New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Kickoff Conference

The Kickoff Conference at the New Mexico Tech in Socorro will be held on October 12-13.

For each student and teacher attending the Kickoff, the Supercomputing Challenge will provide room and board. Attendance at the Kickoff is not required for participation in the Challenge. Attendance at the Kickoff will be limited to 350 students.

Guests from Chicago

Diane Lauderdale will speak on Saturday. Diane S. Lauderdale, Ph.D., is an epidemiologist, professor and Interim Chair in the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago. Her main research areas are in social epidemiology and epidemiologic methods. In social epidemiology, one focus has been on social determinants of health-related behaviors, including physical activity, sleep and receipt of preventive care, including vaccination and screening. She currently directs an interdisciplinary research group including a sociologist, biological psychologist and statistician examining how measured sleep behavior relates to individual's perceptions of their sleep, and how both subjective and objective sleep characteristics are associated with social factors and health in a national cohort of older adults. The infectious disease modeling research is part of the MIDAS (Models of Infectious Disease Agent Studies) network, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her MIDAS research project, co-directed with Dr. Charles Macal from Argonne National Laboratory, builds in part on her prior work on community-level and individual determinants of behavior and her interest in interdisciplinary research to solve complex problems. Working together with infectious disease experts, statisticians and social scientists, they have built an empirically-based, fine-grained agent-based computational model of the Chicago population to study community-associated MRSA transmission and control measures.

Charles (Chick) Macal is a senior systems engineer at Argonne National Laboratory. He specializes in a type of computer simulation called agent-based modeling, which calculates likely decisions for each "actor" -- one person, for example -- in a simulation and then sees what impact those have on other agents. He has applied agent-based modeling to simulate the spread of MRSA bacteria, to forecast economic panics and to predict consumer behavior, among other projects.

Michael J. North, MBA, Ph.D. is the Deputy Director of the Center for Complex Adaptive Agent Systems Simulation within the Decision and Information Sciences Division of Argonne National Laboratory. He is also a Senior Fellow in the joint Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne. Dr. North has over 20 years of experience performing advanced modeling for private industry including Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and GE Healthcare; government including the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Energy; international agencies including the World Bank and the International Atomic Energy Agency; and academic research agencies including the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Dr. North's research specialties are agent-based modeling, software project management, software development, and high performance computing. Dr. North is also a contributor to Dr. Lauderdale and Dr. Macal's National Institutes of Health Models of Infectious Disease Agent Studies (MIDAS)-funded community-associated MRSA modeling project.

Sunday Lunch time speaker

Eli Echt-Wilson, member of the winning team of the 2012-2013 Supercomputing Challenge will share their past project "Learning and Analyzing Topics in Human Language" and teamwork ideas. See their project at:

Teachers' classes


The general schedule.


Housing will be provided at local hotels in Socorro on a first come first served basis.

  • America's Best Value Inn housing list:
    Newcomb High, Newcomb Mid
  • Comfort Inn housing list:
    Jackson Middle School, Melrose High, Melrose Mid
  • Econo Lodge housing list:
    ATC, Albuquerque Academy, Capital High, CEPi, Cleveland High, Desert Academy, Los Alamos High, Los Alamos Mid, Mountain Elem, Quemado High, Rio Rancho Cyber Academy, Twin Buttes
  • San Miguel Inn housing list:
    Edgewood Mid, Los Lunas High, Manzano High, Miyamura High, Moriarty High, Sat Sci & Math Acad, Taos High, Taos Mid
  • Super 8 housing list:
    AIMS@UNM, Capshaw Mid, Centennial, Chaparral Mid, Deming High, Down to Earth School, Freedom High, Las Cruces High, Las Cruces YWiC, Mesa Mid, NM School for the Arts, Picacho Mid, School of Dreams Academy, The Masters Program, White Sands
  • Unknown hotel housing list:
    Gallup High, West Mesa High, Wingate High


Remember that Supercomputing Challenge teams need to bring a Proposal with you to the Kickoff. See Proposal hints. A Proposal template is to be filled out for each team, unless they are following the GUTS curriculum.

Be sure you have registered for the Supercomputing Challenge.

Class materials


Check out the team pictures from the Kickoff, and the some class pictures from the Kickoff. Get the school/team pictures to your yearbook staff.

To learn more about previous years' kickoffs, visit our archive

For questions about the Supercomputing Challenge, a 501(c)3 organization, contact us at: consult1314 @

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