, he was one of the authors of LINPACK and EISPACK, Fortran libraries for numerical computing. He invented MATLAB, a numerical computing package, to give his students at the University of New Mexico easy access to these libraries without writing Fortran. In 1984, he co-founded The MathWorks with Jack Little to commercialize this program.

Write to Cleve at Cleve.Moler @ mathworks.com
if your team will be needing to use MATLAB and you don't already have a student edition.

Science Link

Our Project GUTS students are starting their epidemiology unit. Irene Lee, Project GUTS Director and Consult member, sends us these sites to check out about infectious disease:

Happy November!

The Consult Management Team
Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Afternoon Message, October 29, 2007

Hello, Challenge World!

We here at Consult are still settling back into routine after the excitement of last week at our glorious Kickoff in Glorieta. The good memories include the brief but spectacular snowstorm during the Opening Session on Sunday, Marisol and Stephen's keynotes, the laptops, being with new and old friends from all over the state of New Mexico, and seeing the cool stuff at the Faire. We really have a Middle School program now to complement our High School projects. Our linkage to Project GUTS - Growing Up Thinking Scientifically is a collaboration we will all benefit from.

Are you the person on your team whose job it is to share the Monday Morning Message with your team? If you are, you know what to do! If you are new to this responsibility, we've put a * beside the notes that are especially important to share. Remember that if you lose the Monday Morning Message (MMM) (or the MAM) you can always find it and any past MMMs on the Challenge Home page under News Flash at the top right of the Page.

The registration statistics for the Supercomputing Challenge for 2007-2008 are very terrific. We have 325 students from 34 schools which stretch from the Four Corners in the Northwest to the Oil Patch and Cattle Ranches in the Southeast, and from Espanola and Santa Fe to Socorro along the Rio Grande, and from Melrose to Rio Rancho through the center of our state. Forty-five teachers accompanied these teams. Forty-seven volunteers from business, high tech labs, universities and schools as well as Challenge Board members came to teach and mentor, set up computers and load software, register participants, present keynotes and help with the many tasks necessary to make the Kickoff happen.

In this group we wish to give a special thanks to Marisol Gamboa and Stephen Guerin for their fine keynote presentations. Marisol's reflections on her Challenge experiences and how those led her to her college degree in Computer Science and onto her work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory were inspiring for all of us. Stephen linked the project work open to students with the models the Redfish Group develops for groups as disparate as Homeland Security (planning for evacuation from large stadiums) and the City of Venice, Italy (traffic flow on the canals).

Regular features of our Monday Morning Messages include a To Do list, Science Link, and Sponsor Link.

*To Do: Consult is setting up a blog for the Challenge. We expect to have it ready by next week so that you can report on your progress. First, though, we need you to register for the blog. Here is the link: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/forum/?q=user/register Remember to write down your user name and password in a safe place. What on earth is a blog?? Read all about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog.

*Check out these sponsors who loaned us our laptop labs!
Apple Computers
Santa Fe Institute
High Plains Regional Education Coop
New Mexico State University

*Cool Science Links from the Keynote Speakers, Marisol and Stephen:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Our Keynote Speaker, Marisol Gamboa, is a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. This is a link to all kinds of work being done at Livermore. You could explore the link and if you are studying a special topic, like the spread of infection or neural networks or atmospheric disturbance, you could use the search feature to get more information.

Redfish Group
Stephen Guerin writes "The stadium evacuation project is at http://www.redfish.com/stadium." Students can play with a java applet done in Processing which was demonstrated at the Kickoff.

Have a great week! Mind the C6H12O6 that you consume on Wednesday.

Consult consult@challenge.nm.org

Celia Einhorn, Betsy Frederick, David Kratzer

Monday Morning Message, October 15, 2007

Dear Challenge Community,

In seven days, many of us will be meeting in Glorieta. Here are some reminders:

  1. Bring a sleeping bag or linens and a towel. Please remind your bus driver to do this also! (If you haven't told us that you are bringing a bus driver, PLEASE let us know ASAP.)
  2. Double check the housing lists at http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/housing_session1.html http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/housing_session2.html
  3. Refresh your memory with the standards at the Conference Center. http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/glorieta_standards.pdf
  4. High School students, please bring your project proposal. (and enter it at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals)
  5. Mid Schoolers please bring your interview questions.

