New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Weekly News Flashes

Wednesday Afternoon Message, May 16, 2012

The 2012-2013 Supercomputing Challenge

Watch the web site in August for details about participating in the 23rd annual Supercomputing Challenge.

Summer Teacher Institute

We have about 35 people signed up for this summer's STI which will be held at NM Tech in Socorro from July 15-20 followed by a week of online team project work with a face-to-face wrap up including project presentations at UNM/EPSCoR in Albuquerque on July 27th. If you are interested, contact Consult now.

Supercomputing and Science in the News

The theme for the 2012-2013 Supercomputing Challenge will be Energy. What does that have to do with supercomputing?
Check out what the US Energy Secretary, Dr. Steven Chu, has to say about it at:

Study hard and finish this school year well.
Best wishes to the graduating seniors and to the rest of you we hope to see you again in the fall for the 23rd annual Supercomputing Challenge.

Till next year,
Betsy, Celia and David, for Consult

Tuesday Afternoon Message, May 1, 2012

The Expo and Awards Days for the Supercomputing Challenge 2012 were a tremendous success. Thank you for the part you played in making the community proud of your work, your energy, and the spirit of competition in a community of colleagues.


We've ordered the plates for your plaques and will get them in the mail to you as soon as they've been made.

Photos and Slide Show

Have you checked out the photos? At the top below are the photos Shasta Marrero took of the Awards Ceremony

And here are the Expo pictures:

Both of these links are available from the Challenge home page:

The Awards Ceremony ppt slide show is available from the Awards Ceremony section of the Expo page:


If you didn't get a chance to complete the paper Survey at the Awards Ceremony, here is an online link. Please remember it's very important to our funding applications that we have your completed Survey. Thank you! for taking the time to complete it at this link:

Thank you notes

And thank you to those of you have completed your notes to the sponsors of your Award and/or Scholarship. If you haven't got it done yet, please procrastinate no more and get the message written and sent.

Town Hall on New Mexico Fire and Water

Register today for the Town Hall on New Mexico Fire and Water to explore the impact of the largest wildfire in New Mexico's history and develop recommendations that can help mitigate the impact of such a fire in the future.

Last summer's Las Conchas Fire in Northern New Mexico affected not only individual communities, but also had an impact on economic development, ecological systems, recreational interests, community health, and municipal water supply throughout the region. Learning from this devastating fire can help all New Mexicans protect our valuable natural resources.

When: Tuesday-Wednesday, June 5-6, 2012
Where: Hyatt Regency, Pavilion I-III, 330 Tijeras Avenue NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
Register at:

EPSCoR will pay the registration and hotel room for you and your parent/guardian. Mary Jo Daniel, EPSCoR Director, welcomes Challenge team members to come to this Town Hall meeting. Got questions? Write to Consult.

Last Word

The MMM will be published less often for the rest of the school year. We'll write to students and teachers to let you know about special opportunities. Meanwhile, good luck with finals and papers and presentations. Please take advantage of every opportunity to encourage students at your school to sign up to Take the Challenge in 2012-2013!

Celia Einhorn, Betsy Frederick, and David Kratzer for Consult

Friday Morning Message, April 20, 2012

Challenge Community,

We are excited and looking forward to seeing you and your projects at the Supercomputing Challenge Expo on Monday and the Awards Day on Tuesday.

Here are some last minute reminders and details:

  1. Remember to bring your display poster and if you have one, your graphics poster.
  2. Please enjoy the reception that the Bradbury Museum is hosting for Challenge participants on Monday night from 5 -7. Dinner is on your own.
  3. The Los Alamos forecast is 70's during the day and 50's at night.
  4. Please dress appropriately both days as we will have media around both days. You will be doing a lot of walking during the day, so wear comfortable shoes. Bring a jacket or sweater because Los Alamos weather can unexpectedly turn cold and rainy or snowy. Bring your swimming suit if you would like to go swimming in the evening at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center in Los Alamos.
  5. You will need to vote Monday afternoon for your favorite project, the Challenge logo for next year and the Best Technical Poster which becomes the cover of our finalist reports publication.
  6. Scholarship applicants will hear about interviews either through an email or a phone call.

Details can be found at

Wednesday Afternoon Message, April 18, 2012

Congratulations to the first-round finalist teams: Team 2 from ATC/Desert Acad/SF High, Team 36 from Desert Academy, Team 56 from La Cueva High, Team 64 from Los Alamos High, Team 72 from Los Alamos Middle School, and Team 82 from Manzano High. They will be presenting their projects to the Finalist Judges according to the schedule posted at:

The Expo schedule has been reworked so check it again to see when your team will be presenting:

Try to arrive a half hour early to get a parking place, get to the Study Center registration desk (upstairs) to get your name tags, and then to get to your presentation table to get set up.

General information is at:

Looking forward to a couple of fun and exciting days.

Monday Morning Message, April 16, 2012

Monday, 16 April. Today at 8:00 AM Web based Final Report presentations were due.

Wednesday afternoon, April 18, at 1:30 the Finalist Judges will meet to select a handful of first-round finalist teams. Their choices will be on the website as soon as the conference ends. Go to the home page of the Challenge to read all about it:

A week from this morning, Monday, April 23, the first-round finalists will be making presentations to the Finalist Judges. All other teams will be making poster-board presentations in the Los Alamos Research Library to Expo Judges. Scholarship applicants will talking with Scholarship Judges. At noon, the Expo Judges will get together and choose two or three more finalist teams from the presentations they've seen in the morning.

In the afternoon the Finalist Judges will see the presentations of the teams that rose in the Expo. Teams will participate in the tours of Los Alamos and see special presentations. Additionally, teams will look at the posters and choose their favorite technical poster and the best graphical poster. The tech poster will be the cover for the Finalist Reports book that will be published and distributed for the Kickoff in October. The best graphics logo poster will serve as the Supercomputing Challenge logo for the next year, appearing on Supercomputing Challenge letterhead, T-shirts, book bags, and Web site.

From 5-7 PM all teams are invited to a reception at Bradbury Museum. Supper is on your own.

We'll see you back at 9:00 on Tuesday morning for the Awards Ceremony. The Ceremony will be held in the auditorium of the Church of Christ, 2323 Diamond Drive, in Los Alamos, 87544.

Please check the housing assignments if you haven't already and be sure to write to Consult if you see an error. Let us know right away if there are any changes to your team's plans. See all the details at:

And now that you have time to plan for next steps check out a terrific summer opportunity. You can talk with Dr. Henry Neeman from the University of Oklahoma about this program and other supercomputing programs for high school students. He will be a Finalist Judge and will be available to students at Awards Day.

High School and College Students are encouraged to participate in the XSEDE12 Student Program to learn more about computational science and the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment. Read the details at: Apply for support at:

Uri Wilensky from Northwestern University, the developer/maintainer of NetLogo, will also be joining us as an Expo Judge.

Betsy, Celia, David, for Consult

Monday Morning Message, April 9, 2012


This morning we have 62 Final Reports posted. The Judges have started to read the reports and in a conference call in the afternoon on the 18th of April will select a few to be first-round finalists.

Have you completed your registration for ExpoAwards Day? One person from each team needs to register his or her entire team. If you haven't completed this important step, please do it TODAY! We need these counts for hotel rooms, Expo poster setup, arrangements for tours and pizza and burritos.

Optional Web-based Final Reports are due Monday morning April 16, at 8:00. You can read details about planning and executing a web-based report at

It is time to work on your poster that you'll set up during the Expo and use to tell the Judges about your project. Your presentation to the Judges will last half an hour - twenty minutes to tell the Judges about your project and 5-10 minutes to answer questions. If you have done additional research or programming since you turned in your final report, you can include it in your Expo presentation. To review poster requirements, please see Display Board. Last week we told you about a link our EPSCoR colleagues sent. Here it is again: Poster Perfect.

Do you like working with graphics? If you do, check out developing a graphics logo poster. Next year's Tee Shirt design will feature the logo designed by a team from this year's Challenge. It will be the symbol for 2012-13 Supercomputing Challenge and be in the upper left hand corner of the Supercomputing Challenge web pages. Designing the logo and preparing the poster needs to happen before you get on the bus to come to Expo Awards Day!

Remember to write to Consult if you have queries or comments. We are looking forward to seeing you at the Expo - two weeks from today!

Warm regards,
Betsy, Celia and David for Consult

Monday Morning Message, April 2, 2012

Good Morning! This is one of the important weeks for Challenge Milestones and Wednesday the 4th is the Big Day: Final Reports are due by noon on Wednesday, the 4th, and teams who plan to attend Expo Awards events in Los Alamos on Monday and Tuesday, April 23-24, must register to attend by the 4th.

We are delighted that two teams have submitted their final reports and 16 teams have already registered for Expo Awards Days. For information about submitting a Final Report, please see the information about emailing your report to Again, reports are due by noon on Wednesday, April 4.

