New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

STI Instructors

Nick Bennett

Nick Bennett is an independent systems architect, designer, and developer, based in Albuquerque, NM. In his work with past and present employers and clients (including Kraft Foods, Bank of Scotland, CitiBank, Deutsche Bank, General Motors, Applied Materials, AT&T, Circle K Mexico, Trans-Alberta Power, Cementos Mexicanos, and others), he has developed (and trained others to develop) decision support and business process management systems using a variety of languages and platforms, including Java, C/C++/C#, Visual Basic, SQL Server, Oracle, ASP/, PHP, Python, and Perl.

Nick earned his B.S. in Mathematics while serving in the US Navy, on-board a guided missile destroyer deployed to the Pacific and Indian oceans. Subsequently, he attended the University of Utah and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, teaching Calculus at the latter while completing his M.S. in Operations Research and Statistics.

Nick began volunteering as a judge with the Supercomputing Challenge in 2002; since then, he has dedicated more and more of his time to the Challenge: working as an instructor for the Summer Teacher Institute and the fall kickoff; volunteering as a mentor for several teams; and continuing to act as a judge for the individual scholarships that the Challenge awards to students each year. Working with the Challenge has also led to extensive involvement in other New Mexico educational programs, including acting as the lead instructor for the Santa Fe Institute's Summer Internship-Mentorship program, working as a facilitator in Project GUTS, and creating and teaching a Computer-based Exploration of Science class at Monte del Sol Charter School in Santa Fe, NM.

Celia Einhorn

The handle on my Internet account reads 'Computer Fairy.' While I was visiting a fourth grade, a student looked up as I walked in and lovingly called me that! It made my day! Other people call me mom and wife or to work on technology integration, Pre-K-12. I am president, secretary and janitor of the infamous consulting service, Technology and Training. I am proud to be part of the first group of Christa McAuliffe educators studying technology, restructuring and education. I have taught first grade, Title I Reading, K-8, and worked as a computer resource teacher! (That's where the Celia Bedelia pat of my handle comes from.)

I have been an adjunct professor at the College of Santa Fe, University of New Mexico, Webster University and the Lesley College Outreach Program, where I taught literacy and technology classes. I was project facilitator for SMARTQuest for Intel, trying to create a Smart County, where Intel's workers live in NM. I was the program manager for the New Mexico State Department of Education and Albuquerque Public Schools' project Literacy and Technology. I have worked with BBN (Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Cambridge, MA) with the Co-NECT schools, "trying to create schools that break the mold."

I work on professional development in the areas of: project based curriculum, multiage grouping, authentic assessment, technology integration and leadership. I do professional development with iEARN, the International Education and Resource Network. I was the New Mexico Site Coordinator for the national OII (Online Internet Institute) project. I am currently working with Denver's Metro College's Tools of the Mind, the New Mexico State University RETA (Regional Education Technology Assistance) and the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

Betsy Frederick

Betsy Frederick was one of the designers of the educational computing program for Albuquerque Public Schools as it moved from mainframe to a personal computer focus. She played a leadership role in the District's local and wide area networking planning and implementation. She is a Director of Network New Mexico, an organization providing support for 'grassroots' networking solutions for schools. Global Education and Multimedia are special interests. She is the President of SIG/Tel, the Special Interest group for Telecommunications which is part of the International Society for Technology in Education. Through the New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering Betsy has directed and participated in Expanding Your Horizons workshops which encourage the participation of young women in math, science, technology and engineering.

Betsy has worked for many years in i*EARN, the International Education and Resource Network. Recently, she has taught online classes for iEARN including Integrating Arts in Curriculum and Helping Teachers Cope with Traumatic Events. She is former owner of Silicon Desert, an Internet Service Provider. She is a Program Manager for the Supercomputing Challenge through Los Alamos National Lab. This is the start of her third year with Adventures in Modeling (AIM) , an NSF ITEST project through MIT and the Santa Fe Institute. AIM studies complex adaptive systems and uses StarLogo for its computer program to develop agent based models. The work of the Challenge and AIM are complementary. In this last year, Betsy returned to Albuquerque Public Schools, teaching ½ time at Acoma Elementary School, supporting literacy and technology and keeping an eye on the network.