We will be assigning team numbers (between 1 and 95 or so) by sorting the schools in alphabetic order so team numbers above 1000 will turn into numbers below 100.

We will have wireless access with Internet access, so if you have a laptop with virus protection and a wireless card, please bring it and you will be able to use it in your classes.

If you have any questions, remember to write to consult @ challenge.nm.org

Teachers, we will be launching a legislative campaign in the Teachers' Lounge, so please stop by that spot.

Don't forget to visit the Computer, Math, Science and College Faire in the Santa Fe room near the cafeteria on the 22nd from 11:30 - 1.

If you haven't already, please fill out our online survey today. We need the info for evaluation and future funding. You can find it at http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/pre-survey_login.php

Check the weather in Glorieta before you leave and pack appropriately. Weather link is at http://www.wunderground.com/US/NM/Glorieta.html

It is 39 degrees F there as we write this!

Monday Morning Message, October 8, 2007

Good Day,

Two more weeks! We are looking forward to hearing our two keynote speakers. Marisol Gamboa, who was a Challenge Team participant from Hatch, NM, will talk about teaming and diversity, and Stephen Guerin will from Redfish Group in Santa Fe will share some traffic models.

Please keep those TEAFs and registration checks coming!


Teachers and students and bus drivers, you will be staying in the Oklahoma dorms and will need to bring either a sleeping bag or linens as well as towels for your stay.

Challenge Registration will be in Room 203 in the Holcomb Complex. All students, teachers and chaperones can come here for name tags, pictures, t-shirts, and schedules. Room 203 will be the kickoff center for lost and found, information, etc. Holcomb is the tall building west of the chapel and patio rooms we used last year. Glorieta housing registration is in the New Mexico Hall. A teacher can go to housing registration and get room assignments and keys for all the students.

View the yellow circled areas to see what buildings we will be using at Glorieta at http://challenge.nm.org/kickoff/lwcF_cc_glorieta_map_2007_highlighted_map.jpg

Please visit the 15 booths at the Computer, Math, Science and College Faire in the Santa Fe Room, near the cafeteria on Monday from 11:30 - 1.

Each group gets three meals with their stay. The first group gets dinner, breakfast and lunch. The second group gets lunch, dinner and breakfast.

Glorieta Conference Center is located fifteen minutes (18 miles) from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and 75 miles from Albuquerque. The campus is nestled within the beautiful Sangre deCristo Mountains (lower Rocky Mountains) which are one of the longest mountain chains on Earth.

Driving Directions from Albuquerque: Take I 25 North past Santa Fe. Glorieta is a short, beautiful drive past some breathtaking scenery. Interstate 25 North winds through the mountains past Santa Fe, with Glorieta's facilities conveniently located just off Exit 299 (Glorieta's campus entrance is visible from the interstate exit ramp).

Emergency Numbers are David's cell (505-412-2559) or Celia's cell (505-321-9925) The number at Glorieta is 505-757-6161.

Core Classes

All groups will have classes covering Teamwork Skills and Challenge Year Milestones. Meet the Scientist sessions will give teams a chance to talk with scientists about their project proposals. Complex Systems or Computational Science Classes will round out the workshops. All students will attend the Keynote Talk.

Middle School Track

We are collaborating with Project Guts, an NSF grant being implemented in Santa Fe. Check it out at

We will be working with StarLogo TNG (The Next Generation) to introduce programming. Middle schools students do not need to bring a proposal because they are going to work on four units throughout the year that will teach them about complexity, agent based modeling and place based or community based science.

Each student, or pair or small group, needs to bring five questions so that they will be prepared to interview a group of scientists at the Meet the Scientist Session. Brainstorm with your friends about good questions so that you can learn about the scientist, about his or her work, about their backgrounds, about what got them interested in science, and other questions that will help you understand what got them to where they are and what it takes to be a scientist.

Middle Schoolers will make three presentations: The first will be in December, the Second in February, and the final in April. The December presentation is written and explains what has been accomplished with one of the units. In February and April, teams will make presentations to a group of judges.

Intermediate and Experienced Users' Track

Intermediate and experienced users will be receiving classes in NetLogo, Java or Python.

