New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge
Supercomputing: Pushing the limits of "standard" computing du jour.

Weekly News Flashes

Monday Morning Message, February 23, 2015

February Evaluations Wrapping Up

Best of luck to these teams! DO pay attention to advice from judges as they become your advocates at the EXPO.





Plans are underway for tours of Sandia Laboratories and the University of New Mexico for Monday March 23. See: for sign up details for those two tours. There is a March 6th deadline to sign up for the Sandia tour.


Quite honestly, your written report is the most important part of your year. If you need help with it, please contact Consult. We will have a cover sheet available that will help the judges know what programming language you have used, school, grades, etc. Don't forget your graphs, diagrams, visualization, at least five references and your code in your report.


"Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research."


Los Alamos' projects with extreme speeds, big data, and powerful simulations.

Codingly yours, David, Patty and Celia

Tuesday Morning Message, February 17, 2015

Hope you enjoyed a day off for President's Day!


Wikipedia says "Visualization is any technique for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate a message. Visualization through visual imagery has been an effective way to communicate both abstract and concrete ideas since the dawn of man. Examples from history include cave paintings, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Greek geometry, and Leonardo da Vinci's revolutionary methods of technical drawing for engineering and scientific purposes. Below are some images from UNM Center for Advanced Research Computing that show some neat visualization. Hint: Your final report and presentation should include some visualization.


We purchased Challenge students a subscription to Torofish, rewards for STEM work. Please start or add to your portfolio at and earn some neat gift cards!

February Evaluations

We are hearing good reports from Eastern, Miyamura in Gallup and UNM about your face to face presentations. Report these on Torofish for points. These are the sites yet to come:

Deflate Gate

The ideal gas law implies not necessarily foul play in deflate-gate.




You have about ten days to get your scholarship application into the committee.

Computingly yours, Patty, David and Celia

Monday Morning Message, February 9, 2015

Happy Almost Valentine's Day!

Torofish, February Evaluations

Don't forget to register your February Challenge participation on the Torofish website for your STEM rewards. The February Project Evaluations are worth 50 Torofish points.

This past weekend, over 30 teams presented their projects to panels of judges. This weekend there will be project evaluations at Miyamura High in Gallup, ENMU in Portales and UNM-CARC in Albuquerque.

Here are presentation schedules and directions for the rest of the month. It is polite to notify us now if you are unable to attend.

Seniors, Scholarship Deadline Looms Near: Feb. 28th

The directions for applying for scholarships are at the bottom of this page.

Final Reports Due April 1st

Does your team need help to prepare a five page report about your project? Contact Consult for assistance.

LANL Develops Website to Help Fight Measles

Mapping the Bacteria in New York's Subways

David, Celia, Patty, Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, February 2, 2015

February Evaluations

Please check your team's schedule before you head off to a college near you for your face to face evaluation this month. Evaluations begin this Friday and Saturday.

Some hints:

If you can't attend or need a change of schedule, let us know asap!
No gum chewing while presenting...
Dress business causal, dress for success
Bring a laptop for your team presentation to back up the provided one
Most projection system take VGA input so bring an adapter if your laptop does not have a VGA connection.
Bring your presentation on a flash drive
Pay attention to the judge's advice; they watch to see if you did!

Tips on Powerpoint Presentations -

The Queen Of Code

This is a GREAT story. If you watch the video you will be amazed!

The Queen Of Code

You probably don't know the name Grace Hopper, but you should. As a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, Hopper worked on the first computer, the Harvard Mark 1. And she headed the team that created the ...

2015 Scholarships

Any senior student wishing to be considered for a scholarship award MUST submit the following via email by February 28th, 2015:

  • A letter describing his/her contribution to the team project with an emphasis on the specific areas of leadership.
  • The sponsoring teacher MUST endorse the team member's letter and outline the qualities and examples from the teacher's perspective.
  • 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.
  • A scanned transcript
  • Please include information as to what college you plan to attend, if that is available.

Consult Resources

If you want a writing, scientific or coding mentor for your final project, (or all three), please let Consult know. We have people standing by to edit your work, suggest resources or help debug programs.

Code ON, David, Patty and Celia for Consult

Monday Morning Message, January 26, 2015

February Project Evaluations

The February Project Evaluations are a chance for you to practice your public speaking skills and get feedback on your project. You need to prepare a 20 minute or so overview of your project to present to three or four judges at a location near you.