Teams must register for Expo Awards by Wednesday, April 4. The form asks for information about team members, sponsors, bus drivers and other adults who may be coming with the team. One person from the team completes the form and all of the names and information essential for getting hotel rooms organized must be included on the form.

Registration guarantees your team's hotel rooms and helps us be sure we have good counts for the meals. It also is important for the plans we make for arranging the poster sessions, tours, and other special activities.

As soon as you have submitted your final report and registered, it is time to start planning the poster you will be bringing to the Expo. The guidelines for the poster are at: This week our partner EPSCoR published a newsletter with a very helpful article of pointers for good poster presentations. "Poster Perfect" is from TheScientist, a magazine of the life sciences. Here is the link:

Optional Web-based Final Reports are due Monday morning April 16, at 8:00. You can read details about planning and executing a web-based report at

If you have any questions about the Reports, Registration, Posters, or Expo Award Day, please write to Consult @ We like hearing from you!

You are in the home stretch and we are very proud of you. See you soon!
Betsy, Celia and David for Consult

Monday Morning Message, March 26, 2012

Happy Spring,

The wind, cool nights, the warm days and the occasional snow = spring in NM!

Many links follow about our end of the year festivities and awards. If you have a question about a link or can't find a link, please feel free to ask any questions to consult @

Much general information, schedules, housing, parking, directions and judging can be found here.

Registration is Open for Expo/Awards Day in Los Alamos

Please register asap so we can reserve housing arrangements and get food, tours, speakers, and materials ready.

Final Reports are Due April 4th

Web Based Design Award

Please click here to see the guidelines for the web design due April 16th.

Every Team Needs a display board.

An optional graphics logo poster,

whose artwork and catchy slogan creatively embody the Supercomputing Challenge program, may also be submitted by your team at the Expo. Details for the Graphics Logo Poster

Tribute to Silver High Teacher Sponsor

Peggy Larish, long time teacher sponsor from Silver High passed away last week. Read more. Send Condolences to We will honor her at our Awards Ceremony in April in Los Alamos.


July 8-21, 2012
On the George Mason University campus
Fairfax, Virginia

Explore complexity science through ecology in the fields and woodlands of northern Virginia. The Santa Fe Institute and George Mason University--leaders in the field of complex systems education--offer this intensive two-week program on the GMU campus. Using computer modeling, field data, discussions/seminars, and team collaborations you'll conduct research in cutting-edge complexity science. Days are made up of instruction, small working group sessions, and research time combined with extra-curricular events. Residential and day student options. Scholarships available.

Founded in 1984, the Santa Fe Institute is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of complex systems in the natural and social sciences. The Summer CAMP broadens students' scientific horizons, and accelerates both academic and personal development by immersing them in a supportive community of scholars, teaching them how to create and analyze computer models, and introducing them to the challenges and rewards of independent scientific research.


For more information about the CAMP please visit our website. To begin your online application click HERE. Please note that all application materials must be submitted by 15 May 2012 for full consideration. If you have specific questions, please contact juniper @ or (505) 946-2726

Supercomputing News

Left or right? Early clues to soccer penalty kicks revealed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Monday Morning Message, March 19, 2012

Good Day,

Did you survive the daylight savings change?

More Info on the Expo/Awards Day, April 23rd and 24th

  • Supercomputing Teacher of the Year - We have one nomination, but we will entertain more.
  • Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at NOON. Deadline to submit final report.
  • Wednesday, April 4, 2012 Registration deadline for Expo and Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos. Coming soon!
  • Monday, April 16, 2012, 8:00 am Submissions for the Best Web version of a final report due.
  • Display Board for presentation Start now, not an activity for the bus ride.
  • Graphics Logo Poster Have your logo on our web page, t-shirt, bags, stationery next year

Keep checking this link for updates on awards.

Wiki Use for Proposal and Interim Feedback

We would love to hear from you, teachers, students, reviewers, concerning our use of a publicly accessed digital format for our written feedback. Peter Ahrens, senior, says, "I think the wiki is great. It's good to have many places for people to go to view our work" Chris Morrison, reviewer, states, "I thought the wikis were clean and easy to use. I think they may work better than an email because I know how much I ignore my email and having an easy link to go to is nice as long as the teams aren't intimidated by being reviewed online."

What do you think?

More Comments on Sandia Tour

The tour of Sandia National Labs was a fascinating introduction to the work being done there. We saw several of the technologies being researched at the labs, and I personally learned a lot about what's being done and how it could be used to make the world a better place. We got to see all sorts of interesting things like robots which can be used in situations too dangerous for humans, and the many applications of nanotechnology, as well as how even the research we're doing in the Supercomputing Challenge could be applied to real problems. It was a wonderful opportunity.

Thanks, Megan B, Desert Academy

I liked Sandia because I got see how the robots move and Red Storm and many other interesting things among the ones I listed. When I was in the area filled with supercomputers it was very loud but it was worth it. I figured it was very complex to build a supercomputer. I very much enjoyed seeing the nuclear bombs and the fascinating machines that I got to see. The sticky foam was a genius Idea to make for war and other purposes.

Victor Popa-Simil, Aspen Elementary

Edgewood GUTS Club and Challenge Team Celebrate Pi Day

Did you?

Become a Citizen Scientist

Project BudBurst is a network of people across the United States who monitor plants as the seasons change. It's a national field campaign designed to engage the public in the collection of important ecological data based on the timing of leafing, flowering and fruiting of plants.

Programming or Writing Assistance

We like to think of the Challenge as a marathon and Consult's job is to hand you "water bottles" along the route. We have people standing by to help you write code or get some assistance in writing your final report. Please contact us for names of mentors in StarLogo TNG, NetLogo, Java, Python, C+, and writing reports.

And this in from Eleanor Walther, Expo Head Judge

Zoom from the edge of the universe to the quantum foam of spacetime and learn about everything in between.

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia, David from Consult

Monday Morning Message, March 12, 2012

Good Day,

Perhaps you are on spring break. Perhaps you are plugging away at school, but it is time to look at the future happenings for the Challenge.

Phase Seven - Final Judging and Awarding of Prizes : April

In April at the conclusion of the Challenge, a panel of judges evaluates the team projects and the individual scholarship applicants. A number of teams are selected as finalist teams and they will be judged by the finalist judges first while the rest of the teams present their projects to the Expo judges during the Expo. A number of teams from the Expo will be selected as finalist teams and present to the finalist judges later. During the 30 minute presentations, the judges question team members about project details.

Some scholarship applicants are also invited to Los Alamos in April and are interviewed by the judges. Each individual is asked to describe this his or her role on the team. Interviews are not necessary to receive a scholarship.

All Challenge participants who have submitted a final report are encouraged to attend the Expo and Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos in April to present their projects.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at NOON is the deadline to submit final report.

Registration for the Expo/Awards Ceremony will open soon.

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 @

Sandia National Labs and UNM Tour Reports

Tech City Exhibit at the Nuclear Museum

Written by Ella Jaz Kirk

At the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History we learned a lot. Our school particularly enjoyed the Tech City exhibit where we learned about Civil Engineering and all the hands-on building activities. We also liked learning about all the work at the Los Alamos Laboratory. Some of the amazing that went on there were very interesting. A few of us had to stop and stare when we saw the exhibits on the bombs that were dropped in Japan and the people affected by it in the town of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We enjoyed discovering about all the friction between Russia and the US, during the Cold War. The Atomic Pop Culture was amusing and entertained us as some of it showed our opinions (especially the satires.) Though we don't all support war, we think it is important to learn about nuclear energy so we can aware of things going on in our world. Thank you Nuclear Museum!

UNM Tour

By Emily Robinson, Sixth Grade, Edgewood Elementary

When we got to UNM, we got an introduction and were encouraged to start thinking about college now. Next, we were taken to a room with a green screen which was very cool, especially since I hadn't seen one in person before. After that, we were led to a room with a dome and watched programs. We learned that Wii remotes can be reprogrammed to work on the dome. We saw programs on fractals, molecules, and several other things. Next, we got to see many supercomputers with amazing amounts of storage space. After that we had a lunch break and heard a computer science professor talk about the Internet, censorship, and other interesting topics. Then we learned about robotics and car racing. All fun and interesting!

(We also had perfect weather for a walk to the duck pond. Thanks, UNM and Supercomputing Challenge, for a fun, inspiring day! -Carol Thompson)

Sandia Tour

Samuel Wang from Team 63

During this tour, the supercomputers and z machine were of particular interest to me. The super computer had the advantage of generally looking cool and making a lot of noise but I am also extremely interested in computers and computing in general at the moment. The Z-shot machine was simply massive and it had quite a lot of activity going on with all the activity due to maintenance at the time.

Noah Caulfield, NMSA (New Mexico School of the Arts)

The tour of Sandia Labs was a fantastic, motivating experience for me. It always seems, to me at least, that that in New Mexico there isn't enough science based programs for high schoolers, which is a shame for people like myself who love science- especially computer science. But the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge gives me exactly that! This program, on top of letting me meet people who love the same things as I do, makes me exited and determined to pursue a career in science because they give me the chance to see the science being applied at places like Sandia labs.

