1999 – 2000
Challenge Names, Numbers, and Addresses:
Voice (505) 665-4444 x811
FAX (505) 667-5304
Los Alamos, NM 87545
Voice (505) 345-6555
FAX (505) 345-6559
New Mexico Technet
5921 Jefferson NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Voice: (505) 667-1019
Los Alamos, NM 87545
Challenge URL: http://www.challenge.nm.org 1999-2000
Challenge Help: firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Challenge.................................................................................. 2
The Basics - What It’s All About...................................................................... 2
Rules and Requirements...................................................................................... 8
Project Requirements........................................................................................... 9
Your Sponsoring Teacher's Responsibilities....................................................... 9
Your Team Mentor's Responsibilities................................................................. 10
Project Abstract.......................................................................................................... 12
Computers, Connections, and Sources for Help................................................ 14
Connecting To the Internet Using a Dial-up Connection................................... 14
Connecting to Machine Mode through Telnet.................................................... 16
Interim Reports........................................................................................................... 17
Regional Workshops................................................................................................. 20
Project Evaluation...................................................................................................... 21
Final Reports................................................................................................................ 22
Writing the Final Report...................................................................................... 22
Format of the Report........................................................................................... 22 Sample Reference Formats.................................................................................. 24
Final Judging for Category B.............................................................................. 28
Original Code versus Borrowed Code................................................................ 29
Preparing Effective Visual Aids............................................................................. 30
Table of Contents (continued)
Awards Day............................................................................................................. 32
Awards and Scholarships................................................................................ 32
Scholarship Application Process..................................................................... 33
Other Awards................................................................................................... 34
Acceptable Use Policies........................................................................................ 38
Setting Up Dial-up Networking on a PC........................................................... 40
Figure 1: Example of an abstract..................................................................... 13
Figure 2. Format of cover page for hard-copy interim report and
final report................................................................................ 18
Figure 3. Example of an interim report........................................................... 18
Introduction to the Challenge
Welcome to the
Challenge! Together we’ll “ Byte
into the Millennium!” Team 41 from Bloomfield High School
submitted the logo shown on the title page as their poster in the 1999 – 2000
Challenge program. Their entry was
chosen by a vote of last year’s Challenge participants to be the official logo
of this year’s Challenge.
There are several phases or milestones that you will work towards in the Challenge. This handbook has sections that will explain the details of each one, and help you complete it.
Each milestone has a significant due date. These dates are very important. If your team doesn’t complete a milestone by its due date, you will not be able to continue on with the rest of the Challenge.
There will be more information about each milestone in this handbook. Remember, YOU are the person who is responsible for making sure that the necessary work has been completed by these dates.
The significant dates for the 2000-2001 Challenge are listed below (5:00 PM New Mexico time is the actual deadline on each date unless otherwise indicated.):
Event – Milestone Due Date
Online Registration September 29, 2000
Team Entry Authorization Forms October 3, 2000
(You have completed these milestones if you have made it to the Kickoff Conference at Glorieta.)
Glorieta Kickoff October 29, 30, 31
School visits November, 2000
Registration for Regionals December 8, 2000
Interim Reports Due January 5, 2001
Eastern NM University January 9, 2001
NM State University January 11, 2001
NM Tech January 12, 2001
Santa Fe Community College January 16, 2001
UNM January 18, 2001
UNM – Gallup January 19, 2001
Eastern NM University February 3, 2001
NM State University February 3, 2001
NM Highlands University February 10, 2001
University of NM February 10, 2001
NM Tech February 17, 2001
Judges Conference Call April 18, 2001
Awards Day April 25, 2001
The Challenge year is divided into eight phases. These brief descriptions give you an overview of the year.
Registration Forms are due
electronically at New Mexico Technet by 5:00 p.m., September 2
2000. Original hard-copy signature
sheets, and especially the Team Entry Authorization Form (TEAF) must be
received at New Mexico Technet by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, October 3 8,
Electronic registration is available at
Kickoff Conference, Glorieta, NM: October
At this two-day conference at the Glorieta Conference Center, training is provided that is geared to your level of experience. You attend classes on learning to use both the Internet and computers, on how to approach your project, and on how to successfully complete the Challenge. Participants bring their Project Abstract and enter it
(Note: The first dates are for schools in communities greater than 100 miles from Glorieta. The second dates are for those schools within 100 miles from Glorieta.)
Phase 3, School Visits: November
On request Challenge reps will make a brief visit to your team at your school to help with computer lab problems and programming skills, or provide guidance with your project. Some schools may not need such visits if they have resources available locally. This is an optional event.
Project Refinement and Interim Reports: Friday, January
electronically submit a short report that describes your
project, tells about your progress to date, and states the expected results of
your work. .
Regional Workshops: one day, Jan
One-day workshops will be held at colleges and universities around the state. You can ask questions and get guidance on your project.
Project Evaluation: one day, February
Your team will make a short oral presentation to a team of Challenge judges. Following your presentation, these judges will provide you with advice and guidance on how to approach the rest of your project work.
Phase 7, Final Reports and Scholarship
deadline noon, April
Before NOON on April
5 you will
complete your project and submit a written final report. Team members who wish to submit scholarship
applications must submit all requirements by this deadline.
Phase 8, Final Judging and Awarding of Prizes: April
on the judges' evaluations of final reports, a number of teams are selected as
finalist teams; they are invited to come to Los Alamos on April 2
5, 1999, to
describe their projects to the judges.
During the 30-minute oral presentation, the judges question team members
about project details.
complete the Challenge,
you will be invited to the April 2 6 Awards
Day. You will get to hear talks
about the many kinds of work going on at LANL.