NetLogo is a free of charge, cross-platform multi-agent programmable modeling environment. It is well suited for simulating natural and social phenomena and for modeling complex systems developing over time. Modelers can give instructions to hundreds or thousands of "agents" all operating independently. This makes it possible to explore the connection between the micro-level behavior of individuals and the macro-level patterns that emerge from the interaction of many individuals.

Java programming language has five primary goals: object-oriented programming methodology; the same program can be executed on multiple operating systems, built-in support for using computer networks; execute code from remote sources securely; and easy to use.

Python is a new addition to the Challenge menu. Python is a dynamic object-oriented programming language that can be used for many kinds of software development. It offers strong support for integration with other languages and tools, comes with extensive standard libraries, and can be learned in a few days. Many Python programmers report substantial productivity gains and feel the language encourages the development of higher quality, more maintainable code.

High School Proposals

High schools and some self selected mid schools will submit their proposal during the Meet the Scientist session where they will get feedback on their project. Info on proposals are at

Science Link

Thanks to Redfish, home of one of our Keynote speakers, here are some neat pictures and text about agent based modeling, a powerful tool to understand the behavior of systems with many interacting parts. You will get a chance to see some of these models at the keynote on Monday, the 22nd.


Monday Morning Message, October 1, 2007

Happy October!

Can you believe that is it already October and time to get ready for our time together at Glorieta?

Housing at Glorieta

We must know by tomorrow if you are spending an evening with us at Glorieta so that we let the housing department at Glorieta know how many rooms to prepare for us. So, if you haven't registered yet or signed up for a room, do so today! Please register your teams if you are one of the 100 folks who haven't already.

Tuesday afternoon please check out our housing lists at
to see if there are any changes at this time.

Standards at Glorieta

We are guests at the Glorieta Conference Center for the kickoff and we need to adhere to their rules. The rules are common sense that you should follow as representatives of your school and the Challenge. They are attached here and each teacher sponsor should go over these policies.

TEAFs Team Entry Authorization Form and Registration Fees

Congratulations to Sandia Prep in Albuquerque for being the first team to send in their registration fee and to Rio Rancho for getting us their TEAFs for the Challenge year. Please get your information into us asap http://challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

High School Proposals

Each high school team needs to bring a proposal to the kickoff. The supporting link for the proposals is

Three Jackson Mid School and one Las Cruces High team have already submitted a proposal.

Middle School Scientist Questions

Middle school teams can chose to submit a proposal, as Jackson Mid has done or they can bring five questions to ask a scientist about his or her work. Questions should help you learn not only about their field of science but about what a scientists work and life is like.

Experienced Programmers

27 students have classified themselves as experienced programmers and they will be receiving a web form to fill out from Mathematica, and then will receive download links for version 6. Wolfram will then review the licenses at interim reports and renew those licenses for teams using Mathematica. Mathematica is an "automation in algorithmic computation, interactive manipulation and dynamic presentation" as well as a whole new way of interacting with the world of data."

This group of students will work on parallel programming hints with scientists from LANL and also MATLAB with Cleve Moler while at Glorieta. Other classes will include teamwork, programming in Java and Python and a Meet the Scientist session to clarify their project proposals.


Supercomputing Challenge sponsor Wolfram Research, makers of Mathematica, is now the official math brain trust for the hit CBS series NUMB3RS. The show airs at 10pm U.S. ET on Fridays. Visit their website, "The Math behind NUMB3RS," for an in-depth look at each episode. http://numb3rs.wolfram.com/wolfram.html.

PBS Wired Science

http://www.pbs.org/kcet/wiredscience/ This is the link to a new series on Wednesday nights at 7PM on KNME. In the premiere episode of PBS' newest weekly series, Josh Davis of Wired magazine investigates an Internet botnet attack of Estonia's banks and newspapers; WIRED SCIENCE reports on cardiac surgery performed by a "robo-doc"; Adam Rogers explores the disappearance of home chemistry sets; and Ziya Tong delves into technology that is helping children with Asperger's Syndrome by translating facial expressions into emotions.

Monday Morning Message, September 24, 2007

Good Day!

A month from today we will be in Glorieta visiting the Challenge Computer, Science, Math and College Faire and having lunch together before the Keynote. Following lunch, we will hear Marisol Gamboa and Steve Guerin's lively presentations at our Kickoff Keynote. You can read all about the Keynote at http://challenge.nm.org/kickoff

We are working on curriculum, housing arrangements, and the many details that precede the Kickoff. We need you to complete registration tasks so that we will all be prepared for Kickoff Weekend.