And for that, I can't thank them enough.

Lexus Eco Challenge for Seniors - $500k in Scholarships and Grants

Newton's Three Laws - Science of NHL Hockey

Click here for an interesting video.

Sincerely yours,

Tuesday Afternoon Message, March 6, 2012

Good Day,

We would like to share this idiom about the weather with you.

March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb. Seems true once again for the first part of March around NM.

Tutorials, Tours and Exhibits

The past few days members of our community are having coding tutorials, visiting the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History for the Tech City Exhibit, touring either UNM or Sandia National labs. We will ask some of those students to write us a report about these activities. Thanks to Janet Penevolpe, John Paul Gonzales and Nick Bennett for assisting with the tutorials!

Scholarship Applicants

Best of luck to the 25 scholarship candidates. A committee of our judges and mentors will be viewing them. Some of the applicants will be asked to come to an interview on Monday, April 23rd at LANL. Getting a scholarship will not necessarily require an interview.


We have one face to face presentation left at Northern with a team from McCurdy. Thanks to all of the teams, the judges and the hosts for making this past month a successful experience.

Writing and People Resources

  • Your next milestone is to submit a final report in less than a month. Click here to find the guidelines.
  • Writing resources are in our resource guide at alphabetically under writing reports.
  • Online assistance can be found by emailing Kathy Pallis or Sue King

Upcoming Dates to Remember: Details to follow

Final Judging and Awarding of Prizes

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at NOON. Deadline to submit final report.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 Registration deadline for Expo and Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos.

Monday, April 16, 2012, 8:00 am Submissions for the Best Web version of a final report due.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Judges' Conference Call.

Monday, April 23, 2012 Supercomputing Challenge Expo in Los Alamos

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos

National Youth Science Camp 2012 for Two Graduating NM High School Seniors With All Expenses Paid

Please see attached form for details.

Monday Morning Message, February 27, 2012

Project Evaluations

We're almost done with Project Evaluations. Evaluations were held at UNM-LA and NMSU-Grants last week and will be held at NMHU this Wednesday and NMTech this Saturday. Sixty-two teams have presented so far with another ten or so expected to present this week.

Scholarships for Seniors

Seniors are reminded to contact Celia Einhorn (by tomorrow) with their scholarship application information.

Challenge FaceBook Page

Check out the Supercomputing Challenge FaceBook page for pictures from recent events.

Sandia/UNM Tours

On Monday, March 5th, approximately 50 Challenge participants will be touring either Sandia National Labs or the University of New Mexico. The schedules are still being worked on and the web page will be updated as more information is nailed down.
If your team is coming to Abq on Sunday for the tours and would like to set up a tutorial session, please email Consult.

The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

In conjunction with Sandia/UNM tours, everyone (like all you folks in or close to Albuquerque) is invited see the Tech City Exhibit on Sunday afternoon. Challenge representatives will be there from 3:00 - 5:00 pm and will pay the $5.00/person admission fee. Of course, you could go any time, but there will be a group of Challenge participants there on Sunday March 4th. Tech City is a very cool exhibit with hands on stuff at the Nuclear Museum. The museum is open every day. Here is a link:

Final Report Writing

It is time to start thinking about your final report and your presentation poster. Review the links at:

If you would like help with your final report, we have two technical writers (Kathy Pallis and Sue King) who would be happy to help you. Let us know if you want to get connected with them. Of course, you should also be working with your local English teacher to get their help and extra credit. The Challenge final report is a significant piece of work.

Monday Morning Message, February 13, 2012

Project Evaluations

Congratulations to the teams that went to SJC, ENMU, NMSU, and SFCC this past weekend to present your projects. This Saturday, teams will be presenting at the Center for Advanced Research Computing at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and at Northern New Mexico College in Espanola. See the schedules at: and for the updated schedules and times.

Lessons learned from this past weekend's Project Evaluations:

  1. Arrive early with enough time to find a parking place, the room you are to present in, get the computer set up, and take a deep breath.
  2. If you are bringing a Mac laptop, make sure you bring an adaptor for it that will connect to the VGA plug on the projection systems.
  3. Have a plan in case your computer/flash drive/network connection don't work.

Remember, the judges are your friends and want to encourage you to succeed.

Interim Feedback

Make sure you read the feedback on your Interim reports. Go to and click on the list of all team and then click on your team number. You can reply (edit) to their comments, as long as you have logged in to the wiki.

Sandia/UNM tours

Please let Consult know if you would like to go on the March 5th tours of either Sandia National Laboratory or the University of New Mexico. There are more stringent requirements to attend the Sandia tour and the group size is limited. Teams need to have participated in the Project Evaluations to be able to participate in the tours. For details, see:

Scholarship applications

Seniors, get your information emailed to Celia by February 28th to be considered for scholarships through the Challenge.

Monday Morning Message, February 6, 2012


February is Evaluations Milestone Month. This weekend teams will gather at four colleges around the state to show their project work with scientists. San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe and Eastern New Mexico University in Portales are hosting Evaluations this Saturday, February 11. Remember to keep checking the schedule for last minute updates.

Interim Reviews

Have you signed into your Wiki account? If you've signed in and seen your review please respond to the scientist who commented on your work. The reviewers are from our scientific community. They are the volunteers who teach at the Kickoff, write comments for proposals and interims, they come to review work at the Evaluations and finally come to Expo and Awards Days to judge projects and join in the celebrations. Your warm thanks for their help are appropriate.

Haven't signed in yet? Go to the Wiki page and follow the directions under Students. If you need help please send a message to consult @

March 5th Tours - Sandia, UNM and the National Museum of Nulear Science and History

Please write to Consult to reserve space for the Monday, March 5th Tours. High School students are encouraged to sign up for the Sandia tour and Middle School students are invited to visit UNM's Computing, Engineering, a Media Labs. Remember that your team must have completed its Evaluation in February to be eligible to attend a Tour.

Additionally, students may wish to schedule a visit to the Museum of Nuclear Science on Sunday the 4th, to see the Tech City Exhibit -

There will be additional details in next week's message but it's not too early to write to Consult to let us know if you plan attend so that we can start to get a count for motel reservations for the night of the 4th of March. Here is a link to some overview info.

Edgewood Elementary, the Challenge and the Science Fair

Last week we commended Edgewood ES but we used the wrong school name. Edgewood has entered its Challenge project in the school fair and is going on to Regionals with it. Let us know if you are leveraging your Challenge project in Science Fairs or other academic competitions. We want to share these successes with the community.

On the Road with the Challenge

Last week we were at Navajo Prep in Farmington. This week you'll find us in Taos and Tierra Amarilla and at Cleveland HS in Rio Rancho.

What Happened to All the Snow? California dog driver Tony Phillips poses with his new sled near Mammoth Mountain. In winter 2011 this spot was covered by several feet of snow; in 2012 it is bare dirt.
By Dauna Coulter, NASA

What's happening? Read about La Nina and the Arctic Oscillation and the effect on global snowfall at

Keep up the great work! We are past the half-way point in the Challenge Year and moving toward our celebrations in April.

Betsy, Celia and David for Consult

Monday Morning Message, January 30, 2012


You are doing a great job of meeting the Challenge milestones. We are completing plans for the February Evaluations, Sandia, UNM and Nuclear Museum Tours in March, and then Final Reports and the ExpoAwards Ceremony in April. Keep up the good work!

Interims Reviews

The Interim reports are being reviewed by a team of Challenge scientists and mentors. By February 6 you should have heard by email that your review is ready for you. Have you registered for an account? Here are the steps:
Creating Your User Account
  1. Fill out the request account form.
    Note: MediaWiki allows your username to include spaces and punctuation, so feel free to set it to your real name as you would normally style it (e.g. my username is Jesse B. Crawford).
    Note: The biography that you include in your request form will be the contents of your user page (it's a wiki page, specifically about your user account). So it's a good idea to include information about your expertise and experience that you might want teams to know. And do not include information you do not want made public.
  2. Click on the link in the email account request confirmation message.
  3. Wait for an email from an administrator approving your account (usually within 24 hours).
  4. Login using your username and the temporary password from the approval email.
  5. Change your temporary password to your real password.

Kudos to Edgewood Elementary Team

Team sponsor Carol Thompson writes, "Of our five members on the Challenge team, 3 decided to use their Challenge project for the school science fair. On the plus side, it really helped them get moving on their project, but on the minus side, it was pressure because it was due the first week of January. Well, they ended up winning first place! So now they go on to regionals in March." This is a great illustration of using a Challenge project in another Science competition. Way to go, Team 41!

Expanding Your Horizons around the State

The Albuquerque Expanding Your Horizons Conference for Middle School girls was a success at UNM last Saturday. If you live in the southern half of the state, please check out the EYH Las Cruces or Silver City EYH Conferences.
Las Cruces: February 25, 2012, New Mexico State University
Contact: Rachel Jensen rjensen @
Contact: Rebecca Galves rgalves @
Silver City: February 15, 2012, Western New Mexico University
Contact: Adrienne Dare dareadrienne @
There will be conferences in Los Alamos and Santa Fe later in the spring. See for more info about EYH.

