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Three of the members of the Albuquerque Academy team that took top honors in the Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge share a laugh with U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., at the awards ceremony Tuesday in the Physics Building Auditorium. Their project is titled "Encryption through Three-Dimensional Separation and Recombination of Data." More than 170 secondary school students from throughout the state competed in the 13th annual challenge. Photo by LeRoy N. Sanchez, Public Affairs

Albuquerque Academy team takes top prize in 13th Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge

A computer team from Albuquerque Academy won the top prize Tuesday in the 13th annual New Mexico Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge at the Laboratory.

The student team of Preston Dell, Eric Searle, Sean Smock and Hugh Wimberly each took home a $1,000 savings bond for their supercomputing project "Encryption through Three-Dimensional Separation and Recombination of Data." Their teacher, Jim Mims, received a computer for his classroom. For their prize-winning project, the student team examined existing encryption methods and wrote and developed encryption software using an algorithm without compromising the integrity of the code or the encrypted data.

A trio of computer aces, Samuel Ashmore, Jessica Behles, and A. Zoe Dennis from Bosque School in Albuquerque took second place with their project, "Waiter! There's a Message in My Soup! Uncovering Steganography." They each received $500 savings bonds and their teachers, Debra Loftin and Dorothy Ashmore were awarded a computer for their school. Their project examines steganography, the process of using a computer program to hide messages in various types of computer files. The team also received the Best Written Report Award from the Society for Technical Communications.

Another team of computer wizards from Albuquerque Academy took the third place award for their program, "Centralized Emergency Response." Team members are Jim Adolf, Josh Langsfeld, Matt Strange and Philip Coleman and teacher Jim Mims. The team also received the Cray High Performance Computing Award and the KRQE Multi-Media Award for best graphics presentation.

U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., a long-time supporter of the Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge, and Bill Press, Los Alamos deputy director for Science and Technology, awarded the first and second place awards during a ceremony Tuesday in the Physics Building Auditorium at Technical Area 3. Terry Boulanger, chief executive officer of New Mexico Technet, was the master of ceremonies.

The Amy Boulanger Memorial scholarship from New Mexico Technet, good for $2,500 a year for four years at any accredited institution of higher education in the United States, was awarded to Elizabeth Yaros of Farmington High School.

Nearly 170 students were at Los Alamos to take part in Monday and Tuesday's activities. Fifty teams, including 11 finalist teams, heard talks from researchers at Los Alamos and toured the supercomputing centers at the Laboratory. Students from 36 schools around the state spent the last year researching scientific problems and writing programs to solve them on supercomputers at Los Alamos.

The goal of the New Mexico Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge is to increase knowledge of science and computing, expose students and teachers to computers and applied mathematics, and instill enthusiasm for science in secondary students, their families and communities. Any New Mexico student in grades 7 through 12 can enter the Challenge.

"Christian radio broadcaster Mel Johnson observed that 'teenagers are like airplanes, you only hear about the ones that crash.' We are trying to change that with the Supercomputing Challenge," said David Kratzer of High Performance Computing (CCN-7). "There are a lot of bright, capable, motivated students in New Mexico and we want to help them prove it," said Kratzer.

Several students can pursue their computing careers at New Mexico universities with scholarships awarded on Tuesday. About $27,500 in scholarships were given to Challenge participants this year.

Kevin Summer of Cliff High School received a $2,500 scholarship from Intel Corp.

Wyatt Kartchner of Cliff High School received a $3,000 scholarship from Hewlett-Packard.

Josh Bregler of Alamogordo High School was awarded a $2,400 scholarship from New Mexico State University.

Samuel Ashmore of Bosque School, and Jordan Martinez of Farmington High School were awarded $2,400 scholarships to New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Rebecca Ashton of Silver High School received a one year scholarship to the University of New Mexico.

Chris Kappes of Alamogordo High School received a door prize of a $500 scholarship to any Council for Higher Education Computing Services Inc. member institution.

Each student and their teacher from the first four honorable-mention teams received a $100 gift certificate. Team members, schools, teachers and projects are

Alamogordo High School, "Modeling the Metabolism of Ethanol to More Accurately Predict Blood Alcohol Content." Team members: Levi Blackstone and Matthew Woller; Albert Simon, teacher.

Albuquerque Academy, "Encrypting Chaos: Fractal Encryption." Team members: Nick Whitehead, Michael Overton, Zach LaBry, Franklin Hamilton and Brian Leising; Jim Mims, teacher.

Silver High School, "Manipulating the Matrix." Team members: Rebecca Ashton and Ruben Guadiana; Peggy Larisch, teacher.

