New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Weekly News Flashes

Thursday Morning Message, April 23, 2009

Good Day,

Well, we had a great time in Los Alamos seeing you present, tour, visit Bradbury and enjoy the Awards' Ceremony! We even received a neat water bottle from NMSU, too, as some of you did.

First Year Schools

We want to honor our first year schools and will be sending them a plaque stating Way to Go! You took the Challenge. It is quite an accomplishment to make it to Awards' Day!

AIMS@UNM
Aguilar
Desert Academy
Hope Christian School
Northern NM college teams
Nuestros Valores Charter School

Student Mathematica License

We will be sending you the info from Wolfram about your free license for student's Mathematica.

We are requesting that you get us your display board so we can include it in an exhibit we are planning for this summer for the National Atomic Museum's new site at 601 Eubank SE in ABQ. Please let us know if you would like your poster included and how we can get it.

Thank you Notes

We will be writing to teams and scholarship winners and asking them to write to the person who was responsible for your awards. Scholarships will be sent to the financial aid department in your colleges in July.

Alum Association

Start thinking about joining our alum association if you are a graduating senior. Write to alumni at challenge.nm.org to be placed on the listserv.

Other students please let consult know how we can help you get your project under way this summer for the fall.

Summer Roundup, June 22nd - 26th

See the flier on our student and teacher Summer Roundup. If you live near Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Artesia, Farmington, Penasco, Santa Fe, Silver, Socorro, Las Cruces, Melrose, come join our Summer Roundup the last week of June. If you attend, you will be responsible for having either a GUTS club or a Challenge Team (or both if you prefer).

Lost and Found

A blue "CATS" hat and sun glasses and a camera case (with the USB cable) were left at the Awards Ceremony. If you know who they belong to, let us know.

This may be one of our last messages for this year. You can never tell!

Warmly,
Consult Management Team, consult at challenge.nm.org


Friday Morning Message, April 17, 2009

Good Day,

Some last minute details to remember as you pack for Los Alamos this weekend:

  1. Nights are cold in Los Alamos. At 7am this morning it was 32 degrees and snowing. So pack a coat or jacket and socks and....
  2. Please bring a picture ID for the tours. NO cell phones, MP3 players, cameras, flash drives are allowed on the tour.
  3. After the tours, please remember to vote for your favorite project, logo for next year and cover of the final reports.
  4. Bring your team's display poster. Don't wait to do it on the bus!
  5. Bring appropriate clothes for your team's presentation.
  6. Finalist presentations, scholarship interviews, expo times and directions are all on our website at http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo. Try to arrive at least 20 minutes before your presentation time.
  7. If you need to call someone this weekend or during our celebration, please have Betsy's cell number handy (505-220-5050) The phone number at the Registration Desk of the Study Center is (505) 667-0824 and it can be used to contact the Challenge Staff between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm on Monday.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, April 13, 2009

Happy April 13th!

Hope it is a lucky day for all of you!

Chance to Win $100

CHECS, the NM Council for Higher Education Computing/Communication Service, believes that any Challenge student who attends the Awards Day ceremony is a winner and will be in the running for a $100 cash prize. We will have the number of your badge in our random number generator computer program and will call out five cash winners throughout the ceremony. What a deal!

Finalists

The finalist judges, volunteers from the labs, university and the computer industry are busy reading all 56 final reports. Lorie Liebrock, Computer Science chair at NMT states, "I looked for modeling (mathematical and computational), relationship to reality including testing and validation (preferably against real data), program, presentation of results (preferably something visual, but in some cases a list of numbers)."

The judges are filling out a web based database and will be picking about five first-round finalists in a conference call, this Wed. the 15th. These five teams will receive a call and will be posted on our home page. They will present Monday morning, between 8 and 12:30 at the University House, next to the Study Center. The schedule will be posted online also. This Judging Criteria will be used during the final judging.

Best Web-based Final Report

Several teams have submitted web-base final reports at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports

Expo

Monday, the 20th, the other teams will present their projects. Be sure to be at the Study Center a half hour before your team's scheduled presentation time so you can get registered and setup to be ready for the Expo Judges to come to your table. Look for your school and team number on http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/expo/exposchedule.shtml. This schedule will be updated after the Finalist Judges conference call Wednesday afternoon.

Each team will have a display poster. Each team will receive immediate feedback. About five teams at the Expo will be chosen as second-round finalists and will present to the finalist judges that afternoon. These presentations will be in the Library below the Study Center of the LANL Research Library. Here is the Expo judges' rubric. In addition to the poster display, a (laptop) computer can be used during the presentation. If you are bringing a laptop, make sure you understand these requirements. Please dress appropriately for a professional presentation.

Tours

After their presentations, teams will be able to take tours of the Lab. There are strict rules at the lab so please leave your cell phone, cameras, mp3 players in the bus or your room. 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.

Voting and Posters

All students and teachers will vote on their favorite graphics poster which will become our logo for the 2009 -10 school year. They will also vote on their favorite project which they will view from the display posters. All teams may bring a separate poster for the Logo contest. Teams may choose to have one of their graphics from their Display Board Presentation be their Logo Contest entry. Similarly, teams may indicate on their Display Board Presentation a particular section to be considered for the Technical Poster Award and that will become the cover of the Final Reports publication. Posters must be comprised of original artwork and text! You may not copy or borrow pictures, artwork, slogans, etc. from any outside source without giving credit. Ballots will be given to your teachers when you register at the Study Center.

Meals and Housing

Supper time is on your own on Sunday or Monday. Breakfast is at your hotel. Lunch on Monday is at the Otowi Cafeteria across from the Study Center. Lunch tickets will be given to your teacher. Lunch on Tuesday is at the Awards Day ceremony.

  • Directions and Map to the Hotels, Expo, and Awards Ceremony
  • Hotel arrangements
    • Best Western Hilltop House Hotel
      (Aguilar, Artesia, Bloomfield, Chaparral, Melrose, Navajo Prep, Nuestros Valores, Silver, Albuquerque Academy, Hope Christian, AIMS@UNM)
    • Holiday Inn Express
      (Bosque, Freedom, Jackson Mid, La Cueva, Manzano, Rio Rancho Mid-High, Sandia Prep)

Bradbury Museum and Swimming

Don't forget to attend the Supercomputing Challenge reception at the Bradbury Science Museum, Monday from 5 - 7PM. Bring your swimming suit if you would like to go swimming at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center in Los Alamos. It is located at 2760 Canyon Road, phone number 662-8170, and open Sunday from 1pm - 5pm and Monday from 6am - 8pm.

Scholarship Updates

The esteemed committee of scholarship judges are working on a schedule which they will post shortly. If you do not get an interview, that does not mean that you will not get a scholarship. Interviewees will also be notified by email. You will have to patient until the announcements at the Awards Ceremony.

More New Mexico Science and Engineering Fair Participants

Jake Posten from Los Alamos HS presented his Challenge team's project and won the Mu Alpha Theta award for the most challenging, thorough, and creative investigation of a problem involving modern mathematics and Third Place in Computer Science.

Ethan Clements from Las Alamos MS participated with a non Challenge project How Does Cell Phone Radiation Affect Planaria Growth? and won Third Place in JR Zoology.

Got Questions?

Please contact consult at challenge.nm.org

We are excited about seeing you next week in Los Alamos!

In anticipation,
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, April 6, 2009

Happy April!

Late Breaking Great News!

Silver High School Challenge Team 98 takes 1st Place in the "Team Category" in the 57th New Mexico Science and Engineering Fair. Congratulations to Powell Brown, Ted Benakis, John McCauley and their teacher, Peggy Larisch.

The McCurdy team (68) took 3rd Place in the Senior Team category! Congratulations to Brandon Ramirez, Dennis Trujillo and Francisco Vigil.

Kristin Cordwell, of Mazano team 66, took the First in Senior Mathematics. Congratulations.

Many preparations are occurring behind the scenes this month for our celebration at the Expo/Awards Day ceremony in Los Alamos.

Final Reports

We have received 56 final reports. In our eyes, each and every one of you is a winner! You have participated in an academic marathon and you have met the necessary milestones along the way.

Registration and Plans for the Expo http://challenge.nm.org/expo. Please make sure that you are registered to attend our end of the year celebration. David works hard getting ready for the Expo! He is organizing the tours of Los Alamos National Laboratory and the supercomputer center. He also is lining up demonstrations of the latest in hardware and software technology and scientific computing projects - simulations and graphics. He is working on meals for your stay and a visit to Bradbury Museum on Monday night. The planning feels like having a party for 250 guests and you have find places for them to stay, places to eat, and things for them to do!

Finalist and Expo Judging

The 11 Finalist Judges headed by Michael Trahan from Sandia National Laboratories are currently reading all the 56 final reports submitted. They are looking for the five top projects based on the written reports. They will have a conference call on April 15th where they will pick the top five teams. The teams will be notified by phone and will be listed on the Challenge home page. These first-round finalists will make presentations to the Finalist Judges on Monday morning, the 20th of April.

The two dozen Expo Judges led by Eleanor Walther from Sandia National Laboratories will each review six teams. After all of the teams have presented their work to a panel of three judges, the judges will meet and choose approximately five second-round finalists. The second-round finalist will make presentations to the Finalist Judges on Monday afternoon, the 20th of April. Each team will be assigned a half-hour time slot between 8:30 and 11:30 to present their project to a set of judges. You may bring a laptop if you fill out a form at registration. Here are the guidelines: http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/expo/laptops.shtml

Scholarship Judging

Our five scholarship judges have reviewed all the senior applicants and they are creating a list of students they will interview on Monday morning, April 20th. If you do not get an interview that does not mean you will not get a scholarship. You will have to wait until Awards Day, April 21st to find out.