Participants prepare two posters to bring to Awards Day. One poster is about their project; the other
poster represents a logo to be used for the Challenge the following year. At Awards Day, y , see many parts
of the Laboratory, attend the
ceremony, and enjoy a reception feast.
As a Challenge participant, you do have
responsibilities. We'll fill
you in on them here. It's your job to read through this information and to contact us
with any questions about them that your sponsoring teacher can't answer for
We hope you'll enjoy and benefit from all of the
resources and experiences that the Challenge provides
, and we
expect you to be responsible and ethical throughout the Challenge year. As in the real working world,
you must be ready to accept the consequences if you choose to act
irresponsibly. Consequences for SERIOUS offenses will
include your expulsion from the Challenge program, immediate termination of
your computer account, and a letter of explanation being sent to your principal.
In addition, you might be subject to criminal prosecution or held accountable
for the cost of any damages or misuse of resources that are involved.
We want you to do the following things.
· Be completely honest and ethical in your letters of application, your research and programming, your references, your project reports, and any other Challenge documents.
· Know and follow the rules of the Challenge and of the various institutions hosting Challenge functions.
· Obey all laws during Challenge functions, especially those about drug and alcohol use.
· Make sure your team meets the attendance requirements for all Challenge activities.
least one teacher and one student from each team must attend the Kickoff at
you all to attend — your team can't make full
use of the Kickoff experience
if you don't send different members to
different curriculum tracks and if you don't
if you all participate in the team-building session. Remember, it's fun!
- Your team and a sponsoring teacher must be represented at the Regional Training session.
- Your whole team must participate in your presentation to the judges in the Preliminary Evaluation (exceptions to this are occasionally made before the event).
- If you are a finalist team, all team members will need to present your project to the judges at the Awards Day activities.
· Attend all assigned classes, talks, or activities at the Kickoff conference, the Regional Workshop, and Awards Day. Your attendance is required at these events. If you do not attend your scheduled classes, you might be asked to leave, and be removed from the Challenge.
you need help, ask for it. Start with
your sponsoring teacher, your team , and others at your school. If that is not adequate, move on to other
resources, such as local universities or related businesses or
crew at New Mexico Technet or LANL (see
the first page of this handbook).
· Please read your Challenge email at least once a week. There will be Monday Morning Messages each week with reminders and hints. These will also be posted to the News Flashes on the Challenge Home Page.
The written reports are your opportunity to organize and display your progress, your problem-solving methods, and your solution. While your research and modeling are the core of your Challenge work, that aspect will be relatively useless if you don't accurately and thoroughly document your work so that others can understand it and learn from it. Even missteps and mistakes may be worth documenting if they end up answering relevant questions or were in directions that originally seemed logical and useful.
sure to budget your time throughout the year
— don't wait
till just before a deadline to complete the work for that deadline. Pace yourselves.
· Consider writing up rough drafts of the introductory or research-related sections of the report as soon as you have made the necessary decisions or found the information you want to include in those parts. Starting to write is the hardest part of the writing process.
· Take deadlines seriously — we do.
careful notes on your work throughout the year so that you don't need to
recreate it all
by memory when it's time to
write the final report.
Rules and Requirements.
Remember that you signed the Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) when you registered for the Kickoff. in the back of this handbook and at
In general, if you're concerned that you shouldn't be accessing, reading, or sending something, don't do it. Specifically, do the following:
· Use e-mail properly (which does not include chain letters, vulgar language, pornography, or harassment of anyone).
out of unauthorized areas of any computer system
breaking in is illegal.
the Internet access and dial-up accounts provided to you only for
project-related purposes. Do not use
this Internet access and the dial-up account for personal business or business
related to illegal activities; publishing unsolicited advertisements of goods
or services; publishing abusive, profane, or sexually offensive material;
publishing information that violates the rights of others; or playing
· Get the author's permission for online distribution before you electronically download or distribute any copyrighted material. Permission can be specified in the document itself, can appear on the Internet, or can be obtained directly from the author. For your legal protection, keep a hard copy of the author's consent.
· Respect all Challenge participants and their right to use and enjoy the Challenge computing and networking systems (in other words, don't try to keep the other participants from accessing the available computing and networking resources).
aware that security managers at all computing sites that provide Challenge
computing services can monitor your online activities. (
Please don't take
this as an attempt of adults to
control kids who should be old enough to make
decisions for themselves. Recognize
is a fact of the working world, where employers monitor their adult employees
in a similar manner.) These
organizations will fully cooperate with any local, state, or federal officials
investigating materials transmitted on New Mexico Technet
all of the resources that the Challenge provides with respect. Although the
800 numbers, circuits, computer accounts, and loaned equipment are
free to you, your use of them cost s
the Challenge program a lot of money.
Please help us stay within the Challenge budget by not wasting or
misusing these resources. U f the local
dial-in number rather than the long-distance 800
number, for instance
you have any problems or questions related to Internet access, if you think
that someone might have unlawfully
account, or if your password is lost or stolen, contact New Mexico Technet (505- 345-6555) or
the LANL Consulting Office (505-667-5746),
The following rules apply to all projects for the Challenge:
Any interested and committed teacher who is employed
at your school or authorized by your school district can serve as a team
sponsor. You can even have two teachers
who share that role. Note that
may not be the sponsor of more than three teams.
The Challenge program provides textbooks and
training in the summers and throughout the year
, and there are online tutoring programs and textbooks at http://www.challenge.nm.org/teachers/.
staff will visit your school to do a programming workshop or assist with
getting your computer lab functioning. So
this could prove to be a good
learning experience for a teacher who is new to all of the
computer technology. On
the other hand, teachers who are interested and
are also knowledgeable about the scientific process, mathematics, or computer
science and modeling will clearly have an advantage, at least in terms of their
initial comfort level. Past Challenge sponsoring teachers have been
a very diverse crew, including elementary
teachers and librarians.