Evaluations Schedule

Any changes that need to be made to the current schedules will be made in the first week of February.

On the Road with the Challenge

Trips to Tierra Amarilla and Taos are in the works. Consult team also plans to participate in the Apollo anniversary celebrations and the STEM-C conference in Las Cruces.

The faster-than-fast Fourier transform

For a large range of practically useful cases, MIT researchers find a way to increase the speed of one of the most important algorithms in the information sciences. The Fourier transform is one of the most fundamental concepts in the information sciences. It's a method for representing an irregular signal - such as the voltage fluctuations in the wire that connects an MP3 player to a loudspeaker - as a combination of pure frequencies. It's universal in signal processing, but it can also be used to compress image and audio files, solve differential equations and price stock options, among other things. Read more at

Monday Morning Message, January 23, 2012

Good Morning Teams, Teachers, and Colleagues.

Interim Reviews

We are repeating here last week's announcement about the Interim Wiki. Your Interims have been posted on the wiki for Reviewers to read and write review comments. You can go to the Wiki and read your project's review. The Consult team that built the Wiki has made it easy to find your interim and to read the reviewer's comments. Below are the instructions for accessing the Wiki.

First you need to create an account. You may want all the people on your team to have an account or you may choose one person to sign in and respond and report back to the team.

Students, Creating Your User Account

  1. Fill out the request account form.
    • Note: MediaWiki allows your username to include spaces and punctuation, so feel free to set it to your real name as you would normally style it (e.g. my username is Jesse B. Crawford).
    • Note: The biography that you include in your request form will be the contents of your user page (it's a wiki page, specifically about your user account). So it's a good idea to include information about your expertise and experience that you might want teams to know. And do not include information you do not want made public.
  2. Click on the link in the email account request confirmation message.
  3. Wait for an email from an administrator approving your account (usually within 24 hours).
  4. Login using your username and the temporary password from the approval email.
  5. Change your temporary password to your real password.
    • Suggestion: Remember, we are all safer if you do not reuse passwords. I use loxodo, a python implementation of Bruce Schneier's Password Safe, to keep strong, unique passwords for all my accounts. --Drew 12:50, 31 December 2011 (MST)

Watch Your Team Page

  1. Go to the Teams page
  2. Click on the link for your team.
  3. Review the page header for any problems.
  4. If you see any corrections that need to be made click on the edit tab at the top of the page, or the edit link to the right of the appropriate (sub)section.
    • For simple formatting you can use the icons above the edit window.
    • For more complex formatting Google is Your Friend! Search for "MediaWiki Whatever you want to do"
    • The Wikipedia and many other wikis are built using MediaWiki. If you see something formatted the way you like click on the edit button and see how they did it.
    • Click the Help link in the left sidebar. This takes you to the MediaWiki web site which has a lot of information on using MediaWiki.
    • Ask for help by describing how you want the formatting changed. AND, Add a {{Category:Need Help Formatting}} to the bottom of the page.
    • ALSO . . .
      1. You may want to save the reviewer some work by cutting and pasting the Proposal and Interim report text, as described in the Reviewer Instructions above.
      2. Even if you do not need to make any changes, click on an edit link anyway. Then check the "Watch this Page" box above the Save button. This will cause email notifications to be sent whenever the page is reviewed and updated.


Seniors, for you, February is Scholarship Application Month as well as Evaluation Month. Please review the deadline and requirements at

What's Happening Around the Challenge

Creighton Edington reports that four of his School of Dreams Academy students took a tour of the University of Oklahoma's Supercomputing Center last week. Henry Neeman gave the tour. David Kratzer reported that Bob Robey had invited Dr Neeman to be a finalist judge for the April Expo. Read more about Dr Neeman at The SODA team was in Oklahoma for a Botball Kickoff. Read more about Botball at

Wednesday Morning Message, January 18, 2012

February Evaluations

The Schedule for Project Evaluations is up on the Challenge web site at
Remember to check the site during the week your school is scheduled for changes. It is best if your whole team can participate but at least one or two team members should present.


Seniors have received a mailing about Challenge Scholarship Applications. There is a link on the web site that describes the scholarships and application process:

Sandia and UNM Tours

Consult will be taking signups for the March 5th Tours in February.
More information will be coming soon.

Summer Teacher Institute

Again this summer we plan to hold a two-week long Summer Teacher Institute at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. The dates will be July 15th to July 27th.

Keep up the good work. We are looking forward to seeing you in February.

Betsy, Celia, and David for Consult

Monday Morning Message, January 9, 2012

Good Day!

Interim Reports

We are continuing to work on the Interim Report Wiki and will try to get it rolling by next week. UNM and Tech students, scientists, mathematicians, educators and programmers will log into the Wiki and leave you comments about the progress of your project. You then can converse with them about their suggestions and ask any questions.

January: Peer Evaluation Month

Invite your parents in to hear about your project. Present to the school board and share the Challenge process and your project with them. Ask your principal to sit in on a presentation of your project.

February Face to Face Evaluation at a College Near You

The schedules are subject to change so please check back OFTEN during the week of your evaluation for last minute changes.

  • Friday, February 10 - San Juan College, Farmington
  • Saturday, February 11 - New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
  • Saturday, February 11 - Santa Fe Community College
  • Saturday, February 11 - Eastern New Mexico University, Portales
  • Saturday, February 18 - New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas
  • Saturday, February 18 - Northern New Mexico College - Espanola
  • Saturday, February 18 - University of New Mexico - Albuquerque
  • Saturday, March 3 - New Mexico Tech, Socorro

Here is the link to the form that you will receive as you finish your presentation. Please note that it has four sections the judges will refer to.

  1. research
  2. agent based problem/mathematical model
  3. code
  4. presentation

Judging Form

Coding/Programming Assistance

We have mentors standing by you can help your team with your programming needs. Please write to consult @ challenge dot nm dot org for assistance in StarLogo TNG, NetLogo, Python, Java, etc.

EPSCoR (New Mexico's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) Hydrology and Climate Modeling

A central research challenge of NM EPSCoR is to understand how future changes in seasonal temperature and precipitation will impact snowpack, snowmelt and spring runoff in the mountainous region of north central New Mexico. Read more at

Supercomputingly yours,
Betsy, Celia and David
Management Team for Consult

Monday Afternoon Message, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Interim Reports

We are proud of those of you who have placed their interim reports up on our website. We are going to try a more public way of sharing your fantastic work. Jesse Crawford, NMT Cadre Member, has created a Wiki for us all to use. You will need to get an account so that you can read the comments on your project and respond to the questions and suggestions. Details will soon follow. We are hoping that this is a great way to showcase our work and allow experts to comment on your projects also.

Congratulations to the Challenge's own Stephen Guerin, mentor, facilitator and board member
Simtable Returns to TIME Magazine's Techland for "5 Cool Inventions" List

First featured on the site in June, SimTable's flagship wildfire training system returns for Top-5 honors in TIME magazine's tech blog's 2011 best-of list.

The brainchild of Stephen Guerin, Santa Fe Complex founder, Simtable developed in the Complex's unique training-and-entrepreneurship environment. After attracting start-up money from LANL's Venture Acceleration Fund, Simtable opened its own offices in 2011, and has now sold more than 20 sand table units to firefighting and emergency management organizations around the country.

Read the TIME articles here and here, or visit

Resource Page on Website

There are good links alphabetically from Careers to Writing Reports on our resource page. Volunteer, Kathy Pallis, editor at LANL, has weeded and organized the links for your use. One link is Summer Opportunities for students.

Summer Opportunities

It is not too early to start thinking about your summer plans. You can find some suggestions for camps, internships and jobs at Keep checking back for more opps.

January is Peer Evaluation Month

Click here for more info on this activity.

Anita Nugent, teacher-sponsor at Santa Fe High, first proposed this event to the Challenge community. Here is how she describes it:

"I initiated the peer review many years ago. I ask students to bring in scientists, parents, etc and also have the students there. I have a rubric for judging which includes the topic, student knowledge of the topic, student dress, the powerpoint presentation, etc. The students present their projects just as they would in April, except they are interim, not final. They then are asked questions by the audience. Some parents are very aggressive - so be it. I also ask the audience to give constructive criticism, not destructive. Often a parent agrees to help the students with their presentation. The students receive all the feedback sheets, including one I fill out. I videotape them and let them watch themselves, as well. The presentations usually last about ten minutes with 5-10 minutes for questions. It is quite a "heads up" for them."

Heads Up for February Face to Face Evaluations

Team members will make an oral presentation, not to exceed 30 minutes, to a team of Challenge judges so that the judges can better understand their project, review progress and offer advice and direction on overcoming obstacles or finding additional resources.

NOTE: All team members do not have to be present - but it is highly recommended that they be there if not competing elsewhere.