What Should You Be Doing Behind the Scenes

  1. Continue working on your project so that you can show the judges some more progress.
  2. View our presentation hints on our wiki at http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/wiki/index.php/Presentations
    Practice, practice, practice your presentation.
  3. Optional web presentation of your final report. Visit http://challenge.nm.org/finalreports/html.shtml for more information. These are due April 13th at 8AM.
    Nick Bennett suggests non-linear navigation through the material. This is especially useful for reports with lots of experimental results, lots of separate code files, etc., additional color screen shots of the running programs, or other image contents, beyond what was included in the final report, rich but non-interactive media, e.g. audio and linear Flash animations, and interactive features that implement/demonstrate key model components. Generally, these are either applets (including StarLogo v2.x and NetLogo models) or JavaScript-based forms.
  4. Create a display poster. Guidelines are at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/displayboard.shtml. This is required of each team. The best poster will be placed on next year's final report publication and the creators will win $200 in cash.
  5. Create a graphic logo. This is optional. Guidelines are at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/logo_poster.shtml. Winning logo picked by students and teachers will be on our 2009-10 t-shirt, bags, website, stationary, etc. and will win two crisp hundred dollar bills.

Awards

Here is the list of all the awards: http://challenge.nm.org/expo/awards.shtml
The judges usually come up with a couple more that fit this years' Expo participants.

Guests from Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically)

Approximately 50 GUTS students will be attending our Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, the 21st. We will be setting up a time at lunch where your team could talk with a group of GUTS students to urge them to join the Challenge when they enter high school.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, March 30, 2009

There are many details in this message and on our webpage for this exciting time in the Challenge.

You Have Three days to Get Your Final Reports In!

Guidelines can be found at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/finalreports
The first team to get their report in was Team 61, Sam Baty and Peter Armijo, from Los Alamos Middle School. Their project is entitled Astrophysical N-Body Simulations of Star Clusters. Congratulations! Five final reports have been submitted so far, keep them coming.

Challenge Wiki with Final Paper Tips

Please check out our Wiki done by John Paul Gonzales and Talaya White. There are some hints there for your final reports and your Expo presentation. http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/wiki/index.php/Final_Reports

Expo and Awards Day is the Supercomputing Challenge's end of the year celebration.

The Expo and Awards Day are Monday, April 20th & Tuesday, April 21st. All participants submitting a final report are invited to the Expo and Awards Ceremony at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Visit http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/expo to read details.

Register for the Expo by 1 April 2009

Please register at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/expo/registration.shtml. The Challenge needs to make hotel reservations soon.

Every team attending the Expo is required to give a presentation not to exceed a half-hour on their work to a panel of judges on Monday, April 20th. A display board summarizing your work is mandatory. Using a computer during your presentation is optional. http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/expo/displayboard.shtml

Hotel rooms in Los Alamos will be provided on the evenings of Sunday, April 19th and Monday, April 20th for all registrants who live 150 or more miles away.

These schools are: Aguilar, Artesia, Bloomfield, Chaparral, Melrose, Navajo Prep, Silver, Socorro

Hotel rooms in Los Alamos will be provided for those registrants who live between 60 and 150 miles of Los Alamos on Monday, April 20th.
Schools: AIMS@UNM, Albuquerque Academy, Bosque, Freedom, Hope, Jackson Mid, La Cueva, Manzano, Nuestros Valores, Rio Rancho High, Rio Rancho Mid-High, Sandia Prep

Schools expected to commute on Monday and Tuesday are:
Schools: Aspen Elementary, Barranca Mesa Elementary, Desert Academy, Los Alamos High, Los Alamos Mid, McCurdy, Monte del Sol, NNMC, Santa Fe

Please e-mail Consult at challenge.nm.org if you will NOT need housing for one (or both) of these nights.

Remember, if your team plans to attend, please fill out and submit the form below by WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1st - Make sure you register as a TEAM, not individually. And yes, that is the same day that the Final Reports are due!

By registering to participate in the Expo and Awards Ceremony, you are agreeing to allow the Challenge to use photos and/or video in promotional materials about the Challenge.

What are some of the Awards?

See last week's MMM, below

Supercomputing Challenge Teacher of the Year Award

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

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

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia, and David


Monday Morning Message, March 23, 2009

Happy Spring!

At my house in the mountains, east of Albuquerque, in early spring, the same woodpecker, we believe, pecks on the stove pipe from the wood burning stove. So, it is officially spring at my house. Some of you are on spring break so we will repeat much of this message next week. Read carefully as there are many details here and on our webpage.

The Expo and Awards Day are Monday, April 20th & Tuesday, April 21st. All participants submitting a final report are invited to the Expo and Awards Ceremony at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Expo and Awards Day is the Supercomputing Challenge's end of the year celebration.

Visit http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/expo to read details.

Final Reports due Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Guidelines can be found at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/finalreports
If you would like an online mentor for last minute help with writing your report, please write to consult at challenge dot nm dot org.

Register for the Expo by 1 April 2009

Please register at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/expo/registration.shtml.

Every team attending the Expo is required to give a presentation not to exceed a half-hour on their work to a panel of judges on Monday, April 20th. A display board summarizing your work is mandatory. Using a computer during your presentation is optional. http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/expo/displayboard.shtml

Hotel rooms in Los Alamos will be provided on the evenings of Sunday, April 19th and Monday, April 20th for all registrants who live more than 150 miles away.
These schools are: Aguilar, Artesia, Bloomfield, Chaparral, Melrose, Navajo Prep, Silver, Socorro

Hotel rooms in Los Alamos will be provided for those registrants who live between 60 and 150 miles of Los Alamos on Monday, April 20th.
Schools: AIMS@UNM, Albuquerque Academy, Bosque, Freedom, Hope, Jackson Mid, La Cueva, Manzano, Nuestros Valores, Rio Rancho High, Rio Rancho Mid-High, Sandia Prep

Schools expected to commute on Monday and Tuesday are:
Schools: Aspen Elementary, Barranca Mesa Elementary, Desert Academy, Los Alamos High, Los Alamos Mid, McCurdy, Monte del Sol, NNMC, Santa Fe

Please e-mail Consult at challenge.nm.org if you will NOT need housing for one (or both) of these nights.

Remember, if your team plans to attend, please fill out and submit the form below by WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1st - Make sure you register as a TEAM, not individually. And yes, that is the same day that the Final Reports are due!

By registering to participate in the Expo and Awards Ceremony, you are agreeing to allow the Challenge to use photos and/or video in promotional materials about the Challenge.

What are some of the Awards?

In addition to being an educational experience, the Challenge is a competition. It is designed to encourage students to perform at the highest possible level. While we recognize that many first-time participants may feel as though they cannot compete with more experienced students, there are many levels of recognition that can be attained for participants of all level.

As the year goes on, we continue to solicit awards from various sponsors so this list will probably change by April.

  • First Place Team: Each student on the team will receive a $1,000.00 Savings Bond. The teacher will receive a donation of computer equipment for their use in their classroom.
  • Second Place Team: Each student on the team will receive a $500.00 Savings Bond. The teacher will receive a donation of computer equipment for their use in their classroom.
  • Honorable Mention Teams: Each student and sponsoring teacher on the team will receive a Gift.

The following are anticipated as additional awards consisting of trophies and/or plaques:

Additional Team Awards

  • Judges Special Recognitions
  • Poster Contest
    • Technical Poster (Display Board) - $200
    • Graphics Logo Poster - $200
  • Teamwork - New Mexico CHECS
  • Best Written Report - Society for Technical Communications
  • Best Professional Presentation - Albuquerque Journal
  • Electronic Search and Browse - New Mexico CHECS
  • Teamwork Award - New Mexico CHECS
  • High Performance Computing - Cray
  • Creativity and Innovation - Sandia National Laboratories
  • Environmental Modeling - LANL
  • NMNWSE award - The New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering (NMNWSE) will present an award to the best project by a woman or a team with a majority of women. The award will consist of $50 for the team to split, plus for each team member a CD of our booklet "Careers: Exploring the Possibilities" (also available online at http://nmnwse.org), a NMNWSE book bag, and an NMNWSE award certificate. NMNWSE is sponsoring this award to promote gender equity and to encourage female students to continue their studies in math and science.
  • Senator Jeff Bingaman Middle School Award -
  • Best Web presentation of a Final Report
  • Best Use of StarLogo - SFI/MIT
  • Teachers' Choice
  • Students' Choice - New Mexico Technology Council
  • Five $100 awards from New Mexico CHECS. These awards will be given randomly to a student or teacher in attendance at the Awards Ceremony.

Supercomputing Challenge Teacher of the Year Award

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

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

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia, and David


Monday Morning Message, March 16, 2009

Greetings!

Hope the Ides of March didn't affect you in any negative way! In Roman times, there was a celebration and a parade. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated, in 44 BC, the story of which was famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar

Assistance with Final Report, Due April 1st

Your final report is due in 15 days, just over two weeks. Write to Consult if you want someone from the Society of Technical Writers to help you edit your report.

Registration for the Expo

Registration to attend the Expo on April 20th and the Awards Ceremony on April 21st will open up next week. Any team submitting a final report (due April 1st) is automatically invited to attend the Expo and Awards Ceremony. Schools located more than 150 miles from Los Alamos can travel on Sunday afternoon and present in the Expo early on Monday morning. Schools located within 150 miles from Los Alamos can travel to Los Alamos on Monday morning and present later in the morning. The Award Ceremony on the 21st will end about noon and be followed by lunch. The Challenge will cover the cost of the hotel rooms and lunches.

Still Not too Late for a Phone Call

Nick Salazar, Representative from Espanola in the NM Legislature, has proposed a bill in the House for the Supercomputing Challenge. It is #679. We would appreciate it very much if you would call your representative or have your parents and relatives call your representative and tell them to support House Bill 679 for the Supercomputing Challenge. You can see a listing of office assignments for the representatives at http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/lcsdocs/office_assignments.pdf. If you do not know who your representative is, please go to http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislatorsearch.aspx and follow the directions by placing your zip code or district in the request. Please drop Consult a note after you call so we know which districts we still need to target. You can also send an email but a phone call is quickly tallied for the representatives. Thanks!