The sponsoring teacher will serve as your mentor and
supervisor throughout the competition.
He or she will help you submit all forms, reports (abstract, interim,
and final), and applications before deadline
; arrange for and ensure your attendance at
Challenge activities and supervise you (or arrange for an authorized
substitute) at the activities
( supervision to include setting
standards for appropriate dress, behavior, and preparation for the event) ; help
you find a project mentor ;
The time commitment involved for the teacher will depend on the complexity of your project and on your team's experience. Please recognize that participating in the Challenge as your sponsoring teacher means extra, often unpaid, responsibilities for your teacher. Rather than using their time to pursue personal interests, your teacher is willingly making it possible for you to pursue yours. Appreciate their commitment to your future, and make sure you put out your best effort — that’s the best possible way to show your thanks.
Your Team Mentor's Responsibilities
A project mentor, or expert in
the area of science
whom you have chosen for your project,
can be a great help to you throughout the year. Ideally, a mentor serves as a sounding board, a reality checker,
a guide, and an inspiration. He or she
shouldn’t provide you with all related research information, pick your project,
or develop your program model.
We consider the mentor to be very valuable contributor to a team's success in the competition. Your mentor can:
· help you brainstorm prospective problems to solve within the area of science you have selected and help you eliminate or redefine unfeasible ones (unfeasible projects could be too complex for your capabilities or for the time limits of the program),
· help you find resources (literature, network information, data, and people) related to your chosen project,
· provide information about the math and science that you need to use in your project,
· help you select the proper platform and software for the computations involved in your project,
· ask you lots of questions about the code to get you to think through the problem and possible solutions (here's a perfect spot for s to be guides and motivators rather than doers-your team needs the chance to develop the code for itself), and
· monitor your team's progress and make sure you set and meet milestones to keep the project on track (no, not hassle you, just remind you — and, obviously, only if it's necessary.)
We expect that your mentor will:
· show interest in your project and meet with you at regularly scheduled times,
· ask you to explain your project often (to be sure you're staying on track and not losing sight of the original problem as you wade through the research and code),
· keep sight of the milestones and deadlines and help you to meet them, and
· keep in mind that you are high school students rather than professionals or college students and assist you to simplify the highly technical information appropriately.
We hope your mentor will be at Glorieta for at least part of the Kickoff conference to get to know you and to begin talking about the project. After that, you will probably use a combination of e-mail, phone calling, and meetings to communicate with your mentor. In the past, teams who have met with their mentors regularly have done well in the Challenge.
We'd like you to try to take a hand in getting one or more mentors for your team. Mentors can be parents, neighbors, employees from local businesses, schoolteachers or college professors — the possibilities are endless. How do you turn the possibilities into actual mentors? First, recognize that many people are already familiar with the Challenge and will be happy to be involved in helping dedicated kids like you. Those who haven't heard of the program are generally pleased to hear about a program that's got so much going for it.
There are very few adults in the world who don't care if high-school students are involved in good activities. There are very few people who can resist sharing information and help about a topic that they know a lot about, especially if they have an interested audience.
The point here is that you don't need to feel
reluctant about asking
an expert to
serve as your mentor. That person might be so overloaded with work that he or
she can't serve as your mentor, but the person will likely feel pleased to have
been asked. And perhaps he or she will
be able to suggest somebody else who will be a great mentor instead.
One of the most important things that you will do at the Challenge Kickoff is enter your Project Abstract electronically in one of the computer labs. The abstract is a one or two paragraph description (at least 250 words and not more than one typed page) of the problem you have chosen. In the abstract, you must clearly state:
what the problem is,
the definition of the problem
why it is important,
the purpose of the project or what results you hope to get,
how you plan to work on it, and
the plan of action or methods you hope to use.
The abstract is helpful to both you and the judges who will review the completed projects. Preparing the abstract helps the team define exactly what its project will be. After you pin down the problem that you will solve, you must devise a plan of action, in other words, decide how you will solve the problem. This plan of action will guide your work during the year. The plan may include doing research, writing a computer program, analyzing data, talking to people in that particular field, and drawing conclusions. The judges will read each abstract to get an initial impression of the project. You can read last year's abstracts at:
Remember abstracts are short and concise. Each of the points can be covered in one or
two sentences. You must also include
the following: team number, school name, area of science, project name, the
problem that you'll solve, and what you hope the outcome will be. Your abstract and your project must fall
under the general area of science that you stated on your registration form,
but you can
specific project until you submit your interim report (the
At the close of each of the two sessions at Glorieta, teams will upload their abstracts to the Challenge web page (http://www.challenge.nm.org) and print out copies for their mentors. Your abstract will be reviewed and accepted at the Kickoff, and then it will be submitted to the Challenges judges for their information. This first impression of your project gives the judges a baseline from which to measure your progress during the year.
Bring a “camera ready” paper copy of the abstract to the Kickoff Conference. You will use it during the Team Project Development session. Before leaving the conference, enter the abstract online in the directory public_html. You must use either the pico or vi editor, OR you can bring the abstract on disk and upload the file to mode.lanl.k12.nm.us without retyping it.
You will find an abstract template at
This is the file that will be in the public_html directories of Challenge accounts. Review the text and CHECK THE SPELLING. Submit the abstract with the command:
Challenge staff will place your abstract on the Challenge web page. Teams who need assistance with their abstracts or uploading the abstract will find help with the friendly and knowledgeable Challenge staff.
Figure 1: Example of an abstract:
(Team Number 038 from Lovington HS was finalist in the 1999 – 2000 Challenge.)