Silver High School, "Grosvenor: A New Cognitive Theory With a Computational Implementation." Roeland Hancock, student; Peggy Larisch, teacher.

Each student and teacher in the set of second honorable-mention teams will receive a $50 gift certificate. Schools, projects, team members and teachers are

Alamogordo High School, "What a Drag! Most Efficient Object in Flight." Team members: Josh Bregler, Daniel Hopkins, Chris Kappes and Tony Varin; Albert Simon, teacher.

Bosque School, "Public Transportation Modeling." Team members: Ryan Merrick and Nathan L. Perkins; Debra M. Loftin, teacher.

Mesa Alta Junior High School, "The Big Bang." Team members: Nick Candelaria, Logan Maloy, Amanda Reese, Sara Rue and Levi Valdez; Elvira Crockett, teacher.

Moriarty High School, "Fractal Cryptography." Team members: Michael Basile, Brandi Howell and Anna Rees; Paula Avery, teacher.

Other students took home awards for their projects in the 13th New Mexico High School Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Environmental Modeling Award was presented to Loretta Brown and David Schiowitz of Silver High School for their project "It's Getting Hot in Here."

The Technet Teamwork Award was garnered by Rebecca F. Ashton and Ruben M. Guadiana of Silver High School for "Manipulating the Matrix."

The Bosque School team of Ryan Merrick and Nathan L. Perkins received the Laboratory Best HTML Award for their project "Public Transportation Modeling."

The Albuquerque Tribune Lighthouse Award for best overall presentation was awarded to the Shiprock High School team for their project on diabetes, "Type 2 Calamity." Team members are Kimberly Kuhn, Jacqueline Begay, Myron Sandoval and Brandon Dinae.

Microsoft's Award for best use of MS Office went to the Alamogordo High School team of Josh Bregler, Daniel Hopkins, Chris Kappes and Tony Varin for their project "What a Drag! Most Efficient Object in Flight."

Levi Blackstone and Matthew Woller from Alamogordo High School received the Search and Browse Award from the Council for Higher Education Computing Services Inc. for best research on the Internet for their project "Modeling the Metabolism of Ethanol."

Roeland Hancock from Silver High School received the Creativity and Innovation Award from Sandia National Laboratories for "Grosvenor: A New Cognitive Theory With a Computational Implementation." He also was given the Students' Choice Award.

The judges' Special Recognition award went to the Moriarty High School team of Michael Basile, Brandi Howell and Anna Rees for "Fractal Cryptology."

The reports of teams finishing the Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge can be viewed at http://www.challenge.nm.org/FinalReports/ online.

Also on Monday, participating students set up poster exhibits of their work in the Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge Expo. Here their work was shared with other teams and judged for awards. During the Expo, students and teachers choose three projects for special awards.

The Silver High team of Rebecca F. Ashton and Ruben M. Guadiana won the Technical Poster Award. Their poster will be the cover of the book of final reports. Their teacher is Peggy Larisch. They receive a $100 award.

The best Graphical Poster Award, which will be the basis for next year's challenge logo and the Web page and t-shirts, was awarded to the Albuquerque Manzano High School team of Brian Rosen and Alex Booker. They will split a $100 cash prize.

The Teachers' Choice Award went to the Bosque School team of Conner Hite, Chloe Willliams and Colin Williams for "Aviation Safety."

The New Mexico Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge was conceived in 1990 by former Los Alamos Director Sig Hecker and Tom Thornhill, president of New Mexico Technet Inc., a nonprofit company that in 1985 set up a computer network to link the state's national laboratories, universities, state government and some private companies. Sen. Domenici, and John Rollwagen, then chairman and chief executive officer of Cray Research Inc., added their support. Sen. Domenici attended Tuesday's awards expo with other invited guests.

Last year, the Adventures in Supercomputing and the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge merged to create the Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge.

The Adventures in Supercomputing Challenge is sponsored by the Laboratory, Department of Energy, NASA's Ames Research Center and New Mexico Technet. Educational Partners are CHECS, Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, New Mexico Department of Education, New Mexico State University, University of New Mexico, San Juan Community College and Santa Fe Community College.

The Gold Commercial Partners are Hewlett-Packard, Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Sandia National Laboratories and Siemens Foundation. Silver Commercial Partners are Cray, DP Signal, Gianopoulos Design, Gulfstream Group and bigbyte cc, Intel Corp., Kinko's, Lockheed-Martin, New Mexico Economic Development Department and ZiaNet. Bronze Commercial Partners are the Albuquerque Tribune, New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation and New Mexico Internet Professionals Association.

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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