Scholarship Update

We hope to give away more than $80,000 worth of scholarships this year. We are lucky once again to have $50,000 from Los Alamos Computer, Computational, and Statistical Sciences (CCS) Division. We also have school specific scholarships for in-state schools and flexible scholarships for other schools. We will have an Alice King Memorial Scholarship. Alice, wife of Governor Bruce King, was a supporter of the Challenge in the early 90's. It will be a four year scholarship granting $2000 a year.

We have 34 applicants. Their packets are now with our esteemed scholarship committee: Nick Bennett, Consult's own consultant, Dr. Shaun Cooper, CIO, NMSU, Janet Rolsma and Dana Roberson from DOEAL, part of the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the retired Dr. Willard Smith from NASA and TN University.

Applicants may be called in for an interview on Monday, April 20th in Los Alamos. Or they may not be interviewed but will have to wait until Awards Day on the 21st to find out if they received a scholarship. Best of luck to each of you!

Science Link

"Los Alamos Laboratory scientists have produced the world's first Map of Science-a high-resolution graphic depiction of the virtual trails scientists leave behind when they retrieve information from online services." Check it out at http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php/fuseaction/nb.story/story_id/15968/nb_date/2009-03-12 "This "Map of Science" illustrates the online behavior of scientists accessing different scientific journals, publications, aggregators, etc. Colors represent the scientific discipline of each journal, based on disciplines classified by the Getty Research Institute's Art and Architecture Thesaurus, while lines reflect the navigation of users from one journal to another when interacting with scholarly web portals."

SSS - Summer Satellite Sites

We are talking with almost all quadrants for the state to hold a week long class, June 22 - 26th, for mid and high school teachers and students. We hope this community of learners will be leaders for GUTS Clubs and Challenge teams for the 2009 - 2010 school year. The sites we are thinking about are Raton, Artesia, Melrose, T or C, Farmington, Penasco/Taos, Santa Fe, and ABQ. Students will attend from 9 -12 and teachers from 9 - 3. There will be a distance learning portion which works on problem solving through programming. Contact Consult if you think you are interested in this great experience!

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia and David


Tuesday Morning Message, March 10, 2009

Good Day,

We had our annual tours yesterday at Sandia National Laboratories and UNM's Center for High Performance Computing, ARTS Lab, Computer Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. We would like to thank all the volunteers at Sandia and UNM for their assistance. Teams from Jackson Mid School, Freedom High, Nuestros Valores Charter School, Artesia High, Northern NM College, Los Alamos Middle School, Desert Academy and McCurdy attended. Teams from Artesia and Northern participated in tutorial sessions on their projects on Sunday. Hope you can join us next year.

A Phone Call Please

Nick Salazar, Representative from Espanola in the NM Legislature, has proposed a bill in the House for the Supercomputing Challenge. It is # 679. We would appreciate it very much if you would call your representative or have your parents and relatives call your representative and tell them to support House Bill 679 for the Supercomputing Challenge. You can see a listing of office assignments for the representatives at http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/lcsdocs/office_assignments.pdf. If you do not know who your representative is, please go to http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislatorsearch.aspx and follow the directions by placing your zip code or district in the request. Please drop Consult a note after you call so we know which districts we still need to target. You can also send an email but a phone call is quickly tallied for the representatives. Thanks!

Assistance with Final Report, Due April 1st (and that is no joke!)

Please write to Consult if your team wants some help. We will then assign you to a writing coach from the Society of Technical Writers! Here are some tips for citing Internet references, editing, how to write a scientific report, etc. http://challenge.nm.org/resources/index.shtml#writing

Career Sites

http://schooltoworld.org
In its 10th year, the annual School to World event offers 8th and 9th grade students insight into the world of careers. Albuquerque businesses, local government, and education have come together again to present 8th and 9th grade students with School to World, an event to light the pathway towards future education and career choices. Saturday, March 14, 2009 at the Albuquerque Convention Center from 9 am to 1 pm.

Cognito

http://www.cogito.org
There are links to Young Scientists in the News, Summer Programs, Webcasts, and Interviews with Scientists. Cogito is a great resource website. Take a look at their recent on-line interview with Erika and Tony, our first place winners from last year: http://www.cogito.org/Interviews/InterviewsDetail.aspx?ContentID=17633#qanda

We are enjoying the rain and snow which will help us in central NM with fire danger.

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, March 2, 2009

Happy March,

We have one more mid-track evaluation at Chaparral Mid and High this month and we will have finished our statewide process. If you have questions of the mentors who gave you feedback, it is appropriate to drop them a note. These people can become your team's advocate as they note your progress throughout the year.

Annual Tours

We are excited that over 75 people will be attending our tours at Sandia National Laboratories and UNM, next Monday, March 9th. Please check http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/sandiatour/ for details.

Final Reports

In less than one month, each team must submit a final report. Guidelines can be found at http://challenge.nm.org/finalreports/specs.shtml We will soon offer more assistance in this area. Teams are further encouraged (but not required) to submit a Web-based Presentation of the final report. An award for the "Best Web-based Presentation of a Final Report" will be given during the Awards Ceremony.

Society for Technical Communications

We are pleased to offer some assistance for the writing of your final report. We are collaborating with four volunteers from the Society for Technical Communications. They have offered to help edit your reports before you turn them in. Final reports are due

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at NOON. Deadline to submit final report.

So, if your team would like some assistance, please write to consult at challenge dot nm dot org and we will match you up with a volunteer.

Supercomputing Challenge/Project GUTS Satellite Centers

Students and teachers, plan on attending a week long computational science camp near you! We are planning some exciting camps the week of June 21th - 26th, mornings in your neighborhood. More details will be announced soon.

Summer Teacher Institute

Teachers, please save the dates July 20 - 31st. The Project GUTS / Supercomputing Challenge Summer Teacher Institute (STI) will be held in Socorro, NM at NM Tech again this year. As in previous years, STI is a great opportunity to learn to use innovative technologies in science education, learn about being a Project GUTS club leader and Challenge team sponsor, brush up on your skills, learn some new concepts, and join in our vibrant community of learners. Graduate credit will be offered through NM Tech

Hope you can join us! Please write to sti09core at challenge.nm.org if you are planning to attend ASAP.

Science Link

New Mexico's computer center inks DreamWorks Animation deal

http://losangeles.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2009/02/16/daily23.html

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. is teaming up with Cerelink Digital Media Group of New Mexico to use the resources of the Computing Applications Center so DreamWorks can render its three-dimensional films in New Mexico.

From Wikipedia - Rendering is the process of generating an image from a model, by means of computer programs. The model is a description of three-dimensional objects in a strictly defined language or data structure. It would contain geometry, viewpoint, texture, lighting, and shading information. The image is a digital image or raster graphics image. The term may be by analogy with an "artist's rendering" of a scene. 'Rendering' is also used to describe the process of calculating effects in a video editing file to produce final video output.

Sincerely yours,
The Challenge Management Team


Monday Morning Message, February 23, 2009

Good Day,

Almost all our mid term evaluations have occurred. We have one more at NM Tech, this coming weekend when four schools will present: Artesia High, Hope Christian, Sandia Prep and Socorro High.

Annual Tours to Sandia or UNM

Today is the last day to reserve your space at either our Sandia or UNM tour. Please contact sandiatour09 at challenge dot nm dot org if you are interested in attending.

Scholarship applications are due February 28th!

Visit http://challenge.nm.org/expo/scholarships.shtml

4th Annual Young Researchers Banquet - May 1, 2009

This banquet is an evening that celebrates NM Academic Athletes who star in academic competitions, conduct research, and work in innovative programs. Keynote speaker, Andy Bell, Robotics Education Manager of LEGO North America, will highlight the new and exciting educational possibilities of Legos. Join Industry, University, and K-12 leaders to meet and welcome our up and coming Young Researchers into the STEM community. http://gotoif.org/banquet.html

Contact consult at challenge dot nm dot org if you are interested in attending.

Math and Science Day at the Legislature

The Consult Management team with John Paul Gonzales and Talaya White will be representing the Challenge at the legislature on Tuesday, the 24th. We will share all the t-shirts students have created, posters, final reports with all the schools participating and all the top ten projects from last year, and videos of the Expo.

Modeling Link

Carl Bogardus, from Chapparal Mid, sends us this new way of counting.

http://www.mpg.de/english/illustrationsDocumentation/documentation/pressReleases/2009/pressRelease20090211/index.html

How many different sudokus are there? How many different ways are there to color in the countries on a map? And how do atoms behave in a solid? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and at Cornell University (Ithaca, USA) have now developed a new method that quickly provides an answer to these questions. In principle, there has always been a way to solve them. However, computers were unable to find the solution as the calculations took too long. With the new method, the scientists look at separate sections of the problem and work through them one at a time. Up to now, each stage of the calculation has involved the whole map or the whole sudoku. The answers to many problems in physics, mathematics and computer science can be provided in this way for the first time. (New Journal of Physics, February 4, 2009)

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia and David
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting


Tuesday Morning Message, February 17, 2009

Greetings,

Hope you enjoyed both Valentine's and Presidents' Day! It is nice to have a little vacation time to eat all the chocolates.

Project Evaluations

Please get to your evaluation site at least 15 minutes before your assigned time so that the schedule flows.

Reports from UNM, Los Alamos, state that there was some technical difficulty; it is great idea to have plan B, if you have technical difficulties. Valentine goodies were seen at the Santa Fe Community College presentations and GUTS Round Tables. Melrose, how did it go at Eastern? Bloomfield, Navajo Prep, how did it go at San Juan College?

Presentations will take place this coming Thursday, the 19th, and Saturday, the 21st at
Thursday, February 19, 2009 - New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas
Thursday, February 19, 2009 - Albuquerque Academy
Saturday, February 21, 2009 - Northern New Mexico College - Espanola
Saturday, February 21, 2009 - University of New Mexico - Albuquerque

For up-to-date evaluation scheduling, stay tuned to http://challenge.nm.org/evaluations

Sandia and UNM Tours, 9 March 2009

Details are shaping up for these two tours! Learn more at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/sandiatour

There still is room; just write to consult at challenge dot nm dot org

If you are interested in a tutorial on Sunday afternoon, 8 March, at the Holiday Inn, please write to Consult.