Why Supercomputing?

Here is a link to a video called Powerful Beyond Imagination for your perusal.

Scholarship applications will be due the end of February. Details to come. Seniors, stay tuned!

Supercomputingly yours,
Betsy, Celia and David
Management Team for Consult

Monday Morning Message, December 12, 2011

Happy Holidays,

Consult will take a two week hiatus from our Monday Morning Message. We will be back on January 2nd.

Wishing you health and happiness this holiday season and prosperity in the new year. We value our students, cadres and teachers and want to thank you for being part of our community. We look forward to supporting you in 2012!

All the best to you, your family, and your teams!

BotBall at SODA (Schools of Dreams Academy, Los Lunas, Challenge Participants also)

The KISS Institute is pleased to announce that the Beta Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Contest was a success Saturday Dec. 3th, 2011.
4th Place Team SODA Chloe (High School Level) - Los Lunas, NM
5th Place Team SODA Zack (High School Level) - Los Lunas, NM

The goal of the Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Contest was to more widely introduce the concept, capabilities and study of autonomous rotor-craft vehicles to the college and secondary school communities. The contest serves as an emphasizes on planning, control, sensing, and system level problem solving; All required when working with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and hybrid ground / UAV systems. See pictures at:

Interim Reports

We currently have 74 reports and we are hoping that the remaining 39 come in this week. We are going to place your interim report up on a wiki and then have either a cadre member, Challenge facilitator, mentor or scientist give you some feedback by mid January. This public review will allow other scientists to respond to your topic, allow you to look at other projects and allow consult to see who needs some additional information. We are hoping that this process will give your team even more feedback.

Summer Opportunity for 11 graders

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) co-sponsors of the Research Science Institute (RSI) are looking for talented 11th Grade STEM Students! Do you know any students who want to work on really exciting cutting-edge summer research?

Have them apply to the (RSI) program to be held on the MIT campus June 24 to August 4, 2012. They will meet some of the world's most talented students and have an opportunity to conduct research in amazing labs! If you know any current high school juniors, have them take a look at the CEE web site: for RSI application materials, and more information about the program. If you have any questions, please contact Maite Ballestero, Vice President, Programs, maite @

Data for your project?

Drew Einhorn, Challenge judge, mentor and mathematician, writes there is much data here that may be useful for our teams Write to him, drew.einhorn @ for assistance.

Why Use a Supercomputer?

Check out this project - "Tracking Wal-Marts to Make Better Maps" at

Potere says, With satellites transmitting complete images of Earth about every 48 hours, we have so much information coming out of space right now - more than a terabyte (one trillion bytes) of data per day - we need high performance computers to sort through this."

Supercomputingly yours,
Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Morning Message, December 5, 2011

Happy December,

Snow, winds, cold temps and Challenge School visits all took place this past week around the state. Thanks JP Gonzales for going to Taos, Tierra Amarilla, Farmington and Shiprock.

Terri Hansen and Richard Oliver from NMSU met with Deming GUTS and Challenge Team members and teachers from Red Mountain Mid School last Thursday. The workshop was held in Las Cruces at Dona Ana Community College. Project development, programming practice, offline activities, plus lots of questions and a great lunch of enchiladas as guests of the college made for a great day. It was finals time for the college students and the staff was making sure everyone was well-fed and ready!

Interim Reports

We are looking into the idea of putting the Interim Reports onto wiki so that scientists could comment on them there and a record could be kept in feedback and discussion about the project.

Your team's interim report is due, this Saturday, the 10th. We already have six reports submitted. We are looking forward to having 106 more! Please cite your current research and share your mentors' names. For more info, please visit

Assistance with Programming for your Team

We have Cadre members standing by who would like to visit with you online about the modeling portion of your project. We have volunteers who can help with any computer language. Like a college professor, they have certain virtual office hours, set for consultation. Please write to Consult @ for an appointment.


Carl Bogardus, Chaparral Middle School, shares this drought map with us

Computer Science Week

Why Computer Science Education?

CSEdWeek 2011, taking place December 4 to 10, is a celebration of computer science education. But why are we celebrating computer science education? Computer science education is essential to exposing students to critical thinking and problem solving; instilling a foundation of understanding of computational thinking, a key to success in the digital age; inspiring students to pursue computing careers that are exciting, plentiful and financially rewarding; and, perhaps most importantly, preparing students to tackle some of the world's greatest challenges. Find out more and don't forget to Pledge Your Support to CSEdWeek and let us know how you are celebrating the week.

The National Science Foundation, in support of the celebration, announced its rollout of CS Bits & Bytes, a biweekly newsletter highlighting innovative computer science research aimed at high school teachers and students. NSF will release CS Bits & Bytes biweekly, beginning on December 5 and continue publication through the end of the 2011/2012 academic year. NSF hopes that educators and parents will use CS Bits & Bytes to inspire students to engage in the multifaceted world of computer science, to become not just users but creators of technology, and to develop the abilities to utilize computation skills, no matter what their interests.

Resources: Event Planning Toolkit

Five-Minute Activity Guide

WE WANT YOU ... to hold an event celebrating CSEdWeek in your area! Are you wondering where to start and how to plan it? CSEdWeek has a toolkit to help.

And, let us know what you're planning on doing to celebrate CSEdWeek. We'd love to profile your local event in this newsletter. Tell us about it!

Here's what our friends in Massachusetts are up to thanks to CAITE

Computer Science Makes a Comeback

The message seems to be getting through in some quarters: It pays to study computer science.

PC World reports that the computer science major is getting hot again, at least at some of the country's top colleges. Professors at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Harvey Mudd and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology are seeing a surge in students declaring majors in computer science. (All four colleges top US News and World Report's list of the best comp sci and engineering programs). Read more ...

Summer Opportunity

High school freshman, sophomores and juniors consider applying to attend the Research Science Institute at MIT this summer. See the details at:

NASA Science News

NASA's biggest and most capable Mars rover ever left Earth this morning in a picture perfect launch from Cape Canaveral. The new rover, named "Curiosity", is due to reach the Red Planet in August 2012.


To learn more about Curiosity's landing site on Mars, check out the video "The Strange Attraction of Gale Crater":

Supercomputingly yours,
Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Morning Message, November 28, 2011

Participate in Computer Science Education Week in December!

Computer Science Education Week, December 4 to 10, is fast approaching. Learn how you can find or host an event in your region in this week-long, nationwide celebration of computing's impact on our daily lives. CSEdWeek was established to address the crisis in computer science education and to prepare students with the fundamental computer science knowledge and skills they need for growing opportunities in 21st century careers. CSEdWeek is an activity of ACM and the Computing in the Core Coalition and is supported by many academic and industry organizations, including the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). Visit the CSEdWeek website to:

  • obtain customized resources for students, teachers, parents and community, administrators and counselors, colleges and universities, and corporations
  • find inspiration in descriptions of past and upcoming events
  • make a pledge to take on an activity on behalf of computer science education

Last year, this successful week featured more than 300 events engaging students, parents, and teachers, and 1750 pledges of support. With your participation, we can make this year's CSEdWeek an even greater success.

Women in Computing Conference

The weekend of November 11-12, Albert Simon from Alamogordo High, Eric Brown from School of Dreams in Los Lunas, a crew from NMSU and Betsy Frederick from the Challenge attended the Grace Hopper Women in Computing Conference in Portland, OR. Albert represented CSTA-NM at the K-12 Leadership meeting. NMSU Women in Computing delegation included Rachel Jensen and Rebecca Galves who were accompanied by students. The Conference promotes Computer Science and serves also as a site to link students to graduate programs, internships, and employers. Teachers attended workshops related to teaching Computer Science. Advocacy for increasing the number of Computer Science offerings for students and preparation of teachers were K-12 strands. Ideas for CSEd Week were a major focus.

Computational Problem-solving Competition

The Computer Science Teachers Listserv sent this idea out to us:
The USACO is a national program that promotes excellence in computational problem-solving at the high-school level through on-line training materials and programming contests. This season, we plan to offer six on-line programming contests:

Nov 11-14: November Contest
Dec 9-12: December Contest
Jan 6-9: January Contest
Feb 3-6: February Contest
Mar 2-5: March Contest
April: US Open (a proctored exam that serves as our "national championship")

Contests are free, open to all students, and available in three levels of difficulty: bronze (novice), silver (intermediate), and gold (advanced). The website ( offers hundreds of hours of free on-line training materials for students and teachers seeking additional resources to help improve their algorithmic coding skills.

The very best students nationwide who excel in our contests will be invited to attend the USACO summer training camp in early June, where they will receive advanced instruction and the opportunity to compete for membership in the 4-person team representing the USA at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), the most prestigious international computing competition at the high-school level, held in 2012 in Milan, Italy.

For additional information, please see the website: or contact Brian Dean (bcdean @

Interim Reports

Please let us know how it is going with your project by submitting an Interim Report (by December 10th). See for details.