After you and your team members return from the Challenge Kickoff conference, you will want to make sure that you immediately try connecting to the computers at Los Alamos by using the Internet connection at your school, or by using a dial-up account.
You will need access to these computers in order to work on your project. These computers are also your contact with your project mentors, and the Challenge web page,
This is the best way to stay informed about the next Challenge milestone and the Monday morning news.
As a participant in the Supercomputing Challenge, you have access to LANL's Pi machine, a Cray O200 running the IRIX operating system. You will also have an account on the Mode machine, which runs the LINUX operating system.
Machines at New Mexico State University, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Maui High Performance Computing Center in Hawaii may also be available for your use with special permission. Only those students working on projects with extraordinary computation requirements will be given access to the other machines. If you want to request an account on an additional machine, please send an e-mail message justifying your need for an account on that machine to email@example.com.
Connecting To the Internet Using a Dial-up Connection.
As a participant in the
Supercomputing Challenge, you have access to
New Mexico Technet network ,
which connects you to the various computer sites. Ordinarily, to log in to a
remote computer, you must first dial and log in to the New Mexico Technet
terminal server. The
Challenge dial-up service is a standard Internet PPP dial-up connection that is
good for 60 hours per month per Challenge participant. To set up dial-up networking on your PC, see
the instructions in the back of this handbook and at http://www.challenge.nm.org/ctg/login/dialup.shtml.
log the Technet modems Machine,
you establish a "session."
Each session may last no longer than two hours. If you have not
disconnected within two hours, you will be automatically disconnected. It is important to save your work often so
that you do not lose it if you are disconnected. After each session, you may
dial again and log in for another two-hour session.
Whenever possible, please use local telephone
call the Technet computer. Teams from areas that have local dial-in
numbers will not be authorized to use the long-distance
800 numbers. ( Whereas using the
800 numbers costs the Challenge a substantial amount of money , using the
local dial-in numbers costs much less.)
If you have a problem getting through on the local
dial-in numbers, you should contact New Mexico Technet Customer Support at
345-6555. In some cases, Technet will authorize a team
to use the 800 service even
if they have access to a local dial-in number. If very heavy usage is a problem
additional local dial-in numbers may be added.
The Message of the Day on machine Mode will tell you when new lines have
been added in your area.
This chart shows the phone number that you should dial from your home area to reach the Technet computer.
Santa Fe/Los Alamos
(surcharge applies) call (800)
ISDN Dial-up Number (Albuquerque only) is 346-2135. A
Technet ISDN account is required.
All modems are
28.8 kbps, v.34
entering ATDT phone number does not work, call Customer Support at New Mexico
New Mexico Technet Customer Support
The New Mexico Technet staff
will take care of general questions, problems with your connection, or problems
in to New Mexico Technet The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday. After regular
hours, you can leave a message on the phone recorder. In your message, state what your problem is and your name and
phone number. Someone will call you
back as soon as possible.
If you are calling long distance, be sure to mention that to the Technet staff member who answers your call. New Mexico Technet will call you back so your school does not incur a large long-distance charge. Remember, e-mail is faster and cheaper. With e-mail, you can also include a detailed description of your problem and examples of error messages.
Once you have Internet access (either dial-up access or dedicated access from your school), you can log into the Mode machine by using a Telnet program. Telnet is the primary protocol used on the Internet for remote login. Remote login is the ability to connect a computer on one network to a computer on another network and have the local computer behave as if it is directly connected to the remote machine. The Challenge web page has instructions on how to use the telnet command to login to Machine mode at
After the Kickoff Conference, you will have until
Friday, January 5, 200
0, to refine your project and electronically
submit your interim report. This report should describe your project, your
progress to date, and your expected results.
The interim report, which must be at least 500 words
in length, should expand on the information in your abstract. Please note that
the interim report may not be a copy of the abstract that you submitted at
The interim report should include the following information:
On the report cover, be sure to identify your school, team number, and team members. For the hard-copy report's cover page, follow the format shown in Figure 2. This format should be used for both a hard-copy interim report and the final report. Note that you do not need to declare a judging category for the interim report.
Interim Report Submission
Before 5:00 PM on January 5, 2001, you should:
If you must instead submit a hard-copy report by mail, please use the following address:
New Mexico Technet, Inc.
5921 Jefferson N.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Project Title Category New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge Final Report April Team Number School Name
5, 200 0
New Mexico High School
Members ____________ ____________ ____________ Teacher(s) ____________ Project
Figure 3. Example of an interim report
(Team 30 from Bosque Preparatory School was a finalist in the 1999 – 2000 Challenge)
One-day workshops will be held at locations around
the state from Tuesday, January
11, 200 0, through
Friday, January 2 1, 200 0. Your team
will be invited to attend the session nearest your school. Your whole team and your teacher must attend
the workshop. In the case of a schedule
conflict, you can let us know that you will need to attend a different session
on another date.
Your regional workshop will provide you with the opportunity to have questions answered, receive assistance with your projects, work on your programming skills, and discuss project progress with teams from other schools. Challenge staff from Los Alamos Laboratory and from New Mexico Technet will provide training, games, problems, and presentations.
Please check the website, http://www.challenge.nm.org, for maps to these sites.
Eastern New Mexico University - Portales
New Mexico State University - Las Cruces
Santa Fe Community College - Santa Fe
University of New Mexico - Albuquerque
University of New Mexico - Gallup
New Mexico Tech - Socorro
On a scheduled date between
6 and 2 0February
17, you and your team members will make an oral presentation, not to exceed 30
minutes, to a team of Challenge judges.
Your whole team must participate in this presentation. The judges from your region will have
already read your team’s abstract and your interim report.