Challenge Scholarships

Details are available at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/scholarships.shtml

We are organizing a memorial scholarship in honor of Alice King. The wife of longtime NM Governor Bruce King, Alice was a supporter of the Challenge in the early 90's. The scholarship is renewable over four years for a total of $8000.

Science Link

Happy Belated Darwin's 200th Birthday.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126957.400-darwin-200-planting-the-seeds-of-an-idea.html
from New Scientist

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin#Journey_of_the_Beagle
Journey of the Beagle

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia and David
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult at challenge dot nm dot org


Monday Morning Message, February 9, 2009

Good Day!

Peggy Larisch, teacher sponsor at Silver High School, reports that at the project evaluation last week the judges gave very good support and excellent pointers to make Silver High's project even better.

Project Evaluation

This coming week we have evaluations at UNM-Los Alamos, Eastern, and Santa Fe Community College. Your presentations should give a summary of your project, what you have done to this point in your research, agent based or mathematical model, code and what your next steps are. For up-to-date evaluation scheduling, stay tuned to http://challenge.nm.org/evaluations

Sandia and UNM Tours, 9 March 2009

Details are shaping up for these two tours! There still is room; just write to consult at challenge dot nm dot org

If you are interested in a tutorial on Sunday afternoon, 8 March, at the Holiday Inn, please write to Consult.

The UNM/Challenge Tour Schedule is:

8:15 IF you are staying at the Holiday Inn, leave for UNM

8:30 Arrive at HPC@UNM Center for High Performance Computing
8:30 Tour Visualization Lab with Victor Vergara
9:30 Tour HPC and Machine Room with Tim Thomas
10:30 Tour of ARTS Lab with Eric Whitmore
11:30 Lunch in Centennial Engineering Center with the Computer Science Department Faculty.
12:30 Tours of the ECE@UNM: Electrical & Computer Engineering Department
3:00 Departure

Learn more at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/sandiatour

Challenge Scholarships

Details are available at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/scholarships.shtml

We are organizing a four year memorial Alice King Scholarship that over four years would add up to $8000. The wife of longtime NM Governor King, Alice was a supporter of the Challenge in the early 90's.

Presenting Data and More

Podcast coming soon. Stay tuned.

Are you ready for 'R'? Need help analyzing, visualizing or manipulating data?

R is free and open source software, available for Unix, Windows and Macs.

R is a system for statistical computation and graphics. It consists of a language plus a run-time environment with graphics, a debugger, access to certain system functions, and the ability to run programs stored in script files.

Links
http://www.r-project.org
http://cran.r-project.org/doc/FAQ/R-FAQ.html
http://cran.r-project.org/bin/macosx/RMacOSX-FAQ.html
http://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/base/rw-FAQ.html

For assistance with R, write to Drew Einhorn, Pythonista and Finalist judge.

Supercomputing Link

Oklahoma University Supercomputing Center for Education & Research is holding a workshop series entitled "Supercomputing in Plain English" Tuesdays at 1:30 this semester. Check it out at: http://www.oscer.ou.edu/education.php. They post the PowerPoint slides, which are very good, and you can watch the series with QuickTime or via the Access Grid. The Access Grid manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory would be happy to help your school connect to the Access Grid for this (and other) classes. The Access Grid software is free so all you need is a laptop and projection system. Let Consult know if you are interested.

Science Link

From Randy Gaylor, Artesia High Library Guy

For the Blind, Technology Does What a Guide Dog Can't http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/business/04blind.html?partner=rss

Frito Pie and Computing Party

We have had only three people who have "rsvped" for our frito pie and computing party at the Santa Fe Complex on Valentine's Day from 3 - ? Please let Celia know if you are interested in joining us. We may have to cancel our plans at this time.

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia and David
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult at challenge dot nm dot org


Monday Morning Message, February 2, 2009

Happy February!

There is good news from the Challenge management team. The Challenge was awarded a $5000 award from Google for a distance learning component for our student and teacher summer camps. More to come!

Project Evaluation

Thursday, February fifth, we will have four judges at Silver High for their mid course evaluation. For up-to-date scheduling at other evaluation sites, stay tuned to http://challenge.nm.org/evaluations

Sandia and UNM Tours, 9 March 2009

Signup Deadline: February 23rd. We still have space for our two tours on Monday, March 9th at Sandia National Laboratories and UNM's Center for High Performance Computing, ARTS Lab, Computer Science and ECE (Electrical and Computing Engineering). Write to consult at challenge dot nm dot org if you are interested in attending one of these tours. First come first served. Details can be found at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/sandiatour

Seniors Only: Challenge Scholarships

Details are available at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/scholarships.shtml

All scholarship applicants are subject to the following:

  • be an active member of a Supercomputing Challenge team
  • plan to attend a four-year university
  • pursue a computing, engineering, mathematics or science major
  • Meet the university GPA requirements
Any senior student wishing to be considered for a scholarship award MUST submit the following by February 28th, 2009:
  1. A letter describing his/her contribution to the team project with an emphasis on the specific areas of leadership.
  2. The sponsoring teacher MUST endorse the team member's letter and outline the qualities and examples from the teacher's perspective.
  3. A letter from the Project Mentor and/or other team members may also provide supporting statements of this individual's role and contribution to the team effort.
  4. A recent transcript, which can be sent via US Mail to:
    Supercomputing Challenge
    Scholarship Committee
    P. O. Box 30102
    Albuquerque, NM 87190
    or faxed to 505-265-9750.

We'd like to know what college you plan to attend. Please include that information.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all documentation, including supportive statements, are sent to: scholarship09 at challenge dot nm dot org

Presenting Data

Several of our Consult family attended an interesting workshop last Friday by Edward Tufte on Data Presentation and Analysis. We will soon have a webinar on this topic.

In the technical portion of our website, http://www.challenge.nm.org/ctg there is a section about GnuPlot and a tutorial for it. It is a powerful tool used to create plots of data and functions. It might be appropriate for the presentation of your data.

Science Link

Alaska is known for dramatic scenery. Eruption risk from Alaska volcano is rising.
http://features.csmonitor.com/innovation/2009/01/29/usgs-eruption-risk-from-alaska-volcano-rising

Frito Pie and Computing Party

Join us at the http://www.sfcomplex.org Santa Fe Complex on Valentine's Day from 3 - ?. Please RSVP by writing celia at pobox dot com so we can send you and your family and friends parking instructions and also so we know how many Fritos to order!

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia and David
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult at challenge dot nm dot org


Monday Morning Message, January 26, 2009

Good Day,

It has been said that much learning takes place from January to March during the school year. Your participation in the Challenge proves that statement true. We have Interim feedback, January Peer Reviews, For the Love of Computing at the Santa Fe Complex, February Face to Face Evaluations, Senior Scholarship Applications Due (Details next week) and March Tours, March 9th (See below for new info on our tours!)

Project Evaluation

We will have presentations at Eastern, Chaparral Mid and High School, Silver High School, NM Tech, UNM, Santa Fe Community College, Highlands University, Northern New Mexico College and San Juan Community College, from February 5th - 28th. This looks like a statewide program to us. For current scheduling, continue to view http://challenge.nm.org/evaluations

March Tours, March 9th

We are planning two tours, of about 50 people each, for Monday, March 9th at Sandia National Laboratories and UNM's Center for High Performance Computing, ARTS Lab, Computer Science and ECE (Electrical and Computing Engineering). Write to consult at challenge dot nm dot org if you are interested in attending one of these tours. First come first served. Details can be found at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/sandiatour

Peer Review

You have five days to get in your peer presentation for January. Invite your parents, have some pizza and share your projects this week!

More Summer Possibilities

  1. Sandia Presents Johns Hopkins Summer Engineering Innovation Program - June 1 - July 10, Albuquerque Academy, scholarships available, see: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/2009_EngineeringInnovation.pdf
  2. MESA Hispanic Youth Symposium - July 15th - 18th, UNM, For sophomores, juniors, or seniors in the fall of 2009, http://www.hispanicyouth.org/symposium-new-mexico
  3. Challenge Student and Teacher Two Week Summer Camps - tentatively July 20 - 31st, location TBA. Write to consult if you are interested.

Science Link

Visualization of scientific information can take on many forms. Check out this Large Hadron Rap from CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j50ZssEojtM

Facebook

Join us at the group for NM Supercomputing Challenge at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=30158730945&ref=ts and join in a conversation.

Frito Pie and Computing Party

Join us at the Santa Fe Complex on Valentine's Day from 3 - ?. Please RSVP by writing celia at pobox dot com so we can send you and your family and friends parking instructions and also so we know how many Fritos to order!

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia and David
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult at challenge dot nm dot org


Tuesday Morning Message, January 20, 2009

Challenge Community,

We hope you enjoyed your day off.

Project Evaluation

Continue to check out our page at http://challenge.nm.org/evaluations to see the current time and date for your team's presentation. The judges will be asking your team about your agent based or mathematical model, your code, etc. You will receive a copy of the evaluation after your presentation:
http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations/judging_form.html

Peer Review

Practice! Practice! Practice! You could video your team doing a presentation as it could provide valuable feedback. You want a professional presentation for your February presentation.

Email Interim Feedback

If your team has not received any feedback, please contact consult at challenge dot nm dot org.

Summer Possibilities

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Junior Scholars program is a summer employment opportunity for engineering aids geared toward undergraduate and upper high school science and engineering bound students. It provides students the chance to work side-by-side with AFRL scientists and engineers working on next-generation space, laser and optics systems. Applicants must be at least 16 years old. If you are interested in applying, contact Jennifer Donaldson, at 505-853-7676. Deadline for candidates is February 16, 2009.