Check the schedules at: and let Consult know if you have any issues with your presentation time. Keep an eye on the schedule as changes could be made during the week before the presentations. All teams that submitted Interim Reports have been scheduled for an Evaluation.

Final Reports

How are you coming along with your final report? Oh, you haven't started it yet? Well, it is time to learn about what goes into a final report and start mapping it out. Review the websites and

Using Lil Bits?

Want some free surplus components? email Consult. In return you will need to thank the Lil Bits people and show what you used them for..



David, Celia, Patty,
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, January 19, 2015

January Peer Reviews

In preparation for your February Project Evaluations, PRACTICE! Give a presentation about your project to any group, could be the science club, chess club, school board, parents, ... See a description at:

February Project Evaluations

The first cut at the February Project Evaluation schedule has been posted at:

We are still working of the judges lists and a few more logistically details. If you find you have a conflict with your scheduled time, let Consult know.

For directions to the evaluations, see:
All teams that submitted Interim Reports have been scheduled for an Evaluation at a location in their area.

Presentation Practice Opportunity

If you would like do a Skype session with a Challenge staff member to practice your Project Evaluation presentation, just let Consult know.

Connecting K-12 Educators to Computer Science Education through Search

Teachers, check out: for ideas/resources in Computer Science Education. Thanks to Challenge teacher Karen Glennon for sharing this link.

Check out these 3D Printed Sculptures that Look Alive When Spun Under A Strobe Light
This series of 3D printed sculptures was designed in such a way that the appendages match Fibonacci's Sequence, a mathematical sequence that manifests naturally in objects like sunflowers and pinecones. When the sculptures are spun at just the right frequency under a strobe light, a rather magical effect occurs: the sculptures seem to be animated or alive!

David, Celia, Patty, Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, January 12, 2015

Interim Report Feedback

By now you should have received feedback on your Interim reports. Please let your reviewers know that you received their feedback and thank them for their time.

ToroFish Points

Remember to add your Interim report (worth 50 points) to your ToroFish account: Participating in the February Project Evaluations is also worth 50 points.

February Project Evaluations

We have begun working on the detailed schedule of the Project Evaluations in February. Please look at and let us know if you think you will have conflicts with the dates and we'll try to work with you.

Technical Writing

You should be working on the skeleton of your final report at this time.

  • Cite all references, quotes, interviews (always give credit to whom it is due)
  • Formal (no opinions unless backed by research)
  • State the facts
  • Add graphs, tables, visualizations, white space
  • Edited for Spelling and Grammar
Here is a nice set of slides for teachers and students to reference

Review the tips at: and

Scholarships for Seniors

Seniors, please see: and start preparing your scholarship applications. The Challenge is working on getting more scholarship money to give out this year. The deadline for applying is February 28th.

How to win Wheel of Fortune

Here is a nicely validated and verified study from the Washington Post:

ProjectCSGIRLS Competition for Middle School Girls

The ProjectCSGIRLS Competition for Middle School Girls challenges participants (grades 6-8) to build something using computer science and technology to solve an imminent social problem under one of three themes - global health, a safer world, and intelligent technology. Registration deadline is February 15, 2015. To request a mentor, register by February 1, 2015. Projects are due April 1, 2015.

Expanding Your Horizons

Girls, check out the Expanding Your Horizons events this spring in your areas:

Supercomputing in Plain English

Tuesdays starting Jan 20 2015, 12:30pm Mountain Time, live via videoconferencing:

Amazon Smiles

Support the Challenge by shopping at AmazonSmile.
The Challenge, a non-profit, has registered with AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at

Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Challenge.

Sincerely yours,
David, Patty and Celia
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!


If you haven't submitted an Interim Report please do so as soon as possible as we create the February Project Evaluation schedule based on the Interims submitted.

January Peer Project Reviews

In preparation for presenting your project in February, plan to have a peer review this month so that you can practice your presentation skills. See for a description.

February Project Evaluations

In the next few weeks, we will be preparing the February Projects Evaluation schedule. If you have any conflicts that you know of now, please let us know and we'll do our best to accommodate you.


If you need a mentor, please write to us at Consult1415 at supercomputingchallenge dot org.

Challenge Student Spotlight

Sophia Sanchez-Maes was a finalist in the 2013-2014 Supercomputing Challenge. Here is what she has to say about her internship last summer.