She has a degree in Dance from Mills College and maintains an active interest in the Fine Arts. Her Master's degree is With Honors from the University of New Mexico.

John Paul Gonzales

John Paul works with GUTS, SFI, and the Santa Fe Complex.

Harry Henderson

Harry's first encounter with New Mexico was boot camp in White Sands. After the service he received degrees in geology and pure mathematics from Kent State University, Harry returned to New Mexico for graduate school at the University of New Mexico.

Harry has taught at traditional schools, charter schools and now a cyber school. He has co-chaired math and science departments and has taught math from developmental to AP calculus, plus most science classes [excluding evil biology], computer modeling classes, robotics and sometimes art.

Harry has focused his research on computer modeling since the early nineties. He worked with global circulation models [GCMs] as an undergrad and then went on to work with local climate models [LCMs] for his masters' research. He worked with parallel architectures at Los Alamos National Labs and stretch grid models on massively parallel machines for NASA Goddard. More recently he has focused on research sustainability projects and alternatives to the "big bang".

David Kratzer

David H. Kratzer has Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Computer Science from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California.

During graduate school, David spent two summers working at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a graduate research assistant before going to teach mathematics and computer science courses at Harding Christian University in Searcy, Arkansas for four and a half years.

David returned to LANL in 1984 as a member of the Integrated Computing Network (ICN) Consulting Office. In 1990, David was asked to be the technical contact for the LANL Challenge team. His duties have encompassed all aspects of the Challenge from account creation to classroom instruction, and he is still part of the ICN Consulting Office. David enjoys working with the Challenge and is always impressed by the students involved in the Challenge.

Irene Lee

Irene Irene Lee is the Project GUTS' Principal Investigator and coordinator. In this position, she plays many roles; she organizes Project GUTS workshops, develops the curriculum, manages the program, works on the research component of Project GUTS, and shares our findings with the community and funding institutions.

As a science specialist for the Santa Fe Public Schools Afterschool Enrichment Program, Irene saw first-hand the opportunities that afterschool and summer science programs can provide. Since 1998 she has been involved with the Santa Fe Institute / Massachusetts Institute of Technology Adventures in Modeling Program (NSF-ITEST), first as a participant and later as the lead facilitator. Irene currently also manages the Santa Fe Institute Summer Internship Mentorship (SIM) Program for high school students and enjoys mentoring students working on their Supercomputing Challenge projects.

Irene Lee received her BA in pure mathematics from the University of Chicago and her EdM in technology in education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She has designed and programmed educational and video games for Electronic Arts and Theatrix Interactive/Berkeley Learning Technologies.

Irene is a past president and executive director of the Swarm Development Group. She serves on the board of the Supercomputing Challenge and as a member of the Math and Science Advisory Committee of the New Mexico Public Education Department.

Janet Penevolpe

Janet graduated Rutgers with a double major in chemistry and biology. Left New Jersey for the hazardous waste industry in Illinois. After several years decided that was not for her. She went back to school for a Masters in secondary science education. Spent the past fourteen years teaching in Illinois and then at Rio Rancho High School. She taught a variety of science classes and a computer modeling class. She got involved with the Challenge in 2005, first as a teacher sponsor and progressed into helping out with a number of activities. After taking a sabbatical from teaching for a year, she is back teaching at Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque.

Mary Sagartz

Mary graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a double major in mathematics and computer science. At the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, she received her master's degree in computer science. She moved to New Mexico to work at Sandia National Labs. When her kids were in school, she volunteered for Art in the School and robotics. She is currently working at Annunciation Catholic School as the mid school computer teacher. Mary became interested in GUTS at the New Mexico Technology in Education Conference in 2009 and became a GUTS teacher sponsor.

Joshua Thorp

Joshua Thorp has a degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Mathematics from the Cornell University School of Engineering and eight years of practical experience in the field of complexity science and agent based modeling. In high school Joshua participated in the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge sponsored by Los Alamos Laboratory with a project that focused on artificial life and genetic algorithms inspired by the work of Christopher Langton at the Santa Fe Institute. From that time on, he has been interested in distributed systems of interacting agents and complex adaptive systems. Growing up on a small family farm near Cerrillos, N.M., Joshua has always been fascinated by the intersection of complex adaptive systems studies and the sustainable agriculture movement. Ask him what stigmergy is?

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