Other Summer opportunities

Science Link

An Antarctic Weddell seal playfully opens its mouth as another seal approaches. A "seal cam" attached to the back of the approaching seal took the photo. Seal cam is an on-going National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported project where scientists use seals as "eyes" to see.
http://www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/mmg_disp.cfm?med_id=51950

Invitation for Valentine's Day for GUTS/Challenge Families in Central and Northern NM

Who - You, your family, scientists, mathematicians
What - Frito Pie and exploring with visualization, complexity and simulation
When - Saturday, Feb. 14th, 3 PM - 7?
Where - Santa Fe Complex, 624 Agua Fria St.
Why - For fun and to build community
Bring your favorite game or your project evaluation.

Sincerely yours,
Betsy, Celia and David
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult at challenge dot nm dot org


Monday Afternoon Message, January 12, 2009

The Challenge Board of Directors meet quarterly to work on strategic planning, funding, budget, and legislative action. This quarters' meeting will be held at the Santa Fe Complex. They have amazing computer applications in science and art in the areas of complexity, simulation and visualization http://www.sfcomplex.org. We will soon be announcing a GUTS/Challenge Open House at the complex. Stay tuned for the details.

Interim Feedback

By January 19th, the 68 teams who have submitted an interim report will get an email feedback. Please pick a person on your team to write back to those judges. If you have not received an email by next Monday, please let us know.

January Peer Review

We hear that teams in Artesia are inviting community people to come hear their teams' presentations. That is a good model. Anyone else have any January Peer Review to share?

February Project Evaluations

We are working on our schedule for the face-to-face project evaluations and the first draft is available at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations. You can have a PowerPoint to help you talk about your project. Here are ten tips for excellent presentations: Effective Presentations PPT

You could also make a web page by using free and easy Google Sites at: http://sites.google.com. You could have a link for each of these areas.

  • the definition of the problem
  • your plan for solving the problem computationally
  • a description of the progress you have made up to this time
  • the results you expect to get
  • and at least five citations of information you have referenced.

Computational Math

Visit this site to see if any of the virtual manipulatives or tutorials are helpful for your project.

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
"The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) is an NSF supported project that began in 1999 to develop a library of uniquely interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives or concept tutorials, mostly in the form of Java applets, for mathematics instruction (K-12 emphasis). The project includes dissemination and extensive internal and external evaluation."

Science Link

Reversing Time to Find Wave Sources at one of our primary sponsors, LANL.

http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php/fuseaction/1663.article/d/200808/id/14242

Please note the graphical simulations of the seismic waves of an earthquake. One of our Los Alamos student's dad works on the time reversal team.

Sincerely,
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, January 5, 2009

Here's to a Happy and Healthy New Year!

The Challenge year starts getting busier and busier as the year progresses: January Peer Review, February Face to Face Evaluations, Senior Applications for Scholarships, March Albuquerque Tours, and Final Reports, optional logo or HTML contest, Expo Board, and Expo and Awards Day, all in April. We will explain each of these milestones as they come up. You can read about them now at Challenge Dates.

Interim Reports

We are proud of the 60 teams whose Interim Reports are on our website. When you signed on in September, you committed to a school year long project and you are moving towards keeping that commitment. You have written two shorts technical reports, your proposal and interim reports. You are learning teamwork and time management. You are working with experts in science, math and technology as your team mentors. Go teams, go!

Interim Feedback

By January 19th, you will receive some email feedback about your interim report. It is polite to write back to the person who provided feedback and thank them for their time and expertise. They would love to answer any questions you might have about their feedback. Wise teams pay attention to the feedback they receive, as these judges and mentors become your advocates.

January Peer Review

Anita Gerlach from 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. Learn more

Computational Math

Shodar Foundation shares some Interactive Activities at http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/activities As a math learner, you may find some fun activity with fractals and tessellations or to help you understand some statistics, geometry, probability algebra, modeling, or discrete function that will help you with your Challenge project (or your math homework)!

Science Link

Hang out with happy people and you will be happy! And from Randy Gaylor, Artesia and others read this article Social Networks and Happiness: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/christakis_fowler08/christakis_fowler08_index.html Note the references and network figure.

Sincerely,
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, December 15, 2008

This will be our last message of the year. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday time and a Happy New Year! We will resume our messages in early January 2009.

Interims

Early this morning, there were 10 Interim Reports. We hope to receive 20 a day till the due date on Friday, the 19th! Remember to share your research and your mentor in your report.

February Project Evaluations

Be thinking about when and where you want to make your presentation. Once the Interims are posted, we will being scheduling team presentation times so check out http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations and look at http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations/schedule.shtml which will be filled out starting next week, or maybe the first week of January. If you have a preference of time, or a conflict, please let Consult know.

Math Resources

Here is a good math resource: The Mathematical Atlas. http://www.math-atlas.org
"This is a collection of short articles designed to provide an introduction to the areas of modern mathematics and pointers to further information, as well as answers to some common questions."

The tour takes you to the Computational and Informational Sciences which are the backbone to the Challenge.

Scientific American

Our winning team from last year, Erika DeBenedictis and Tony Huang, are quoted in the December 8, 2008 issue of Scientific American.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=siemens-prizes-high-school

They talk about teamwork. We feel that the Challenge allows you to participate in authentic learning and assessment and teaches the essential 21st century skill of teamwork.

Cool Computing

An update from one of our Board of Directors, Tony Giancola from Strategic Analytics.

HexBugs has their new robots out. The Inchworm is IR controllable, and the Crab hides in dark places until light hits if or a loud noise and they scurry around until they find another dark place. http://www.hexbug.com

Happy Holidays!

Betsy, Celia and David


Tuesday Morning Message, December 9, 2008

Good Day,

Hope you are enjoying the cool nights and the warm days, and it looks like winter is here.

Extra! Extra! Extra!

Erika DeBenedictus and Tony Huang are the $40,000 team winners in the Siemens Westinghouse Competition. That is third place. Read all about it at: http://www.siemens-foundation.org/pool/documents/national_winners_releasefinal.pdf. They are last year's winners of the Supercomputing Challenge.

Interim Reports

Congratulations to Team 38, an all girl team receiving dual credit for a Supercomputing Class from Northern NM College. They were the first ones to get their Interim report in.

You have 10 days to get your Interim reports submitted. We hope that you realize you made a school year long commitment when you joined our community and that you can keep that commitment by getting in your Interim Report.

Podcasts

We found a podcast from Sandia Prep's International Radio at http://recap.ltd.uk/podcasting/schools/sandiaprepradio.php

What a good way for your team to talk about your project! The more you talk about it, the more practiced your presentations will be.

Programming Tutorials

Your team should be starting to create either agent based or mathematical models for your project. You also should be working on your code. Here are some tutorials to help you:

  1. Greg Malone from Project GUTS has done some neat video tutorials for StarLogo TNG. Check it out at http://projectguts.org/?q=node/2808
  2. The Challenge website has a Technical Guide at http://challenge.nm.org/ctg where you can find other programming tutorials.

Please use our mentor database at to find an individual programming consultant/mentor: http://challenge.nm.org/resources/mentors.shtml

Math Circles

James Taylor from Santa Fe Prep has sent us these topics from Math Circles. They fit perfectly into our continued conversation about mathematics.

The Best,
Consult Management Team
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, December 1, 2008

Friends, Countrymen and Women,

Lend us your eyes (so you can read this message)! Can you believe that it's already December? Winter break is soon approaching and your team has a commitment to fulfill before you can go on break.

Interim Reports

You have 20 days, less than three weeks to submit your Interim Report online. By mid January, you will receive another email containing feedback from a different judge/mentor. These people can become your team's advocates as they watch your project focus and improve. So click here to read the guidelines and see Interim Reports already submitted:
http://challenge.nm.org/interims
This link is ready on the Challenge web page for you when you are ready to submit your interim.

Mathematics and Erika and Tony

We wish Erika DeBenedictis and Tony Huang, Challenge Winners in 2008, the best of luck as they compete in the Siemens National Finals in New York, December 5 - December 8th. Their project is entitled Optimizing the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo Algorithm for Multi-Core Processors. Winners receive scholarships from $20-$100,000.

You can watch their presentation on Sunday, December 7 and the Press Conference on Monday, December 8 when the winners will be announced. http://mapdigital.com/events/siemens/sc08

So what is the Monte Carlo Algorithm or method?

The name "Monte Carlo" was coined by physicist Nicholas Metropolis (inspired by Stanislaw Ulam's interest in poker) during the Manhattan Project of World War II, because of the similarity of statistical simulation to games of chance, and because the capital of Monaco was a center for gambling and similar pursuits. Monte Carlo is now used routinely in many diverse fields, from physics to economics, to the mundane, such as the simulation of a Bingo game etc...

Learn more about this algorithm at http://mathworld.wolfram.com/MonteCarloMethod.html

Supercomputing

Get your own supercomputer. Experience cluster level computing performance-up to 250 times faster than standard PCs and workstations-right at your desk. It has parallel computing architecture and powered by up to 960 parallel processing cores.
http://www.nvidia.com/object/personal_supercomputing.html
Site suggested by Eleanor Walther, head Expo judge.

What does that all mean?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Parallel computing is a form of computation in which many calculations are carried out simultaneously,[1] operating on the principle that large problems can often be divided into smaller ones, which are then solved concurrently ("in parallel"). There are several different forms of parallel computing: bit-level-, instruction-level-, data-, and task parallelism. Parallelism has been employed for many years, mainly in high-performance computing, but interest in it has grown lately due to the physical constraints preventing frequency scaling.[2] As power consumption by computers has become a concern in recent years,[3] parallel computing has become the dominant paradigm in computer architecture, mainly in the form of multicore processors.[4]

Wikipedia as a Research Tool

We promote the Challenge as a research, inquiry problem based project. Should we be using Wikipedia as a research tool? Some teachers do not allow it as a source. What do you think? Here is a piece about Wikipedia on Wikipedia:

Wikipedia is a free, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites) and encyclopedia. Wikipedia's 10 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone who can access the Wikipedia website. Launched in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, it is currently the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet.