If you haven't registered yourself and your team, please do that as soon as possible. Our deadline for registration is this coming weekend - October 2nd. We have to tell the hotel at Glorieta how many rooms we need and that is based on your registration. Here is the link: http://challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml. Remember, teachers, students, and teams registrations.

Are you bringing a bus driver or chaperone who isn't a regular registrant? Please write to consult @ challenge.nm.org with the driver or chaperone's name and gender.

After you register, please complete the Pre-Challenge Survey at http://challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml. It is very important that you fill out this survey because we need to take some measurements before the Kickoff and at the end of the Challenge Year. When we ask companies and foundations for money for the Challenge, we need to be able to show that we are evaluating our work. Thank you for taking care of this detail which supports the Challenge!

The next task is the Team Entry Authorization Form. You can find a link to it on the registration page - http://challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml. We need this form with the registration fees so that we know you have read the Acceptable Use Policy http://challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/aup.shtml. The TEAF is also signed by the school principal so that he or she understands the commitment to supporting your work during the Challenge Year.

Next week we will talk about proposals that high school students are preparing (you can read about these from a link on the registration page). We will also explain the Questions for a Scientist we expect the middle school students to bring with them.

Lots to do! Let's roll!

Monday Morning Message, September 17, 2007

Happy Monday,

Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather, the green chili, the state fair, the football games, the smell of autumn arriving.


We currently have a total of 83 people registered, 69 students and 14 teachers. Registration closes on September 30th so you have 13 more days to register. We need to get an accurate housing count to the Glorieta Conference Center earlier this year than usual.

Once all team members have registered individually, be sure to register the team: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/registration_files/teamreg_login.php About 15 teams have formed so far.

Mid School Track at the Kickoff Conference

At Glorieta, the middle schoolers will be attending the StarLogo TNG track with a handful attending the NetLogo track. The teamwork, computational science, project planning, etc. sessions will be specific to them and their needs. Middle School students' proposals will prepare them for special Meet the Scientists sessions during which they will be interviewing scientists about their research and their lives rather than having scientists review their proposals. Much of the curriculum for the middle schoolers will be drawn from Santa Fe Institute's Project GUTS: Growing Up Thinking Scientifically, an NSF program that promotes STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

High School Students

Please follow the flow chart at http://challenge.nm.org/ctg/overview/project.shtml to make sure you have a computational science project. An easy definition of computational science is the intersection where three circles of math, science and computing come together.

Here is a Wikipedia definition of computational science. "It is the use of computers to perform research in other fields. It is the application of computer simulation and other forms of computation to problems in various scientific disciplines. It is not to be confused with computer science which is the study of topics related to computers and information processing." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_science

Science Link

Many scientists theorize that the dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the earth by a giant meteor. Now, Naked Science reveals the startling discovery that it was a meteorite impact that may have helped give rise to them. Journey from the bowels of the earth to the summit of one of the world's most active volcanoes and deep into a mysterious lake, as Dino Meteor gathers a team of scientists working to understand the origin of the dinosaurs.

Sandia National Laboratories' Mark Boslough's Red Storm computer exercise modeled an asteroid impact with the atmosphere over the Sahara Desert.

For more information, visit http://www.sandia.gov/news/resources/releases/2007/boslough-discover.html

This show will be part of our curriculum at 9 PM at the Kickoff.

Tuesday Morning Message, September 11, 2007

Good Day,

Challenge Registration

At this date, 6 teachers and 33 students have followed at least three of the ten steps at http://challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml to complete their registrations for the 2007-2008 Challenge and Kickoff.

Please understand the AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/aup.shtm and know that you MUST act in a responsible and ethical way at all times, online and in person when participating in the Challenge.

The flow chart at http://challenge.nm.org/ctg/overview/project.shtml helps guide your project development.

Dates This Coming Month

Registration closes on September 30th. TEAF (Team Entry Authorization Form) and $40 student registration fee due by Oct. 5th.

Work on a Project Proposal to bring to the Kickoff Conference at Glorieta, Sunday, October 21st. We will talk more about these and the mid school changes after more people register.

