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Albuquerque Sandia Preparatory School teacher Neil McBeth, right, shares a laugh with students Joan Goldsworthy, left, Carli McGee, Heather Wood and teacher Jori Bowen, during the awards ceremony at the 10th New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge Wednesday in the Physics Auditorium. The Sandia Prep team took the prize in this year's challenge for their project, "Pattern Analysis of High Throughput Flow Cytometry Data." A team from Albuquerque Academy took second place. More information about the challenge can be found at http://www.challenge.nm.org online. Photo by LeRoy N. Sanchez

Sandia Preparatory School team takes top prize in Supercomputing Challenge

A computer analysis of sorted cell data gave a computer team from Sandia Preparatory School in Albuquerque the top prize Wednesday in the 10th annual New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge at the Laboratory.

The goal of the New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge is to increase knowledge of science and computing, expose students and teachers to computers and applied mathematics, and instill enthusiasm for science in high school students, their families and communities. Any New Mexico high school student in grades 9-12 can enter the challenge.

The New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge is unique because it offers supercomputer access to students at every level of expertise and stresses student activity over work by teachers and coaches, said David Kratzer of Customer Service (CIC-6).

The student team of Carli McGee, Heather Wood and Joan Goldsworthy each took home a $1,000 savings bond for their supercomputer program "Pattern Analysis of High Throughput Flow Cytometry Data." Their teachers, Jori Bowen and Neil McBeth, received a computer loaded with software for their classroom.

A trio of computer aces from Albuquerque's Academy High School received second place for their project, "Lucifer's Hammer." The team includes Derek Mehlhorn, Adrienne Upah and William Pearl. They each received $500 savings bonds and a computer loaded with software for teacher Jim Mim's classroom. The Academy team also received the Microsoft Best Use of Powerpoint Award.

The Amy Boulanger Memorial scholarship, good for $2,400 a year for four years at any four-year New Mexico college or university, was awarded to Tony Easton of Silver City High.

Nearly 350 students competed in the challenge and about 130 students were at Los Alamos to take part in Wednesday's awards ceremony. Fifty teams, including 11 finalist teams, heard talks from researchers at the Laboratory and toured the supercomputer facility. Students from 41 schools spent the last year researching scientific problems and writing programs to solve them on supercomputers at Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories.

Several participants can pursue their computing careers at New Mexico universities with scholarships awarded on Wednesday. About $36,000 in scholarships were awarded.

Honorable mention awards were given to the Roswell Goddard High School team of Adrian Veseth-Nelson, Dennis Wentworth, Lindy Greer, Sean Wentworth, and Robert Willhelm for their project, "Organic Superconductors Using Rotating Electrodes"; to the Lovington High School team of Nick and Steve Tobkin, Dustin Graham, Beth Meyers and Jeremiah Giese for their project titled "What Causes Spin to Reverse Itself?"; to the Las Cruces Mayfield High School team of Stephen Miller and Aaron Soto for their project,"Tales from the CRYPTography"; and to Nina Weisse-Bernstein of Santa Fe High School for her project,"The Verification for the Postulates, Theorems and Axioms of Boolean Switching Algebra."

Other students who went home with awards from the 10th New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge included:

Los Alamos National Laboratory Environmental Modeling Award: Albuquerque Academy -- Tom Widland, Ryan Davies, Ryan Duryea, Alex Feuchter and Kevin Oishi. The team received medallions and a trophy for a project that simulated a pond.

Technet Teamwork Award: Las Cruces Mayfield High School -- Stephen Miller and Aaron Soto. They received a plaque.

Tribune Lighthouse Award: Farmington High School -- Lori Nguyen, Jason Reeves, Bryan Horvat, Jerrie Fairbanks and their teacher Don McDowell. They received a trophy for the best overall presentation of their project about the formation of a galaxy. The team also received the KRQE Multi-Media Award for the best graphics suitable for television.

Search and Browse Award from the Council for Higher Education Computing Services Inc.: Bosque Preparatory School -- Samuel Ashmore, Nicole Mumma and Kenny Sutherland, for their project dealing with bear migration into populated areas. This team also received the HTML Award for having the best version of a final report suitable for the Internet.

Creativity and Innovation Award from Sandia National Laboratories was awarded to Nina Weisse-Bernstein of Santa Fe High School.

Many of the final reports of teams finishing the Challenge can be viewed on the Web at http://www.challenge.nm.org.

The Supercomputing Challenge was conceived in 1990 by former Lab Director Sig Hecker and Tom Thornhill, president of New Mexico Technet Inc., a nonprofit company that in 1985 set up a computer network to link the state's national laboratories, universities, state government and some private companies. U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and John Rollwagen, then chairman and chief executive officer of Cray Research Inc., added their support.

The Supercomputing Challenge is sponsored by the Laboratory and New Mexico Technet Inc. Benefactors include CISCO Systems Inc., DP Signal, Intel Corp. Kinko's and Microsoft Corp.

Patrons include Sandia National Laboratories; University of New Mexico; New Mexico State University; New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; Albuquerque Tribune; SGI; Council for High Education Computing Services, or CHECS Inc.; Eastern New Mexico University; New Mexico Highlands University; New Mexico Department of Education; San Juan College; Santa Fe Community College; Belew's Office Supply; Dean Gianopoulus Design; and Miller Bonded.

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

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

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