Critics of Wikipedia target its systemic bias and inconsistencies and its policy of favoring consensus over credentials in its editorial process. Wikipedia's reliability and accuracy are also an issue. Other criticisms are centered on its susceptibility to vandalism and the addition of spurious or unverified information. Scholarly work suggests that vandalism is generally short-lived.

Stunning Sky tonight!

Space Weather News for Monday, Dec. 1, 2008
http://spaceweather.com

When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look south. Beaming through the twilight is one of the prettiest things you'll ever see--a tight three-way conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent Moon. The event is visible from all parts of the world, even from light-polluted cities. People in New York and Hong Kong will see it just as clearly as astronomers watching from remote mountaintops. Only cloudy weather or a midnight sun (sorry Antarctica!) can spoil the show.

The great conjunction offers something extra to Europeans. For more than an hour on Monday evening, the crescent Moon will actually eclipse Venus. Astronomers call such an event a "lunar occultation." Venus emerging from the dark edge of the Moon is a remarkably beautiful sight. Sky watchers across Europe will be able to see this happen.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for photos, webcasts and more information.

Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, November 24, 2008

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

We have much to be thankful for as an organization. We have the best students in New Mexico. Our teachers, mentors, judges and Board of Directors volunteer their precious time and superb expertise!

Feedback

If you have received feedback from one of the Challenge mentors, please respond to their thoughts and suggestions. Please let consult @ challenge.nm.org know if you did not receive any team feedback and we will fix that problem!

Interim Reports

You have 25 days to write and submit your Interim reports. Guidelines are available at http://challenge.nm.org/interims. You need to cite some research about your project, the progress you have made and the path you are taking to complete your project. Please state if you have a mentor also.

Math and Science Link

Continuing to discuss that mathematical language, we shed some light on Fibonacci Numbers. The Fibonacci numbers are Nature's numbering system. They appear everywhere in Nature, from the leaf arrangement in plants, to the pattern of the florets of a flower, the bracts of a pinecone, or the scales of a pineapple. The Fibonacci numbers are therefore applicable to the growth of every living thing, including a single cell, a grain of wheat, a hive of bees, and even all of mankind.And yes in the Season 1 episode "Sabotage" (2005) of the television crime drama NUMB3RS, math genius Charlie Eppes mentions that the Fibonacci numbers are found in the structure of crystals and the spiral of galaxies and a nautilus shell. Wikipedia states that In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are a sequence of numbers named after Leonardo of Pisa, known as Fibonacci. Fibonacci's 1202 book Liber Abaci introduced the sequence to Western European mathematics, although the sequence had been previously described in Indian mathematics.

Here is a site that explains this sequence in more detail.
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/FibonacciNumber.html

Cool Computing

Futurework 2020 is a contest for students in Middle and High-school to anticipate the new kinds of jobs that will be available in the year 2020 that are not available today. In addition to defining the jobs, students will identify the skills that people will need to get one of these new jobs. http://www.tcse-k12.org/futurework

Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, November 17, 2008

Challenge Community,

So do you have five research citations ready for your Interim Report?

Can you find the necessary consultants/mentors for your project?

Have you responded to your proposal feedback?

Have you set up a school visit?
We have only heard from one school. We thank John Paul Gonzales, Santa Fe Complex, Talaya White, Project GUTS and David Kratzer, LANL, for working in Farmington with teams from Bloomfield High and Navajo Prep a couple of weeks ago.

Congratulations!

Erika DeBenedictus and Tony Huang, last year's Challenge first place winners, have won the Regional Competition in Austin, TX, of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology and have advanced to the finals! They will compete in New York City in early December against five other nationally selected teams for a top prize of $100,000 scholarship. This is a prestigious honor for Erika and Tony and we extend hearty congratulations. Erika and Tony represent Albuquerque Academy and La Cueva High School respectively. Several years ago a Challenge team from Sandia Prep was a regional finalist.

Alumni Association

Marianne Granoff, Vice President of the Challenge Board of Directors, suggested we start a Supercomputing Challenge Alumni Association. Did you know that over 7800 students have participated in our program since its inception in 1990?

Three alum are heading up this effort: Marisol Gamboa, now working at Harris IT Services in Los Cruces, Ruben Guadiana, La Clinica De Familia Inc., Los Cruces and Victor Kuhns, Cray at Sandia National Laboratories.

David has created a listserv for alumni. The list is an "open" one and alumni can subscribe to it by sending mail to listmanager@lanl.gov with the body of the message being:subscribe challenge-alumni

We hope to see great input from this group. So teachers and students, please advertise this list to any Challenge alum you know.

Cool Computing

LEGO Mindstorms is a line of Lego sets combining programmable bricks with electric motors, sensors, Lego bricks, and Lego Technic pieces (such as gears, axles, and beams).

LEGO MindStorm NXT is having a holiday building contest. Check it out

Learning about games and playing at http://mindstorms.lego.com/news

Science/Math Link

Tit for Tat? Is it a mathematical strategy or is it a psychological strategy? "The importance of TIT FOR TAT to the evolution of co-operative behavior was discovered in a very unusual way, through a worldwide computer competition to find the winning strategy for the well known paradox 'The Prisoner's Dilemma'. In 1981 TIT FOR TAT won that competition, and ever since then it has grown in stature to where it now dominates our thinking about the evolution of co-operative behavior in animal and human societies." Chris Meredith. "The Story Tit for Tat." [Online] 16 November 2008. http://www.abc.net.au/science/slab/tittat/story.htm.

Here are some links and activities about the strategy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzddJ4TyeA8
http://www.abc.net.au/science/slab/tittat/story.htm

Citing Resources

We used the online MLA Citation Maker Secondary and APA Citation Maker to cite the Internet Article above. We suggest that you use it for your citations for your Interim and Final reports.

Interim Reports

You have just under a month to submit your Interim Reports online. All the information you need is at http://challenge.nm.org/interims

This report should describe your project, your progress to date, and your expected results.

The interim report, which should be around 500 words in length, should expand on the information in your proposal. Please note that the interim report may not be a copy of the proposal that you submitted earlier.

The interim report should include the following information:

  • the definition of the problem,
  • your plan for solving the problem computationally,
  • a description of the progress you have made up to this time,
  • the results you expect to get,
  • and at least five citations of information you have referenced.

Sincerely yours,
Consult Management Team
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, November 10, 2008

Dear Teams,

These four topics should be on your Challenge to do list this month:

  1. Research for your project and interim reports
  2. Get consultants/mentors for your project
  3. Respond on email to your proposal feedback.
  4. Set up a school visit.

Research

You can also look for code online that fits your project. If you cite the code you found and how you used it in your project, that is completely acceptable. We all need to learn to work smarter, not harder. Learning to edit a computer program is a good skill to acquire.

Mentors

Having trouble finding a mentor? Use our handy dandy database at
http://challenge.nm.org/resources/mentors.shtml
or write to consult @ challenge.nm.org for assistance if you can't find someone in our database that fits your needs.

Successful teams say that mentors are the most important key to a successful project.

School Visits : November

Challenge representatives will, upon request from students and/or teachers, visit teams at their respective schools to answer questions and help teams. If it can be arranged, the Challenge representative would like to meet with the Principal or Headmaster.

Please write to consult @ challenge.nm.org to set up your appointment now! Please let us know what specifics you would like addressed so that we can send the correct representative.

Picture Gallery

Please view the pictures we have collected from our October Kickoff in Glorieta.

Visit http://challenge.nm.org/kickoff/pictures

Teamwork

Alumni say that learning to work on a team is the most useful skill they learned in the Challenge. We call it a 21st century skill because you will be part of a team in any position you take in the work world.

10% of the final judging score is how based on how well your team works together in your presentation.

Please view this teamwork rubric at
http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/kickoff/classes/TeamworkRubric.pdf

Then play the Rubric Game:

Pass out the teamwork rubric. Review the five areas and what constitutes an excellent or number 4! The five categories listed, contributions, problem solving, attitude, focus on the task and working with others, are often the same categories for job success. Students pick a category give examples to each other of positive ways they have worked in other teams in these areas.

Cool Computing

Fun things to do with a WII Controller http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii
"As of June 2008, Nintendo has sold nearly 30 million Wii game consoles. This significantly exceeds the number of Tablet PCs in use today according to even the most generous estimates of Tablet PC sales. This makes the Wii Remote one of the most common computer input devices in the world. It also happens to be one of the most sophisticated."

Science/Math Link

The Monty Hall Problem is a counterintuitive, "Stick or Switch", classic probability puzzle. And of course it is in the NUMB3RS TV show. It is named after the host of a game show called "Let's Make a Deal," which was extremely popular several years ago. The problem itself is a variation of one of the games played on the show.

Here are some links and activities about the paradox:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem
http://www.letsmakeadeal.com/problem.htm
http://education.ti.com/educationportal/activityexchange/Activity.do?cid=US&aId=7715

Sincerely yours,
Consult Management Team
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, November 3, 2008

Happy November!

The weather continues to be fantastic. We hope you are weathering the Challenge responsibilities well also!

Challenge as an Academic Marathon

By looking at our data, we have learned that almost 75% of you are new to the Challenge. We are going to share how we look at the Challenge as an academic marathon. Only the elite athletes used to compete in marathons. Now we have 5k marathons that your grandpa or your aunts with a stroller can participate in. Along the way, there are water stands and friends and coaches urging on the walkers and runners. During the Challenge year, Consult will cheer you on by reminding you about deadlines and finding mentors and other help you need in an academic marathon. Read more at http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/marathon.shtml

Feedback

We give you feedback throughout the year, face to face and online. In the next two weeks, your team will be receiving an email from one of our scientists. They will be giving you feedback on your proposal. It is polite and proper netiquette to respond to them after you receive your email. Remember many of these scientists are also our judges and it is wise to heed their advice.