Science News

NASA's biggest and most capable Mars rover ever left Earth this morning in a picture perfect launch from Cape Canaveral. The new rover, named "Curiosity", is due to reach the Red Planet in August 2012.


To learn more about Curiosity's landing site on Mars, check out the video "The Strange Attraction of Gale Crater":

Curiosity has a rock-zapping laser machine, called ChemCam, that was developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory:

Monday Morning Message, November 21, 2011

SC'11 Award and Panel

Cleve Moler, one of our Supercomputing Challenge judges, was presented with the 2011 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award at SC'11 last week. Read about it at:

Irene Lee, David Kratzer, and Lorie Liebrock (NM Tech) along with Joe Ippolito from Education Development Center and Nadine Miner from Sandia National Laboratories presented a panel on Linking Education Pathways to Workforce Needs.

Women in Technology Conference in Portland, OR

Betsy Frederick, Albert Simon, teacher from Alamogordo, and others attended the CSTA Leadership Cohort and the Women in Technology Conference in Portland, OR in early November. We're awaiting a report from them to share with you.

School Visits

Some schools have been visited recently by Challenge facilitators and the reports back have been positive.

Other News?

Let us know what you are up to as well.

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday Afternoon Message, November 14, 2011

Report from SC'11

Jerry Esquivel from CEPi1 and Creighton Edington from School of Dreams Academy, as well as David Kratzer and Bob Robey, are participating in the Education Program of the International Supercomputing 2011 Conference in Seattle, Washington. We are learning about new topics and making good contacts for future use. We are looking for opportunities that we can share with the Challenge participants. Like, where do our students go after they have finished the Challenge? What else it there to do? Where else can they go?

The keynote speaker this morning was Cecilia R. Aragon who gave a great talk about the universe and has a very interesting history in becoming who she is. Google her to see her YouTube video about being an aerobatic pilot. She took a 14 year break before getting her PhD, but grew up as a very shy Latina where her teachers did not expect much of her. People will meet your expectations, so students, teachers, and others, expect a lot of others (students, teammates, etc) and watch them perform.

Dr. Aragon says she succeeded by Overcoming Fear, Developing Self Confidence, using Teachers, Mentors, and Friends in your journey. The Supercomputing Challenge hopes that by participating, each of the students will develop self confidence and over come the fear of public speaking (at least) and get to know teachers better, get to interact with and learn from mentors and to support and get support from friends.

Proposal Reviews

Scientists have been busy reviewing proposals and sending emails to the teams (from the "Mail the entire Team" link on the Proposals).


Remember, each Challenge team should be planning to write up their Interim Report and submit it on line by December 10th. The Interims should cover the research and progress that you have been making. We want you to include references that you have been using (and they shouldn't all be from the Internet).

Wednesday Morning Message, November 9, 2011

Project Proposals

We are very please to see that 106 teams have submitted project proposals. Several folks have been asked to review them and provide feed back so expect emails about your proposals. Please begin a dialogue with those folks or at least thank them for their time.

Mini Kickoff in Santa Fe

Last Saturday a mini-Kickoff was held for Santa Fe area students, many of whom were not able to attend the Kickoff in Socorro. Three different tracks were offered.

Facilitator Visit

We are planning to have Challenge facilitators visit each new school and are making arrangements for that now. If your school/team would like a visit, please let Consult know.


We hope you are making progress on your research about your project and starting to learn the computer language that you will be using for your project. Keep documentation so that it will be easy to write up an Interim Report by the December 10th deadline. See the details at:

Writing Resources

Write is a big part of the Challenge, from the proposals to the interim reports to the final report. We have two professional writers/editors that have agreed to help teams. They have provided information for you at:
so take a little time and read over the documents posted there.


Having mentors to help you with your project is important. When you submit your Interim reports, we would like to you mention the mentor(s) you are working with. There are college students at New Mexico Tech, New Mexico State, and University of New Mexico that are willing to help mentor teams, take advantage of them.


Several representatives from the Supercomputing Challenge will be attending the Super Computing 2011 conference in Seattle, Washington next week. SC is the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis. It is our desire that one of these years we would be able to support a team of students attending the conference. You can learn about it at:

Betsy, Celia and David, for Consult

Monday Afternoon Message, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

We have been treated to 96 proposals! Soon each team will receive a message from a scientist who has read your proposal and is ready to give you some feedback.

Please send a note to the scientist as soon as your team reviews the message and thank him or her for writing. You may also wish to comment on their remarks and how it will affect your work.

Mini Kickoff in Santa Fe

Do you live in Northern or Central New Mexico? Did you miss the Kickoff in Socorro because of schedule conflicts? This Saturday, 5 November 2011, a one-day, Mini KO will be held at Santa Fe Community College. There will be four strands offered based on programming experience. Please send a note to Irene Lee by Wednesday, 2 November if you'd like to register.

Where in the world is Consult this week?

  1. Getting ready for the Mini Kickoff
  2. Hosting a table at the NM Technology in Education Conference in Albuquerque
  3. Celebrating Women in Technology at a breakfast on Thursday, 3rd of November
  4. Replying to your questions, lining up scientists to review your proposals, and sending out the press release for you to distribute to your schools. Let us know if you need another copy.

Science News

Not sure what Massively Parallel Computing is? Read the Wikipedia article and then read about a Massively Parallel Computer built from a layer of molecules.

Have a great week and stay in touch!

Betsy, Celia and David for
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting

Monday Afternoon Message, October 24, 2011


We now have 78 proposals listed on the Challenge web page and promises from five more teams that "mine will be in by Thursday". If yours isn't up on the web page yet at:, please make that a top priority.

Teams whose proposals are on the web site will soon be getting feedback from another scientist. You talked with at least one scientist at the Kickoff about your project and had a sheet of comments to take back to your team and teacher. Now you'll be getting comments from another scientist who will be reviewing your proposal. Remember that you can edit your proposal if you have thought about it since your team talked with a scientist at the KO and want to make a revision to your original idea.


Our map has been updated and we are all over it! North, East, South and West. Check it out:


Mentors are not assigned to teams by the Challenge. You need to find one through your community contacts, by looking at the Challenge Mentor List, or by doing some detective work on the Internet. Consult may send a facilitator out to visit your school in response to a request from a teacher. That facilitator should not be assumed to be a mentor unless/until a specific request is made by the team to that person, and that person agrees. Consult welcomes your writing to ask about ideas for mentors.


New Mexico's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research has announced that it will give a prize at Award's Day in April at Los Alamos to a Challenge team whose project focuses on NM water. As April approaches you'll see more information about awards here.

Thank you!

A big challenge thank you shout goes out to Alan Daugherty and Beckey Raulie of Melrose High School. They not only helped with transportation at the Kickoff but their bus wound its way across the state and down the Rio Grande corridor to help their colleagues from CEPi1, Albuquerque High, and School of Dreams get to Socorro.

Robots! Plasma! Video Games!

UNM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering invites you to view their state of the art laboratories, meet their award-winning faculty and learn about the degree of your dreams!

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011, 4:00-7:00pm, Electrical and Computer Engineering Building. Register online and enter for a chance to WIN an iPod Shuffle! Link to:

Why Brenda uses computer simulations:

Brenda Rubenstein studies theoretical
chemistry at Columbia University.

"I love to imagine experiments in all sorts of fields and test them without having to buy millions of dollars of equipment and wait years for reasonable results. Only computer simulation allows your scientific imagination to wander without having too much reality set in."

Brenda Rubenstein, Columbia University
Field of Study: Theoretical Chemistry
Practicum: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Hometown: Saddle Brook, N.J

Have a great week!

Betsy, Celia and David for Consult

Monday Morning Message, October 17, 2011

Successful Kickoff

A very successful Kickoff Conference was held this past weekend at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. Approximately 340 students, 60 teachers and 80 staff were buzzing around the campus. (Registration data indicates that 428 students and 71 teachers have registered to participate during this year.)

Thank-yous All Around

Thanks you so much to New Mexico Tech for hosing the Kickoff. Thanks to Sarracino Middle School for allowing us to use four classrooms/computer labs for the approximately 100 students and teachers that followed schedules one through four. Thanks to all the teachers and parents for bringing your students. Thanks to all the staff for teaching all the classes. Thanks to all the students from New Mexico Tech, UNM, NMSU and CNM for helping guide and advise the participants. Thanks to all the Supercomputing Challenge ALUMNI that returned to "give back" to the Challenge and encourage the next generation. And Thanks to everyone else.

November 5, 2011 Mini Kickoff at SFCC

Santa Fe Community College is hosting a one-day mini-kickoff for the Santa Fe area students who were not able to make it to the Socorro Kickoff last weekend. This mini-kickoff will be held from 8:30-5:00 on Saturday November 5th. Please let us know if you are planning to attend so that appropriate preparations can be made. Lunch will be provided.


So far, 60 proposals have been posted to the Challenge Proposals web page. We hoping for another 50 or so. Please see: and STUDENTS (not teachers) submit your proposals if you haven't. You can edit the proposal that has already been submitted if you have other information that you want to add to it, maybe because you had a good meeting with a scientist at the Kickoff.

