2007-2008 Supercomputing Challenge New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge


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  Project Abstract

Project Abstract

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 change make changes to your specific project up until you submit your interim report (the second milestone) in January.

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.

Abstract Submission

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


{ Continued on back of this page }

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:

submit abstract0001.shtml

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.)

School Name: Lovington High School

Area of Science: Physics

Project Title: What Causes Torque to Reverse Itself? A Study and Explanation of the Rattleback (Celt).


A rattleback, also known as a celt, is a ten centimeter long plastic toy with a base shaped similar to the hull of a boat. The object's unique shape and placement of the elliptical foci mysteriously allows it to reverse its direction of motion when spun clockwise.

Our team will attempt to explain why the rattleback reverses direction mathematically and create a physical explanation. We will also simulate the rattleback graphically on the supercomputer where we will change variables such as length, focus, etc.

We hope to gain knowledge of the mathematical and physical concepts governing the behavior of the celt and understand the effects of altering variables in this process.

Team Members: Nicholas Tobkin, Elizabeth Myers, Dustin Graham, Jeremiah Giese, Juan Contreras

Sponsoring Teachers: Mrs. Pamela Gray

Project Mentor(s): Mrs. Pamela Gray


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

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

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