The ten "commandments" of good netiquette can be found at http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html

Research

Now is the time to be doing some research on your project. We expect you to have 3 - 5 sources and not all from the Internet for your Interim report. We suggest that you peruse Oregon State's site about research. http://secondary.oslis.org/define
Start with DEFINE and work through the process. Notice the automatic bibliography makers at

  • MLA Citation Maker Secondary
  • APA Citation Maker
Your interim report due before winter break needs to have your resources included.

Teamwork

Please make sure you have worked through the attached team roles and have shared them with your teacher sponsor. Learning to work with a team is a true 21st century skill.

Science/Math Link

Despite being a small part of the United States, located on Earth's North American continent, New Mexico somehow manages to contain a whole galaxy of great science. Sue Vorenberg, a reporter who has covered the Supercomputing Challenge for several years, created this site: http://www.nmscience.com

Subscribe to (The free, humorous bi-monthly math newsletter.) The Gnarly Gnews at http://www.gnarlymath.com/news/gnews1_1.html

This month's edition is about the Monte Carlo method. This method is also featured in a NUMB3RS episode, episode # 303 "Traffic," where Charlie lectures about randomness, explaining that 'our brains misperceive evenness as random and wrongly assume that groupings are deliberate'. In mathematics, we expect to see some clustering, or an occasional appearance of a pattern, when examining truly random events. In this activity, students will distinguish between randomness and evenness and estimate the area of a circle using random points, if you are lucky enough to have TI-83 Plus Family, TI-84 Plus Family, TI-NavigatorT http://education.ti.com/educationportal/activityexchange/Activity.do?cid=US&aId=7760

We pride ourselves at almost being here 24/7, so please write to consult @ challenge.nm.org with any questions.


Thursday Morning Message, October 30, 2008

It was fantastic to see over 325 of you, students and teachers who attended the 19th annual Supercomputing Challenge Kickoff. Wasn't that beautiful weather? What was your favorite part? We liked the informal talking with scientists at dinner among other areas.

Proposals

We count 68 proposals online. We will be sending out email feedback to all teams about their proposals. We discussed online netiquette in the Overview Session. It is polite to write a thank you to the adult (mentor or judge) who sends you some feedback. Listen to their suggestions because you will meet them throughout the year, in February for Project Evaluations and at the Expo in April. So your next milestone is responding to an email about your proposal.

Mentors

Successful teams say that having the correct mentor(s) can make the whole difference in your project. It is fine to have a science mentor, a programming mentor, a project management mentor, etc.! Please check our database at
http://challenge.nm.org/resources/mentors.shtml
to find one. We at Consult also are available to help you!

Classes Online

All our kickoff classes are online. You can find them at
http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/classes

Lost and Found

Green hoodie found on Tuesday. Please contact consult @ challenge.nm.org if it is yours.

Kudos

Our top winners from last year, Erika De Benedictus and Tony Huang are Regional Finalists for the Siemens Westinghouse Foundation Competition. http://www.siemens-foundation.org/en/competition.htm
Scroll down to regional competition finalists. Way to go Tony and Erika! Best of wishes to Erika and Tony for the Regionals in Austin.

Our own Betsy Frederick was recognized for her extraordinary efforts in furthering the goals of the New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering: to encourage women to enter into and develop their careers in science, engineering, and allied professions. She received their IMPACT! award.

Cool Link

Two of our Board of Directors, Anthony Giancola, Strategic Analytics, and Stephen Guerin, Redfish Group and Santa Fe Complex, are going to share some new computing uses for us to explore. Here is one: http://picocricket.com
With Pico Crickets you can create musical sculptures, interactive jewelry, dancing creatures and other playful inventions.

Science Link

On Sunday night of the Kickoff, we showed a movie of Sandia's Mark Boslough's work. Catch more about his work on Monday night at 7:00 on the Discover channel.
http://nmscience.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=2399424%3ATopic%3A523

On Monday night of the Kickoff, we showed an episode of Numb3rs. We promote some of the episodes of the TV show NUMB3RS to teach some important mathematical concepts. One of the Consult team, a mentor and a judge, Bob Robey from LANL truly believes that there is a mathematical language that we must learn. Learn more about the Prisoner's Dilemma at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_Dilemma

Here is a game to play to help you understand the Prisoner's Dilemma.
http://www.princeton.edu/~mdaniels/PD/PD.html

Got Questions?

Email consult @ challenge.nm.org

Sincerely yours,
Betsy Frederick, Celia Einhorn and David Kratzer
Consult Management Team
consult @ challenge.nm.org


Friday Morning Message, October 24, 2008

Dear Challenge Community,

We will be setting up our computer network tomorrow and installing software and preparing for classes. We are excited to be starting our 19th year! Don't forget your sleeping bag and tooth brush.

Weather

The weather will be in the low 60's during the day and the low 30's at night. We suggest bringing layers so that you can shed them as the day progresses.

Contact Information

Once again, if you or someone else needs to contact us at Glorieta, you can call Glorieta at 505-757-6161 or call Betsy Frederick's cell phone at 505-220-5050.

Registration

All participants need to come to Holcomb Hall, room 203 to get their name tags, schedules and have a picture taken for later tours. The teacher sponsor only, needs to go to New Mexico Hall Main Desk to get meal tickets and room keys and assignments.

Registration for Session 1 is on Sunday the 26th from 12:30 until 2:00. Opening session starts at 2:00 pm.

Registration for Session 2 is on Monday morning from 10:00-11:30. Everyone will have lunch together on Monday and then we have the Keynote session in the Chapel with Dr. Ed Angel. His present research interests are in computer graphics and scientific visualization. He has supported graduate students working in volume visualization, virtual reality, and massively parallel computing. His main teaching interests have been in Computer Graphics.


Tuesday Morning Message, October 21, 2008

Kickoff Conference

We are counting down the hours until we get to see all your bright smiling faces at the Glorieta Conference Center. Registration for Session 1 is on Sunday the 26th from 12:30 until 2:00. Opening session starts at 2:00 pm.

Registration for Session 2 is on Monday morning from 10:00-11:30. Everyone will have lunch together on Monday and then we have the Keynote session in the Chapel with Dr. Ed Angel.

See http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff for details (we hope to get the detailed schedules up soon, but look at the Glorieta Schedule for now). There are maps of where we will be as well.

Housing

Everyone will be housed in the Oklahoma building again this year. Each room has four bunk beds and a bathroom in it. Everyone needs to bring a sleeping bag (or some kind of bedding) and pillow and toiletries (towels, wash clothes, etc). See the housing lists at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/housing_session1.html http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/housing_session2.html

Contact Information

If you or someone else needs to contact us at Glorieta, you can call Glorieta at 505-757-6161 or call Betsy Frederick's cell phone at 505-220-5050.

Proposals

Your assignment THIS WEEK is to come up with a written proposal about the project you want to be working on this Challenge year and submit it online. See http://challenge.nm.org/proposals for details and submit your proposals (before the Kickoff) from that page. Great to see 22 proposals already posted, but that means there are still 79 to go!

Cool Links

Several past Challenge participants have seen the Redstorm Supercomputer while on tours of Sandia Laboratories. One of its recent uses has been declassified. "US Navy's Single Shot At Satellite Successful Thanks to Sandia Supercomputer"
http://www.satnews.com/cgi-bin/story.cgi?number=602296932
Cray Red Storm Supercomputer Aids Destruction of Failed Satellite


Tuesday Afternoon Message, October 14, 2008

Kickoff Conference

We are counting down the days until we get to see all your bright smiling faces at the Glorieta Conference Center. Registration for Session 1 is on Sunday the 26th from 12:30 until 2:00. Opening session starts at 2:00 pm.

Registration for Session 2 is on Monday morning from 10:00-11:30. Everyone will have lunch together on Monday and then we have the Keynote session in the Chapel with Dr. Ed Angel.

See http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff for details (we hope to get the detailed schedules up soon, but look at the Glorieta Schedule for now). There are maps of where we will be as well.

Housing

Everyone will be housed in the Oklahoma building again this year. Each room has four bunk beds and a bathroom in it. Everyone needs to bring a sleeping bag (or some kind of bedding) and pillow and toiletries (towels, wash clothes, etc). See the housing lists at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/housing_session1.html http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/housing_session2.html

Contact Information

If you or someone else needs to contact us at Glorieta, you can call Glorieta at 505-757-6161 or call Betsy Frederick's cell phone at 505-220-5050.

After the Kickoff we'll include more Cool Links, Scientific Links, Numb3rs Links and Math Circle Links/competitions in the weekly messages.

Proposals

Be thinking about the project you want to be working on this Challenge year and submit a proposal online. See http://challenge.nm.org/proposals for details and submit your proposals (before the Kickoff) from that page. Great to see 15 proposals already posted, 86 to go!

Questions?

If you have any questions, please email them to consult @ challenge . nm.org.


Wednesday Morning Message, October 8, 2008

Glorieta Sessions

The following schools are signed up to attend session 1 of the Kickoff Conference which will be October 26-27: Aguilar, Artesia, Aspen, Barranaca, Bloomfield, Chaparral, Los Alamos High, Los Alamos Mid, Melrose, Navajo Prep, Ruidoso, Sandia Prep, Silver and Socorro.

The following schools are signed up to attend session 2 of the Kickoff Conference which will be October 27-28: Alb Acad, AIMS, Bosque School, Capshaw, CEPi1, Desert Acad, ENIPC Upward Bound, Espanola Valley, Freedom, Homeschool, Hope Christian, Jackson Mid, La Cueva, Manzano, McCurdy, Media Arts, Nuestros Valores, Rio Rancho High, Rio Rancho Mid-High, Santa Fe High and Santa Fe Indian School.

Housing lists

We will be forming the housing lists soon so if there are sponsors, chaperones or bus drivers coming that haven't already registered, please let Consult @ challenge.nm.org know so that they can be added to the housing list. We'll post the lists soon and once we announce that they are posted, please check to see that your teams are listed accurately.