Mode machine moving

The machine that hosts the Project Proposals and other Challenge related information will be moving locations this week and might not be available for a day or two. Don't worry if you can't access one of the Challenge web sites, just try again the next day. If you are having trouble next week, drop Consult a note.

More Class Material Coming

We will be posting more of the materials presented in the classes on the Kickoff web page, under Class Material, as we can get to it.

Pictures Coming

We'll be posting pictures from the weekend on the Kickoff page, look for a link to Pictures. Thanks to the many photographers! Use the team/school pictures to advertize your participation in the Challenge. Get them into the yearbook, your school newsletter, or post them in your classrooms.

Betsy, Celia and David, for the team from
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting

Monday Evening Message, October 10, 2011


We are making the final preparations for the Kickoff. There are a few things we have mentioned before and will mention once again here.


We expect you to post your project proposal before you come to Socorro and you will need a hard copy of that proposal to share with a Scientists. Questions?
Remember that this applies to Challenge teams and not to GUTS Club members unless they are planning to start a Challenge project right away.

Evening Activities

During Registration Saturday morning you will be asked to choose an Activity for that evening. Activities will take place after dinner:

  1. Cyber Sheep - computer cyber security game
  2. Dodgeball
  3. Game Room
  4. Mafia/Werewolf/Assassin/Witch Hunt - parlor game
  5. Mineralogical Museum
  6. Observatory
  7. One Water Documentary - global view of
  8. Water Wars
  9. Water Impact Q and A, Discussion with EPSCoR Scientists including the keynote


There are sixteen tracks or schedules at the Kickoff. These are based on math levels. You may be in the same track with your teammates but that is only for sure if you are in the same math level.


Thank you for continuing to check your housing assignments. We need to adjust as students discover they cannot attend or that they forgot to check off Kickoff on their registration. If you have had to make changes it would be thoughtful to send a note to consult @ to thank David for his efforts to meet your needs.


Registration takes place from 10-12 at Fidel at NMT. Your teacher will pick up names tags and you will walk through registration cycle collecting USB bands, Tee Shirt, a schedule, and getting your photo taken and getting a tour of the campus with Tech student scientists.

We think it is going to be a super weekend and are looking forward to seeing you. Remember that we are guests of Tech, that there are a lot of us, and that we all need to do what we can to make things go as smoothly as possible. They have made amazing preparations for us. Remember to be helpful and to say thank you. We couldn't do this without all of the Scientists around the state who care about your future. We wouldn't be doing it without you! See you soon!

Betsy, Celia and David for Consult
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting

Monday Morning Message, October 3, 2011

22nd Annual Supercomputing Challenge Kickoff

In less than two weeks, we will be at New Mexico Tech in Socorro for a weekend that will include campus tours, programming, data analysis, visits with scientists, and evening activities. All this and pizza, too. 405 students from 56 schools are registered. It is our largest Kickoff in recent years. It is so big that we are having some of our classes at Sarracino Mid School.


Please check the Kickoff Schedule from the Challenge home page at to see the details of the housing assignments. If you click on the name of the motel, you will see the roommate assignments. Rooms have either one or two queen-sized beds. Two students will be expected to share a bed, so bring sleeping bags if that is an issue. When your teacher arrives at the motel, the desk will assign a room number. Please check the list and write to consult @ if you see an error. Be sure to write to Consult right away if someone on your team is unable to come. Let us know if a bus driver will be coming that might need housing.

Rules and regulations:

We have an AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) for behaviors on the Internet that is an agreement students signed on the TEAF. We expect students to maintain the high standards of behavior their schools expect. If you wonder if some behavior is appropriate please ask one of our Tech hosts or another adult. We expect you to behave responsibly and respectful of others in the motels. You know what that means: no running, no loud voices, and in your rooms after 10:30.

All teachers and other adults should assume responsibility for any student that they see behaving inappropriately whether or not he/she is one of their students. If you are observing a class or seeing students on the campus behaving in a way that keeps others from learning please interrupt that behavior. You can call on Celia and David in Fidel or Speare or Betsy at Sarracino Mid if there is a situation that needs to be addressed.

Teachers, please help maintain quiet hours in the motels, and direct your attention to any student who is out of order whether or not he/she is from your school.

Saturday Morning Registration, Lunch, and Talk

Saturday morning starts with registration at 10:00 am, picking up your name tag, schedule, t-shirt, and bag, getting your photo taken for Expo/Awards Day badges, selecting electives to participate in on Saturday night, touring the campus (tours start at 10:15, 10:30 and 10:45), and finally, lunch in the Cafeteria in Fidel Hall on the campus. After lunch, you'll go upstairs to the Ballroom for a Welcome and Teaming Talk by Lisa Harris.

And then it is off to your classes. You can see your detailed schedule from the same Kickoff page where you saw your housing assignment.

The NM Tech bookstore will be open from 9:00-3:00 on Saturday.

Challenge Teams

Those participating in the Supercomputing Challenge, as opposed to those participating in GUTS, need to form teams at: .


Remember to bring a hardcopy of your proposal with you. It should be posted on the web, too. You will need this when you Meet the Scientists. Even if you haven't got your proposal in final form, bring it with you. You will need to complete it while you are at Tech. Do you need help with an idea? At the Proposals link from the home page you can see the proposals that have been submitted to date and you can look at the archive and see what has been proposed in past years.


Check out the special links to science news and hear what former Challenge teams have to say about their experience in the Supercomputing Challenge. Add your own comments, too.

October is going to be a great month! We are looking forward to seeing you and talking with you next week.

Warm regards,
Betsy, Celia and David

Monday Morning Message, September 26, 2011

Happy Belated Autumnal Equinox

Registration Statistics

We are currently at 447 people, 385 students and 62 teachers. That is a high number for recent years! Please form into teams as soon as possible.

For the kickoff, our students who have a pre-algebra math level will be meeting at Sarracino Mid School in Socorro. Details will be sent to their teachers shortly. They will register at Fidel Center on the Tech Campus and have meals and electives on campus.

Registration at NM Tech on Saturday, October 15th from 10 - 11:45 AM

See the map of the campus at:
You will be receiving a hard copy of the map when you register. We will have registration in the lobby of Fidel Center, the Student Union building. Buses can park in the parking lot by Fidel. Your teacher will receive your name tags which you must wear at all times (Well, you can take it off when you are sleeping.)

You will receive

  • a pistachio green t-shirt with a fractal logo, created by Claire DeCroix from Aspen Elementary.
  • a cinch bag
  • a usb bracelet preloaded with programming languages and most of our curriculum (You can save your work and your project on it throughout the year.)
  • a schedule that fits your math level

You will get your picture taken individually and with your team.

You will choose an elective for Saturday night.

You will sign a contract for your use of the Tech network for the weekend.

Proposal Guidelines

Use the following information to help prepare your proposal:


We have three levels of commercial sponsors and they are listed here. We appreciate their continued support.

Commercial Partners--Gold

Abba Technologies/SGI
Google RISE
Intel Corporation
Lockheed Martin
Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation
Synergy Group
The MathWorks
VanDyke Software, Inc.
Wolfram Research, Inc.

Commercial Partners--Silver

Gulfstream Group and
Technology Integration Group

Commercial Partners--Bronze

Albuquerque Journal
Anthony Giancola
BX Internet
Cray Inc
Lobo Internet Services
New Mexico Business Weekly
New Mexico Technology Council
Redfish Group

Research Projects

Our keynote, Dr. Edward Martinez, is involved in Wind River Ranch restoration and research projects. Visit this link to learn more about the fauna and flora and water projects he is involved with:

News of Interest

Think outside the bottle:

Supercomputing propels America forward:

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

Monday Morning Message, September 19, 2011


Registration for the 2011-2012 Supercomputing Challenge CLOSES TOMORROW

Registration is open at:

We currently have 163 students, 34 teachers and 43 schools represented. Thirty-six teams have registered so far. Be forming teams and use the web page to set them up so we know how many teams will participate this year. If you have troubles, email Consult with who is on what team and we'll help set that up.

If you have any questions about registration, please contact consult @


Challenge Sponsors

Educational Partners

The following Colleges and University throughout the state support the Challenge with mentors, February mid course evaluations, scholarships, judges and summer roundups. We thank them for their continued in-kind support and expertise.