During the presentation, your team will discuss your project, your progress, and your plans for completing your work. You will need to be prepared to answer judges’ questions. You might want to think of this presentation as good practice for your final presentation at Los Alamos in April. You should plan to use all of the equipment and visual aids that you will use in your final presentation (including a network connection to the computers in Los Alamos)
The judges will evaluate both the project itself and your presentation. They will give you a brief written assessment of your project. The expectation is that your project will not be completed when you make this presentation.
Your presentation lets the judges get a better understanding of your project, review your progress, and offer advice and direction on overcoming obstacles or finding additional resources.
The table below provides the dates and locations for the Project Evaluation Sessions in the state. Please check the web site, http://www.challenge.nm.org, for maps to these sites.
Eastern New Mexico University - Portales
New Mexico State University - Las Cruces
New Mexico Highlands Univ. – Las Vegas
Sat, Feb 10
University of New Mexico - Albuquerque
San Juan College - Farmington
New Mexico Tech - Socorro
Sat, Feb 17
Every team must submit a final report in either
Category A (to compete for prizes) or Category B (to get feedback to use toward
completing the project the following year).
Each team that registers in the fall must submit
either a Category A or Category B report. All reports must arrive
in HARD-COPY form (no faxes) at New
Mexico Technet no later than NOON on Wednesday, April 5, 1999. Teams who choose Category A must also email
an MS Word attachment (team_xx_report.doc) of their final report to firstname.lastname@example.org by the same
deadline. The paper copy will be used
for judging. The electronic copy may be
used on the web page and to prepare a CD for distribution to educators. The electronic and the paper copy should
have exactly the same content.
Writing the Final Report.
Before writing a report, it is important to decide what topics and information you will include. Developing an outline can be critical to your success in conveying your work to your reader. You don’t want to just dump your information onto your reader (including the judges!). To keep readers’ attention, you need to present carefully structured information that they can painlessly absorb and process.
For your Challenge report, you won’t need to develop an outline because we have developed one for you to use. We want to ensure that you present your work in the best possible manner. In the past, the best-written reports have followed this outline, and we strongly urge you to follow it as well. In technical reports, creativity matters far less than clarity and organization.
Remember, for you to become a finalist team with the opportunity to present your project orally, you must first sell the quality of your project through the written final report. The process of writing the report will help you prepare your information for the oral presentation and for answering the judges’ questions.
Format of the Report.
Cover page - Please follow the sample and specifications shown in Figure 2 and on page 27.
Table of contents - Please include any figures, tables, and appendices.
Executive summary - This is the make-or-break-you part of the report. Do you know why you must write an executive summary? The answer explains why it will make you or break you as far as the Challenge competition goes.
An executive summary is generally read as a stand-alone document by the bigwigs of a company to get a brief, comprehensive snapshot of a project, from its inception to its conclusion, in order to make decisions about supporting the project. In the case of the Challenge, the executive summary is the part of the report that the judges read to decide whether to shelve the report or to continue on to the body of the report. You will never make it to the finals of the Challenge unless you have written a concise, complete, and well-written executive summary that
· covers the significant points of the report,
· is well-organized and very tightly written (i.e., all necessary, but no extraneous material), and
· is written in plain English rather than in technical terms (the primary users of executive summaries are generally well-educated people who do not necessarily have a technical background).
Body of the report - The report must show that you conducted a scientific investigation, obtained results, and arrived at some conclusions. The following components are all critical to the reader’s understanding of and appreciation for your work. Please be sure that you address each one clearly and completely.
your conclusions, you interpret your
results based on the facts and evidence that you have gathered.
demonstrating that you have thoroughly processed your results in
the context of the original problem that you selected ). It is important to clearly state what was
your most significant original achievement on the project.
· Recommendations are especially useful if you had to greatly narrow the scope of your project in order to complete it in the limited time that you had, if your results weren’t at all what you expected to get, or if you don’t believe your results to be complete or accurate.
· Acknowledgments (optional) give you an opportunity to thank the people who have helped you on the project (s, teachers, administrators, etc.).
Reference list or bibliography - You must be sure to identify the sources from which
you obtained information. You can find
formats for citing the various types of printed material (books, reports,
articles, etc.) in
such as the Harbrace College Handbook
(Horner et al. 1998) , but several
examples are provided in this packet so
that you need not go searching for another resource. The important thing is to be complete, accurate, and consistent.
· The sources must be listed in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names.
listings are readily traceable by
the reader because of the thoroughness of the information you have provided
listings are presented in a consistent format (see samples of formats provided on
the attached sheet)
· Appendices - One or more are optional that are referred to in the body of the report and that follow the body of the report in the order in which you refer to them in the body They should be identified by capital letters of the alphabet and used in sequence (the exception being when you only have one appendix, in which case you just call it “the Appendix”) Appendices are used to provide information that supports your report but would serve as a distraction to your reader in the body of the text They may include data, programming codes, charts, and tables
Sample Reference Formats.
Citing Information: Electronic Sources - Information that you obtain online should be treated in a special way in your bibliography. You must identify the type of medium that you used to get the information and include an availability statement that gives the “path” for retrieving the information.
The general form for citing electronic information is:
Author. (date). Title (edition), [type of medium]. Available.
You will notice that periods separate all of the
items except edition, which is followed by a comma. The title is in italic typeface, and only the first word of the
title is capitalized unless it contains proper nouns. The “type of medium”
statement identifies the means of communication that you used, such as online,
CD-ROM, or disk. In the “Available” statement, be sure to give enough
information to permit retrieval of the cited work. You will notice in the
examples that the
be used (FTP, Telnet, etc.) is stated, followed by the directory and the file
name. Email citations include the message that should be used to retrieve the
If you have questions about citing a particular item, send email to email@example.com for help with the proper form.