Pre-Challenge Survey

Please fill out the online survey at http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/pre-survey_login.php. We need this information from teachers and students for our assessment process. THANKS embedded in advance here. aTdHvaAnNcKeS

Looking Ahead

Marisol Gamboa participated in the 1992-93 and 1993-94 Supercomputing Challenges while at Hatch High School. She was a recipient of the 4-year Amy Boulanger scholarship. Marisol received her BS degree in Computer Science in 1998 from the University of New Mexico. Upon graduation, she began working as a Software Engineer for IBM Almaden Research Center. Marisol joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2002, on assignment to the National Ignition Facility where she developed distributed control system user interfaces. She is currently a Senior Computer Scientist and Technical Lead for Global Security in the Counterproliferation Analysis Section. She is responsible for the design and implementation of software capable of supporting the rapid integration of analytical technologies for processing unstructured messages in a high-performance computer environment.

Look Into The Future

Important dates are available at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/dates.shtml. Please note these dates in your school calendar, your personal calendar, the calendar on your refrigerator, etc.

Science Link

What to learn more about where Marisol works?
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory http://www.llnl.gov

Thursday Morning Message, September 6, 2007

With a holiday last Monday, we can't seem to get into the routine yet of a regular Monday Morning Message. We already have two teachers and 14 students registered.


Please register today at

There are some new and improved areas of registration. Each teacher can manage their own teams with additions and deletions and such. We are asking for permission to post photos of events online and for sizes of complimentary t-shirts so we have enough of the appropriate t-shirts.

There is a $40 registration fee due for each student participating in the Supercomputing Challenge. Teachers do not have to pay a registration fee. Ask your PTA for money as Karen Glennon at Jackson Mid in Albuquerque has. Have a car wash and earn enough money for your students as a Clovis teacher has done. Get a grant from a local business or service organization as Randy Gaylor has done in Artesia. Ask your administration to fund the registration and travel for your academic team(s). We do give scholarships if needed. Write to consult @ challenge.nm.org about scholarships.


We are pleased to be following the Project GUTS curriculum for mid school students. Details will soon follow about the milestones and requirements for middle school students.


Is the Challenge hard?
Just as our knowledge of physiology and advanced physical training techniques have moved the marathon from an elite event to one where thousands can participate, modern programming languages and educational insights have moved the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge from an elite programming contest for a select few to a computational science experience open to all. Easy-to-learn languages like StarLogo TNG and Net Logo make it possible for middle and high school students with little or no previous programming experience to build meaningful computer models.

At the same time, just as more experienced marathon runners have more techniques to rely on at race time, more advanced students may use languages like Java, Python, Mathematica and MatLab in their projects - they can even use parallel computing techniques to build simulations which can take advantage of the powerful, multi-processor computers which are made available to Supercomputing Challenge participants at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Teachers and mentors guide students through a series of benchmark activities to facilitate success. So, just as the completion rate in a modern marathon is over 90%, participants in this year's New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge are likely to enjoy the rewards and satisfaction of the presenting their final projects in the spring.

More discussion of the Challenge Marathon at http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/marathon.shtml


HPCwire: What is your advice for women who are interested in succeeding in this field? (High Productivity Computing)

Maria Eleftheriou: (Parallel Modeling Programmer) I give them the advice my mentor keeps repeating to me:

The best strategy for succeeding in the field, in any field, is to get out of your comfort zone and seek out new challenges. (Think she was talking about the NM Supercomputing Challenge?)

For a short bio on Maria, please visit

Looking forward to a wonderful year,

Betsy, Celia and David representing Consult, the Challenge Management Team

Friday Morning Message, August 31, 2007

Are you ready for the 18th Annual Supercomputing Challenge?

Start forming teams to participate in the 18th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

Registration begins on September 1st.

Registration deadline is September 30th.


Hopefully teams have been thinking about their projects and preparing a proposal. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals for guidelines.

Kickoff Conference

The Kickoff Conference will be held October 21-23 at the Glorieta Conference Center.

Middle School Participation

We are making exciting changes to our mid school program and details will follow.


Please print a flyer to place in your school for advertisement. http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/invitation_flyer.pdf

Here is the invite link:

We can't wait to see each and every one of you at Glorieta, October 21 - 23rd.

Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult @ challenge.nm.org
Search the Challenge Website:

For questions about the Supercomputing Challenge, a 501(c)3 organization, contact us at: consult @ challenge.nm.org