New Mexico Highlands University - February mid course evaluations, scholarships, judges
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology - February mid course evaluations, scholarships, judges, Summer Teacher Institute, Kickoff, mentor cadre, board of directors
New Mexico Public Education Department - prints finalist reports book
New Mexico State University - February mid course evaluations, scholarships, judges, mentor cadre
NMSU-Dona Ana Community College - GUTS PD, GUTS/Challenge roundups, roundtables, board of directors
Northern New Mexico College - February mid course evaluations, judges, Challenge/GUTS summer roundup
San Juan College - February mid course evaluations, judges
Santa Fe Community College - February mid course evaluations, judges
Santa Fe Complex - space, judges, awards, board of directors
Santa Fe Institute - President of board of directors, hardware loans, judges
Swarm Development Group - Summer opportunity for collaboration with agent based modeling, judges
University of New Mexico - February mid course evaluations, judges, mentor cadre
University of New Mexico-Center for Advanced Research Computing - Challenge/GUTS Summer roundups, board of directors, judges

Computational Science

For Challenge teams who will be attending the kickoff, please make sure that you get your project idea approved in your Meet the Scientist session. Some teams will be notified that they need to meet with a scientist at lunch on Sunday to get project approval. The scientists will check to see if you have chosen a problem that is suitable for computational science, has measurable components so that a mathematical model can be developed, and from that a computing solution can be written.

Here is a visual to help teams think about their projects and some commentary by Irene Lee, Project GUTS Principal Investigator

We start with a real world problem, and a question. We make sure that our problem's solution will rely on data. We simplify the real world problem - and not the assumptions we have made. We do research to find out as much as we can about the idea.

We come up with an idea model - (not an attempt at exact duplication of the real world) - assumptions are acknowledged. However, it is important to be able to describe the idea in English or pseudo code language before building the computational model.

We use the computational model as an experimental test bed complete with variables and parameters.

Goal is to understand primarily this model, and see how it can help us understand the real world.

  • Allows us to run multiple "what if" scenarios
  • Compare results to real-world, what is similar and different.

Water Resources Theme Video

Here is a 30 minute EPSCoR video to watch in class or at home with your families.

KRWG Public Television featured some New Mexico EPSCoR Researchers in their recent segment of "KRWG Newsmakers". Watch the video and keep an eye out for the EPSCoR Mug!

From KRWG: "According to the U.S. Climactic Data Center the first six months of 2011 was the driest period on record for New Mexico and Texas. In this report we look at how the drought is affecting the region. We'll also tell you about steps being taken to monitor and prepare for what some say will be a future with more and more area water scarcity dilemmas. KRWG's Jared Andersen reports."

Teachers, we will be sending you a Water Scarcity PowerPoint, created by Patty Meyer, to use with your classes. It will come in your email as an attachment.

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

Monday Morning Message, September 12, 2011

Good Day,

Fall is in the air in ABQ! It is State Fair time and the temps have dropped a bit.

Registering for the 2011-2012 Supercomputing Challenge

Registration is open at:
So far 55 students and 15 teachers from 26 schools have registered.

If you have any questions about registration, please contact consult @

Registration closes on September 20th because we have to meet deadlines for hotel reservations, food orders, and class scheduling at the Kickoff. You have eight days to register!

Challenge Sponsors

Here are a few more of the national and state Educational Sponsors we work with. Their contributions are noted by their names.

Educational Partners

The Center for Connected Learning (CCL) and Computer-Based Modeling/NetLogo - NetLogo
New Mexico Council for Higher Education Computing/Communication Service (CHECS) - Awards at Expo, TIE conference
Eastern New Mexico University - February mid course evaluations, scholarships, judges
MIT Starlogo - StarLogo TNG
New Mexico Computing Applications Center - support with supercomputer Encanto
New Mexico EPSCoR, Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research - grant money, mentors, speakers, Collaborative Research: Cyberinfrastructure Development in the Western Consortium of Idaho, Nevada, and New Mexico, NSF Award #0918635

Next week, Colleges and University support.

Kickoff Conference, Oct 15-16 at NM Tech

Dr. Lorie Liebrock is heading up a cadre of mentors from New Mexico Tech who will be helping us at the kickoff and throughout the year. They will be giving campus tours on Saturday morning the 15th, working along each of the math tracks as a guide, and teaching some of the classes. They will also be available throughout the year to mentor teams from their kickoff track.

Dr. Richard Oliver at NMSU and Joel Castellanos, UNM, are working on getting mentor cadres at those locations also.

Each track will have three hours in a computer lab, data analysis, a parallel processing session and a Meet the Scientist session. We are planning a teaming presentation with Lisa Harris from LANL and our keynote is Dr. Edward Martinez, from NM Highlands. The title for his talk on Saturday night is - "Climate Change in New Mexico: Water Resources, Flora and Fauna".

Project Proposal

When Challenge teams meet in the Meet the Scientist Session at the Kickoff, they must bring a hard copy of their proposal for the scientists to read so that they can give suggestions about the project. There will be a form for one or more scientists to node down their thoughts about the work and sign indicating they have seen your project proposal and have discussed the ideas and implementation plan.

Project Idea

One of our new mentors, Mel, has suggested an interesting project. His area of expertise is aviation history and he is a private pilot.

His project suggestion is a Co-Flow Jet improvement of airfoil performance by recirculating fluid that is blown along a streamlined shape. He proposes investigating the drag force on a symmetrical airfoil of infinite span. If this topic interests your team, please write to melabq @ as he has graciously volunteered to mentor teams in this area. (Just remember to leave out the spaces in his email.)

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia and David, Consult Management Team
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult @

Wednesday Morning Message, September 7, 2011

Happy September!

We hope that you had some R and R over the three-day weekend. (R + R means rest and recreation used in military jargon to mean time away from the front.)

Registering for the 2011-2012 Supercomputing Challenge

Registration is open at:

If you have any questions about registration, please contact consult @

Challenge Sponsors

We are going to review our sponsors with you this month. Our Primary Sponsors are

We thank them for their financial and personnel support throughout the whole Challenge year.

Kickoff Conference, Oct 15-16 at NM Tech

In the past years we have developed the schedule for the Kickoff using a spreadsheet. We have seven different math levels, approximately 300 students, six different classes and restraints on computer labs and other spaces. This year we are using an open source optimization program. Open source generally means that the source code is freely available.

Wikipedia states "In mathematics and computational science, mathematical optimization refers to the selection of a best element from some set of available alternatives." So we are hoping that your individual schedule will really meet each member of the team's needs. Because we schedule according to math level, your team members' schedules may be different from yours.

Project Proposal

All Challenge teams attending the Kickoff Conference need to submit a proposal online and bring a hardcopy of this proposal with them to the conference. Remember, proposals are short and concise ~ no more than 250 words.

You may view last year's proposals in the archive

Project Idea

Here is an interesting blog about water scarcity in New Mexico: Water Scarcity Threatens the Whole Southwest
What kind of computational science project could your team do on water scarcity? What data could you collect and analyze? What model/simulation could you create?

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

Monday Morning Message, August 29, 2011

We have been sending out information about the 2011-2012 Supercomputing Challenge and are getting emails from folks asking more questions. Please help us spread the word!

Registering for the 2011-2012 Supercomputing Challenge

Registration will open up later this week so keep checking it at:

Each student will register themselves and each teacher will register themselves. Then the students and/or teachers can register the students on teams. Teachers can "manage" teams from their school, adding students to teams, dropping students from teams, and moving students to different teams.

Registration fees are $40 per student and $0 for teachers. But, we don't want the registration fee to prevent anyone from participating so if that is a hardship, please let Consult know. The registration fees can be submitted by checks or Purchase Orders.

Challenge Use of Face Book

There is a NM Supercomputing Challenge Facebook group and we are going to be creating a Facebook "page". As people register for the Challenge, we well be "Inviting" them to join.

Kickoff Conference, Oct 15-16 at NM Tech

Plans continue to be made for the 22nd Annual Kickoff Conference. The general timeline will be arrival 10:00-11:30 on Saturday morning, lunch, afternoon classes, check in to hotels, dinner and keynote speech followed by evening activities. Sunday morning will have three classes then lunch and teams will head home after lunch. Meals (lunch, dinner, lunch) will be provided at NM Tech.

A Visual History of Supercomputing

Most of you are too young to know a world without computers and supercomputers, but we have come a long way in the past 70 years. Take a look at this great "infographic" and imagine the possibilities that you will see in your lifetimes, because of computers and technology.

Monday Morning Message, August 22, 2011

Are you ready for the 22nd Annual Supercomputing Challenge?


Start forming teams to participate in the 22nd annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

Registration will open on September 1st

Registration deadline is September 20th.


Teams need to form and start thinking about their projects and preparing a proposal. See for guidelines.

Our theme for this year will be water issues. Take a look at this 30 minute video from EPSCoR about current water issues in New Mexico:

Kickoff Conference

The Kickoff Conference will be held October 15-16 in Socorro, New Mexico.


Please print a flyer to place in your school for advertisement.

Here is the invite link:

Summer Teachers Institute

At the STI this summer, one team of teachers studied the Fibonacci Sequence. Here is some current news about how a teenager used the Sequence:

Future topics

In future Monday Morning Messages (MMMs), we will be sharing Science Links and Cool topics so if you have found something to share, let Consult know.

Looking forward to a wonderful year,

Betsy, Celia and David representing Consult, the Challenge Management Team
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult @

These News Flashes are archived at so that you can review them at a later date. There is also a link at the top of each Challenge web page pointing to Newsflash.

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