Examples of citations for electronic sources:
• Kehoe, B. P. (1992). Zen and the art of the Internet (2nd ed.), [Online].
Available FTP: quake.think.com Directory: pub/etext/1992 File: zen10.txt
(This example shows a work that was transferred by FTP.)
• The educational directory [Online]. (1992). Available: Knowledge Index
File: The Educational Directory (EDUC6)
(This example shows an individual work with no listed author.)
• Bowers, K. L., LaQuey, T., Reynolds, J. (1990, August). FYI on where to start—bibliography of Internet working information [Online]. Available e-mail: NISINFO@NIS.NSF.NET Message: Get RFC1175.TXT-1
This information is taken from the book Electronic Style: A Guide to Citing Electronic Information by Xia Li and Nancy B. Crane.
(This example shows an individual work with multiple authors. It was obtained by electronic mail.)
• Minch, Edwin W. "Spider." World Book Online. July 20, 1999 <http://wbonline.worldbook.com/dynaweb/wbcoll/wboearts/IDMATCH(ID,AR524980)?DwebQuery=%22spider%22#top>.
(Format is: Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. "Title of Article." Encyclopedia Title. Date of Visit to Site <URL of Article>.)
This example shows an encyclopedia article on the Web.
Additional Writing Hints.
hardest part of writing a final report is starting, so if you get the
introduction and description of your project on paper
now, you’ll have conquered the hardest part.
· Build from your interim report, using it as a first draft for your introduction and the description of your project.
· Define technical terms.
· Define an acronym at its first use.
· Use headings and subheadings to help the reader focus on each part of the report.
· Place captions an all tables, charts, and graphics.
· Use at least a 10-point font size so that the text can be easily read.
· Number the pages of your report.
· Proofread carefully. Don’t rely on the spell checker.
Your final report should focus on your project rather than on the experiences of your team. Be sure to follow the rules that govern the submittal of final reports so that your team is not disqualified. Please keep a copy of your report in case any problems arise in delivering it or copying it for the judges. Please follow these guidelines for your report:
Carefully check your final report for spelling and typographical errors. You should have each team member check, since spelling mistakes and other errors will be counted against you.
Project Title Category New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge Final Report April Team Number School Name Team
Members ____________ ____________ ____________ Teacher(s) ____________ Project
5, 200 0 about
what track you expect to
submit your report for.
New Mexico High School
This sample cover page shows you what information you should give and how you should arrange it. When you prepare your cover page, you will change the words shown in italics to identify your team and project.
In April the final judging for Category A
(competitive) projects is held in Los Alamos.
The Challenge judging panel is made up of scientists and computer professionals who work
throughout New Mexico in universities, government
laboratories, and private
industry. The judges evaluate your project at three different stages so that you get feedback you can use to make improvements and to refocus your work if necessary. This system also lets the judges get familiar with your project and observe your progress as the project develops.
·The finalist teams are invited
to make a 30-minute presentation of their projects to the full panel of judges
on the day before Awards Day in Los Alamos.
This marks the end of the first of two phases of
the final judging.
During each finalist team's presentation, the various members of the team describe the project, demonstrating their teamwork and shared work responsibilities. Remember, practice makes perfect, so if you make it to the finals, be sure you take the time to carefully plan out the presentation text, visual aids, program graphics, and code and to practice doing the whole presentation together, using the various tools. Work out the kinks ahead of time — you'll feel well prepared, and that'll help with the pre-show jitters.
There will need to be a few minutes left at the end of the 30-minute session to allow for questions from the judges. Again, some practice could help. Try to imagine what questions the judges might ask. If you can't include that information in your presentation, be sure to prepare answers in case the questions are asked. Decide ahead of time what topics will be covered by which team members.
After hearing all of the presentations, the judges will use the judging criteria to arrive at a consensus about the top teams (the number of which will be one more than half the number of finalist teams). Each judge will then rank the top teams. Each team's rankings will then be averaged. The top teams' averages will determine the first place, second place and honorable mention winners.
Final Judging for Category B.
If you submit your final report in Category B (non-competitive), you will be invited to attend Awards Day, just like any other team who has completed the Challenge requirements. Unlike the teams with Category A projects, however, your team will be able to continue work on your project during the next Challenge year. You can submit your project as a Category A project next year. Although the judges would then consider your report from the first year, only your progress from the second year would be assessed in the final judging.
Projects are judged on overall quality and on the progress that your team makes during the Challenge year. Remember that it is important to submit a project that is complete. Modest but complete results are more impressive than a grand scheme with no solid results.
When examining projects, the judges consider the scientific content; the effectiveness of the computational approach; the creativity, innovation, and initiative that you showed in developing and carrying out the project; and the clarity of your presentation.
As you prepare your project for the judging, you might want to use the following checklist of items that the judges will consider.
1. Scientific Content
2. Effectiveness of the Computational Approach
3. Creativity and Innovation
4. Clarity, Conciseness, and Organization
Original Code versus Borrowed Code.
You must decide whether to
write your own computer code or borrow
existing code. The judges might give
credit to a team for writing an original program; however, teams who use
existing code are not downgraded. In
making this decision, you should look at your team's programming strengths, the
type of code you need for the problem you are working on, and the approach that
will give you the best overall solution.
If you do use borrowed code, be sure to acknowledge the originator of the code. Indicate any modifications that you make to the code and explain the purpose of the modifications.
Preparing Effective Visual Aids
Many people take in information better by eye than by ear, so a visual aid can be a powerful tool to get your message across during your presentation. The following hints can help you design effective visual aids for your presentation to the Challenge judges.