My work in the challenge helped me gain the information and background that assisted me in getting an internship this summer. I was named a National Science Foundation Young Scholar for my work with the ReNUWIt project, a combined effort between New Mexico State University, Stanford University, Colorado School of Mines, and the university of California Berkeley, which, as per its acronym, aims to renew the nation's urban water infrastructure. My part of the project had me working with algae, just as I did with Ahmed Muhyi and Ian Rankin on our Supercomputing project! But although that project focused on optimizing algae growth dynamics for use in creating biofuels, my internship focused on a further stage in the production process, the conversion to fuel. You see, traditional conversion methods are very energy expensive, making the algae biofuel production process operate at an energy deficit! To address this problem, I worked with graduate students Harvand Kumar Reddy and Tapaswy Muppanini on bringing the thermochemical conversion down to subcritical temperatures to save energy under the direction of Dr. Shiguang Deng. My part of the project focused on an understudied and especially hardy species of algae, proved for its ability to uptake nutrients from wastewater, and explored its energy content and related factors for the algae and the fuel across a range of subcritical temperatures. Using the process of hydrothermal liquefaction for conversion. I then calculated resulting energy for the conversion process, noting an increase in net energy gain as compared to traditional methods, and presenting my findings at several area symposiums.

The Supercomputing Challenge helped me to get the internship. Selection was done by Dr. Nagamy Nirmalakhandan, a researcher in algae cultivation on the project who we had consulted during the challenge to clarify one of our growth variables! My experience on the project was invaluable in getting me that internship, and performing while there. While other college interns were contributing to the work of their mentors in an assistance-ship, my knowledge of the topic helped me to propose and design my research project with my group.

I've recently been accepted to Yale University on a full scholarship.

Way to go Sophia! Sophia was named a national winner in the National Center for Women in Information Technology's Aspirations in Computing award. You may have also seen the video that her team from last year produced. Check it out at:

Summer Plans?

Again this year, the Supercomputing Challenge would like to help place Junior and Seniors into summer internships. Now is the time to start planning! Several opportunities are available:

  • Research Science Institute
    Each summer, 80 of the world's most accomplished high school students gather at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the Research Science Institute (RSI). RSI is the first cost-free to students, summer science & engineering program to combine on-campus course work in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research.
  • Summer Jobs at Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Summer Jobs at Sandia National Laboratories, click on Students

See other opportunities on the Resources web page.

Online Office Hours

Would you be interested in interacting with a Supercomputing Challenge volunteer online? We are trying to set up a schedule for online "office hours" where you could skype with someone to get help with StarLogo or NetLogo programming. Please let Consult know if you are interested.

Sincerely yours,
David, Patty and Celia
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Wednesday Morning Message, December 10, 2014

This is our last message for the 2014 year. We are looking forward to seeing you at February evaluations at a college near you and in April at the Expo in Los Alamos. Happy Holidays to you and yours! Dream in 2015!

We hope all 107 teams submitted their interim reports today. One of the most important things you can do in the work world is follow through on work commitments. Do what you say are going to do in a quality manner and on time. You are showing your reliability when you turned in your interim report on time. Please add your mentors to your report. If you need a mentor, please write to us at Consult1415 at supercomputingchallenge dot org.

Amazon Smiles

Support the Challenge by shopping at AmazonSmile.
The Challenge, a non-profit, has registered with AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at

Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Challenge.

Thanks to Harry Henderson for offering this suggestion right before your holiday shopping!

Alumni Highlight Neale Pickett

Some of you may have been fortunate to be in a Saturday night kickoff elective with Neale. It was entitled Ethical Hacking and Code Breaking. Neale's team won first place in the very first Challenge in 1991, with an astrophysics topic. Neale is the one in the center in the dark blue t-shirt.

He graduated from NM Tech, majoring in computer science. Neale, a licensed cycling instructor, rides his bike to work at LANL, where he works as a cyber security expert from the Advanced Computing Solutions Program Office.

This is Neale and his family at the NM Museum of Natural History and Science where he gave a talk about cyber security to the NM Science and Math Teachers Convention in November.

He recommends books similar to this on his Google + account.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions RANDALL MUNROE From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

Two Special Descriptions of the Challenge

Eleanor Walther, Expo Head Judge, wrote this teacher favorite: STEM skills, problem solving, critical thinking

On the website: Supercomputing: Pushing the limits of "standard" computing du jour.