Teams

As soon as we can get the last 27 students assigned to teams, we will be reordering the numbers alphabetically by school from 1-92 instead of having numbers over 1000. We'll be pestering those students (and teachers) who aren't assigned to teams.

TEAFs

If you haven't done so yet, fill out the Team Entry Authorization Form found at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/teaf.pdf and mail it, along with the registration fees of $40/student to the Challenge, whose address is at the bottom of the TEAF.

Proposals

Be thinking about the project you want to be working on this Challenge year and submit a proposal online. See http://challenge.nm.org/proposals for details and submit your proposals (before the Kickoff) from that page. Great to see 10 proposals already posted, 80 to go!

Glorieta Classes

The schedules at this year's Kickoff Conference are geared to the math level of the student so you will be organized into one of the different schedules based on the math classes you are in or have taken.


Monday Morning Message, September 29, 2008

Registration

We currently have 202 students and 31 teachers signed up to participate in the 19th Annual Supercomputing Challenge. If you haven't registered yet, please register at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

Teams from 30 different schools have registered so far.

Teams

If you haven't organized yourselves onto teams yet, please go to: https://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/teamreg_login.php and organize your teams. There are still 38 people who aren't listed on teams. You can also email the team rosters to Consult and we can place the team members together. About 61 teams have registered so far.

Projects

Looking for possible problems to solve? Check out Project Euler: http://projecteuler.net and http://projecteuler.net/index.php?section=problems

Proposals

Once you have ideas for your 2008-2009 Supercomputing Challenge project, enter your proposal online at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals Two teams have already submitted their proposals, congratulations to the teams from Artesia High and Los Alamos Middle School!

NUMB3RS

Watch the "High Exposure" episode of NUMB3RS this Friday night http://www.cbs.com/primetime/numb3rs and then check out the Math Behind Numb3rs at: http://numb3rs.wolfram.com

Cool Link

Art and Science, Virtual and Real, Under One Big Roof Eight years and $200 million in the making, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, or Empac, resembles an enormous 1950s-era television set. But inside are not old-fashioned vacuum tubes but the stuff of 21st-century high-tech dreams dedicated to the marriage of art and science as it has never been done before, its creators say - 220,000 square feet of theaters, studios and work spaces hooked to supercomputers. Read the NY Times article

Science Link

The latest version of Science.gov was launched last week allowing users to search additional collections of valuable science resources, more easily target searches, and readily find links to information on a variety of science topics.

Science.gov is a free, integrated single-search gateway to reliable science and technology information from 17 organizations within 13 federal science agencies. The Web site is hosted by DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information within DOE's Office of Science. See the announcement at: http://www.energy.gov/news/6541.htm


Tuesday Morning Message, September 23, 2008

Registration

We currently have 141 students and 18 teachers signed up to participate in the 19th Annual Supercomputing Challenge. If you haven't registered yet, please register at http://www.challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml Teams from 22 different schools have registered so far.

Registration deadline is September 30th so that the t-shirts can be made, and food and housing for the Kickoff Conference can be organized.

Teams

If you haven't organized yourselves onto teams yet, please go to: https://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/teamreg_login.php and organize your teams. There are still 27 people who aren't listed on teams. You can also email the team rosters to Consult and we can place the team members together. About 45 teams have registered so far.

Kickoff

Planning continues for the Kickoff Conference on October 26-28 at the Glorieta Conference Center. Classes are being developed based on the math classes you have taken. There will be several classes just for teachers.

Cool Link

When will you have a supercomputer under your desk?
The Cray CX1 starts at $25K!
http://insidehpc.com/2008/09/16/cray-announces-mini-supercomputer-line
http://www.hpcwire.com/features/Cray_Unveils_Personal_Supercomputer.html

Scientific Link

Dr. Robot and the Virtual Brain
Imagine undergoing a surgical procedure that is guided by a virtual computer simulation, or entering an operating room that contains only a surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse and a set of robotic arms instead of a dozen or so medical professionals.
http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/archives/2008/09/dr-robot-and-the-virtual-brain-robot-assisted-surgery.html

NASA Connect

NASA announces a new Web-based educational project offered free to every student and educator in the country, from kindergarten level through lifelong learners.

Capitalizing on today's technology, NASA eClips are short, five- to 10-minute video segments available on-demand via the Internet for the 2008-2009 school year. Over 220 video segments are projected to be available. This project highlights NASA's commitment to providing important science, math and engineering educational materials in a useful video format that can be used in the classroom, at home, and by informal education institutions such as museums, Boys and Girls Clubs, and scouts.

With a goal of increasing science literacy, NASA eClips are designed to inspire students to learn more about science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to understand the application of these subjects in the real world -- all in an accessible, on-demand way.

Additionally, the K-12 (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) NASA eClips project is separated into grade-appropriate topics that tie into standards-based instruction. Each level is designed as a resource for classroom teachers; downloadable video segments and teacher guides illustrating effective instruction in the 21st-century classroom provide valuable enhancements to teacher lesson plans.

Students, teachers and the public can look forward to new video and educational content highlighting current research and innovations throughout the school year. The video clips are available for streaming on the NASA Web site at http://www.nasa.gov/education/nasaeclips.

The NASA Web site permits educators and the public to download and save the video clips as well as stream them. In addition, the NASA Web provides lesson plans and instructions for educators on how to use these videotapes in the classroom.

News Flashes

If you registered since last Monday, see the past NewsFlashes at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/news_flash.shtml


Monday Morning Message, September 15, 2008

Registration

We currently have 109 students and 14 teachers signed up to participate in the 19th Annual Supercomputing Challenge. If you haven't registered yet, please register at http://www.challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

Registration deadline is September 30th.

Once all team members have registered individually, be sure to register the team: https://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/teamreg_login.php About 33 teams have formed so far.

April Expo

One of the activities at the end of the Challenge year is a reception for Supercomputing Challenge participants at the Bradbury Science Museum. You'll be able to see the clock sculpture that Gordon McDonough created. (Gordon is a great supporter of the Challenge.) See his Clockworks moving sculpture at: http://www.lanl.gov/news/currents/2008/sep/gordon.shtml

Projects

Still trying to come up with a project for this year's Challenge?
Consult has been contacted by possible consultant/mentors who have projects that they would like to see a team work on.

  1. Do you have a Playstation 3? We can put you in contact with Marcus:
    "If there are students that would like to program the fastest computer in the world, I have experience in this area. All a student needs is a Playstation 3 and Yellow Dog Linux, otherwise it is more-or-less exactly the same programming environment as Roadrunner itself (Roadrunner's Cell processor has some performance improvements over the PS3). Main requirement: C programming skills and interest in low-levels things and computer architecture."
  2. Interested in human vision? We can put you in contact with Shawn:
    "I am a student working on the PetaVision project at LANL. In short, we are using (eventually) Roadrunner to model the visual cortex. We are designing a set of tasks (identifying objects in a natural scene, determining whether or not a target is present among a statistically identical set of clutter, etc.) that, we hope, only a person can complete. As a result, we need people to complete these tasks so that we can train our model. Instead of farming these tasks out for anyone to do, we thought that they might make a good starting point for a student project. In exchange for helping us train our model, and in addition to the opportunity to contribute to the PetaVision project, we would provide the students with mentorship on a project of their own or a project that builds on the work they will be doing."

Cool Link

NASA names gamma-ray telescope after Enrico Fermi: http://news.uchicago.edu/news.php?asset_id=1430
This short article has a brief history of the telescopes NASA has launched including Hubble and Chandra.

Science Link

Supercomputers and Scientists Unravel the Secrets of Nature's Protein Factory Read about the Smartest Living Nanomachine: http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php/fuseaction/1663.article/d/200808/id/14233


Monday Morning Message, September 8, 2008

Registration

We currently have 75 students and 10 teachers signed up to participate in the 19th Annual Supercomputing Challenge. If you haven't registered yet, please register at http://www.challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

Registration deadline is September 30th.

Once all team members have registered individually, be sure to register the team: https://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/teamreg_login.php About 20 teams have formed so far.

Look Into The Future

Important dates are available at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/dates.shtml. Please note these dates in your school calendar, your personal calendar, the calendar on your refrigerator, etc.

Proposals

Teams should be thinking about their projects and preparing a proposal. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals for guidelines. Each team should bring a proposal with them to the Kickoff Conference at the Glorieta Conference Center, October 26-28.

Cool Link

"Top Secret" Technology Helps U.S. Swimmers Trim Times at Beijing Olympics http://www.rpi.edu/news/video/wei

Science Link

Agent-Based Computer Models in use by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers.
http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php/fuseaction/1663.article/d/200805/id/13287

The Math behind NUMB3RS

On Friday nights at 9:00, catch the hit CBS series NUMB3RS, but first, take a look at the math behind the show. http://numb3rs.wolfram.com/417 This Friday night's show is "Pay to Play".

Hoping your semester is off to a good start.


Wednesday Morning Message, September 3, 2008

Are you ready for the 19th Annual Supercomputing Challenge?

With a holiday last Monday, we'll get into the routine of a regular Monday Morning Message beginning next week. We already have five teachers and eight students registered for the 19th Annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

Registration

Start forming teams to participate in the 19th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

Please register at
http://www.challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

Registration deadline is September 30th.

Proposals

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

Kickoff Conference

The Kickoff Conference will be held October 26-28 at the Glorieta Conference Center.

Teachers

Please print a flyer to place in your school for advertisement. http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/invitation_flyer.pdf

Here is the invite link:
http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/08-09/invitation.shtml

Is the Challenge hard? Remember our discussion of the Challenge as a Marathon at http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/marathon.shtml

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 @ challenge.nm.org

These News Flashes are archived at http://www.challenge.nm.org/news_flash.shtml so that you can review them at a later date. This 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 @ challenge.nm.org

New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, Inc.
Post Office Box 30102
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87190
(505) 667-2864

Supercomputing Challenge Board of Directors
Board page listing meetings and agendas