PLAN what you want to communicate and where it will be presented.
· Know your audience. What kinds of information will best to show the judges what your project is about and what you accomplished?
· Know your environment. Think about how you will setup the area you and your teammates will use while you are speaking.
·CHOOSE the type of visual that you will use.
· Overhead Transparencies
- Advantage: Transparencies are easy to prepare. You can use overlays of additional transparencies to build a complex picture, or you can cover a series of bullets and reveal them as you speak
- Disadvantage: Changing transparencies or losing the correct order can distract the audience.
· Projected Computer Images
- Advantage: You can combine screens of information with a live demonstration of your computer software.
- Disadvantage: Equipment failures can ruin your presentation; always have back-up visuals prepared. You may not be able to face your audience if you are seated at a computer.
· White/Chalk Board or Flip Chart
- Advantage: You can make impromptu sketches and notes during the presentation.
- Disadvantage: Information may not be visible to large audiences. Writing on these instruments can disrupt the flow of your presentation.
DESIGN THE LAYOUT keeping in mind that your audience must be able to easily see what you want to communicate.
· Keep each visual simple.
- Use main points and keywords rather than sentences.
- Place a margin on all sides to frame the information.
- Leave adequate space between words and lines.
· Coordinate the use of color.
- Use no more than three colors per visual.
- Be consistent when using color (all titles should be in the same color).
- Avoid visuals that are too
to too light to be easily seen.
· Emphasize readability.
- Choose a typeface and size that can be easily read from the back of the room.
- Write text with both upper case and lower-case letters (all uppercase are hard to read).
- Use bar charts to show varying quantities or to compare two or more types of data.
- Use pie charts to show portions or percentages (identify each component).
Remember that your facial expression, gestures, body language, and clothing are your most fundamental and most effective visual aids.
participants who have submitted a final report are invited to the Awards Day activities
at the Los Alamos National Laboratory on Wednesday, April 25, 2001. You will get to
about the many kinds of work going on at LANL.
At Awards Day, y , see many parts of the Laboratory,attend
the awards ceremony be served and participate in the tours. The finalists will enjoy an elegant
If you attend Awards Day, your team must prepare two posters:
(1) a technical poster that describes your project (a sort of photograph that shows your entire project at a glance) and
(2) a graphics poster whose artwork and catchy slogan creatively embody the Challenge program.
You will need to bring both of these to display at Awards Day. The posters may be no larger than 22 by 30 inches (standard poster-board size) and can be hand-drawn, designed on a computer, or created by a combination of methods.
The poster must
be comprised of original artwork and
text! You may not copy or borrow
pictures, artwork, slogans, etc. from any outside source. At Awards Day, all of the Challenge
participants will judge the poster entries and select the winners for both
The poster that best displays the technical information about a project will serve as the cover for the publication of the compiled finalists' reports.
The best graphics poster will serve as the Challenge logo for the next year, appearing on Challenge letterhead, T-shirts, book bags, and Web site. This year there is a $200 award for the individual(s) who design the winning graphics poster.
Awards and Scholarships.
This Challenge year, scholarships and financial
awards will be awarded for excellence in such areas as leadership, scientific
or mathematical achievement, research, programming,
and project development within a team. If you feel that you have demonstrated superior skill in one or more of these areas, you should apply for a scholarship. Students wishing to be considered MUST complete the process described.
The following scholarships are available:
full-tuition scholarship t.
· One-time $1,300 scholarship to ENMU.
· Renewable $1,000 Physics scholarship to NMSU.
If you apply for the Amy Beth Boulanger Memorial Scholarship, you will automatically be considered for the one-time scholarships.
If you apply for the one-time scholarships, you may not designate the school. The institution providing the scholarship will be determined by the "luck of the draw." However, if you win, you can swap with the other winners before any of you submit the scholarship acceptance document to New Mexico Technet.
All scholarships are valid only through the institution's fall registration cycle for the calendar year in which the recipient graduates from high school.
Scholarship Application Process.
The deadline for applications is noon on Wednesday
5, 200 0. To apply
for a scholarship you must:
If you want to be considered for a scholarship award, you MUST submit a letter describing your contribution to the team project with an emphasis on the specific skill that you felt you demonstrated to a superior level.
The sponsoring teacher MUST endorse your letter and outline the superior skill or quality under consideration, providing examples of situations in which you exhibited it and discussing the impact that your superior skill or quality had on the project. Whereas multiple students from your team can apply for scholarships, only one student on your team should apply for a scholarship for outstanding leadership.
Your project and/or other team members may also provide statements that support the superior nature of your particular skill or quality and your contribution to the team effort. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring teacher to ensure that all documentation, including supportive statements, are mailed in an envelope to:
c/o New Mexico Technet
5921 Jefferson, N.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Attention: Scholarship Competition
NOTE: Do not include any other team project documentation with this application. Both interim and final reports MUST be submitted for any member of that team to compete for a scholarship.
The scholarship applicants will be invited to appear
before a panel of Challenge judges to discuss their outstanding quality or
skill in the context of their team project.
This question-and-answer session will take place on Tuesday, April 24
1999, in Los Alamos.
Sponsors, contributors, or professional organizations may present prizes in special categories. These awards are usually trophies, plaques, or medals. Special awards have been presented for Creativity and Innovation in the past.
Awards are presented for outstanding scientific projects, team leadership, and excellence in many different categories. The following awards for outstanding projects are available to participants in this year's Challenge and are presented to both the team members and their sponsoring schools:
· Awards to Team Members
1st Place: Each student on the team will receive a $1000.00 savings bond.
2nd Place: Each student on the team will receive a $500.00 savings bond.
· Awards to the Schools
The schools sponsoring the first- or second-place teams will receive computer equipment for the teacher of the winning team to use in the classroom. The schools sponsoring the honorable mention teams will receive computer or networking equipment for the sponsoring teacher to use in the classrooms. If a team has more than one teacher, the Challenge will provide one set of equipment to be shared.
· Electronic Search and Browse
· Environmental Modeling
· High-Performance Computing
· Judges' Special Recognition
· Multimedia Presentation
· Oral Presentation
· Poster (technical presentation)
· Poster (graphical presentation)
· Written Final Report
· Best Use of a Microsoft Product
If they wish, the panel of judges may award a special Judges' Recognition Award to a team that impresses the judges by the quality of its work. Any team that submits a final report in Category A or Category B will be eligible.
Los Alamos National Laboratory/DOE and New Mexico
Technet sponsor the Challenge program in partnership. Universities, businesses, and other national laboratories
contribute major funding
the Kickoff Conference in the fall and the Awards Day in
the spring ; provide time on the computers for your project work;
and provide employees , who conduct
training sessions and advise Challenge teams throughout the year. Be sure to look for sponsor representatives
at the Challenge activities during the year so that you can thank them!
Los Alamos National Lab/DOE
New Mexico Technet
Belew's Office Supply
Council for Higher Education Computing Services (CHECS)
Dean Gianoploulos Design
Eastern New Mexico University
Miller Bonded, Inc.
New Mexico Highlands University
New Mexico Tech
New Mexico State Department of Education
New Mexico State University
Sandia National Laboratories
San Juan Community College
Santa Fe Community College
University of New Mexico
Western New Mexico University
Acceptable Use Policies
As a participant in the New Mexico High School
Supercomputing Challenge, you will have 60 HOURS of MONTHLY access to the New
Mexico Technet, Inc. dial-
up lines , computing
systems and networks, to Machine Pi at
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and to the Internet. Use of
these facilities is
a PRIVILEGE, and you MUST act in a responsible and ethical way at all times.
Through these facilities, you will be able to access
information on computer systems around the world. Challenge participants, their parents, and their schools must
understand that New Mexico Technet, Inc., and the Challenge sponsors and their
employees have NO control over the access to specific systems or the content of
information on any system. Some systems
may contain material that
may not be appropriate
for high school students. New Mexico Technet, Inc., bans the use of
Challenge participants are strictly prohibited from accessing and using
inappropriate materials. Parents of
participants are asked to monitor home use of the computer systems.
Challenge participants are encouraged to seek help
for their projects
through network contacts. However,
the information, opinions, advice, and services provided via the New Mexico
Technet, Inc., computing and networking systems are those of the provider and not
New Mexico Technet, Inc.
As a Challenge participant, you have access to a wide array of computing facilities and information:
support seven days a week: (505) 343-7630
Technical support from LANL: (505) 667-5745
Each Challenge participant receives an individual account and password that no one else may use. Always protect your password and the access to your account. If your password is lost or stolen or if you believe someone may have unlawfully entered your account, you must immediately notify New Mexico Technet.
phone: (505) 343-76305
Your actions while online must always be at the highest ethical level. System and network administrators monitor all activity. Any inappropriate actions may result in your being dismissed from the Challenge and your account being terminated.
Any inappropriate behavior or attempt to restrict or inhibit other Challenge participants from using and enjoying the Challenge computing and networking systems is strictly prohibited.
You may not publish over the system or network any information that violates or infringes on the rights of other people or that is abusive, profane, or sexually offensive.
You may not publish information that contains unsolicited advertising or that solicits other participants to use goods or services.
You must not use the facilities and capabilities of the system or network to conduct any non-Challenge business or activity or to solicit the performance of any activity that is prohibited by law.
Only public domain files and files which the author has specifically approved for online distribution may be transferred by Challenge participants.
You must have the author's permission to place copyrighted material on any system connected to or used for Challenge activities. If you download copyrighted material for your own use, permission must be specified in the document or on the network or be obtained directly from the author. For your protection, be sure to keep a copy of the permission.
New Mexico Technet, Inc., and Los Alamos National Laboratory reserve the right to monitor the activities of Challenge participants and to fully cooperate with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation concerning or relating to information transmitted on any system connected to or used in Challenge activities.
To use dial-up networking on a PC to access machine mode.lanl.k12.nm.us at LANL through the New Mexico Technet network, follow the example below.
Setup Step 1.
1. Click on Start
2. Click on Programs
3. Click on Accessories
4. Click on Communications
5. Click on Dial-Up Networking and you will see
Setup Step 2.
1. Double click on the Make New Connection icon.
2. Enter a name for this connection, like Technet dial-up or mode. In this example we will use mode
3. Select the device (modem) you will be using.
4. Click Next.
Setup Step 3.
1. Look up the local dial-up number for your area from the Challenge Handbook and enter it. (You don't need to put in the area code.) We have used the Santa Fe number in this example.
2. Click Next.
Setup Step 4.
1. That's just about it.
2. Click on Finish.
Dialing in, Step 1.
1. Click on the mode icon in the Dial-Up Networking folder.
2. Enter your challenge username followed by @chall
3. Enter your password.
4. The phone number should already be there, from the setup.
5. Click Connect.
Dialing in, Step 2.
1. It should be automatic from here on.
2. You can close this window.
3. You now have a connection to the Internet and can use a web browser to access Internet sites or use telnet (Start, Run, enter telnet mode.lanl.k12.nm.us).
1. If things don't work correctly, highlight the mode icon and right click and select Properties. They should look like:
2. Click on the Server Types tab to see:
3. Click on TCP/IP Settings to see:
4. If you are still having trouble, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call New Mexico Technet at (505) 343-7630.