Do you have a favorite?

Computer Science Education Week

This is Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code! Please tell us how you celebrated it!

Open Data Portfolio from the City of Albuquerque

There is an extensive ( > 50 datasets) open data portfolio. These datasets are free for anyone to use - whether for research, software development, education or just general information. Maybe you could use some of the data, or maybe you might get an idea for a future project from looking over the data available.

Zuo/Echt-Wilson Siemens Winners!

Albert Zuo and Eli Echt-Wilson are the team category winners of the 2014 National Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation's premier research competition for high school students. They receive a $100,000 college scholarship.

Congratulations to last year's Supercomputing Challenge winners who took their project further!

Sincerely yours,
David, Patty and Celia
Management Crew for Consult

Monday Morning Message, December 8, 2014

Challenge Participants and Teachers,

Congratulations to those who have submitted your Interim already! Let us know who your mentor(s) are.

We know from experience that a mentor makes a difference in the quality of your project. It is also a good way to feel supported and increase your knowledge about your subject. We know that for a lot of you finding a mentor is not easy. Sometimes you don't know what to say, how to say it, or what to ask for. We would like to help. Attached you will find a sample copy of an email to send to a prospective mentor.

For those of you who have already gotten your mentor, congratulations you will find it very useful! Please go to your interim and add your mentor so we know you have one.

To those of you still looking for a mentor, go to the UNM STEM - H mentor database at You can search for a science or Challenge mentor.

You can ask an expert at and list them as a science mentor.

Check at a nearby college for an appropriate mentor. Ask parents and other teachers at school.

If that proves unsuccessful, write to consult1415 at supercomputingchallenge dot org. We think it is so important, we will help you find one after you have taken a stab at it.

Don't forget your interim is due Dec 10th. We need to know what you know by now and how much you have done. If your project is different than your proposed one, talk about what ideas you have abandoned and why as well as your new direction details. Please list your mentor as we will be checking in with you if you have not. Please be aware that if you have not spell checked your report we will ask you to resubmit.

Teachers, please make sure students are getting and reading project reviews. We have many people that spend hours reading reports and making suggestions and are not sure students are getting the reviews.

We will be offering office hours for help in clarifying your project format and ideas, programming. Details soon!

If you want to participate in the Hour of Code at the Explora in Albuquerque, they are hosting an Hour of Code on Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014, 3:30-4:30 pm at Explora, Lab C. For more information contact 505-224-8312.

Good Luck!
Consult Management Team
Patty, David and Celia

Monday Morning Message, December 1, 2014

Enjoy National Cookie Day, December 4th!

Interim Reports

We hope to have all 107 teams submit their interim reports in nine days. When you registered for the Challenge, you made an unspoken commitment to complete the deadlines. Show your persistence in following through! When you submit your Interim, please add to your report who your mentor is. If you need a mentor, please write to us at Consult1415 at supercomputingchallenge dot org.

Alumni Highlight

Christopher Morrison

In 2007, I graduated from Rio Rancho High School in Rio Rancho, NM. I am now a graduate student pursuing my PhD in nuclear engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. My first year focused I on the Columbia Space Shuttle heat tile measuring. We used Star Logo to do the model. My 2nd - 4th years focused on Forest Fire modeling. I started with an C++ program which I refined in my third year with more sophisticated math and physics. For my fourth year I switched to a Java and developed the capability to scan in satellite photographs to have realistic fires.

I received a Challenge scholarship and was a finalist in both 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. I did my undergraduate work at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott Arizona, I double majored in computer science and aerospace engineering. I also minored in electrical engineering and space physics. I am currently doing research on developing space fission reactors for missions traveling throughout the Solar System. I'll graduate in the Fall of 2016.

To this year's teams I would say- It may seem difficult at first but keep it up. The skill you learn in the challenge will follow you the rest of your life and open many doors. The Supercomputing Challenge marked the start of my study of math and science. Because of the Challenge, I have not only had doors open, but I feel that a red carpet was rolled out for me, My work in the Challenge was noticed by Sandia Labs. My junior year of high school I was offered an internship at Sandia. That internship propelled me forward with scholarships, more internships, skills and most importantly ideas. I am still riding the wave even today.

Defying drizzle: UK to Build World's Fastest Weather Forecasting Supercomputer

You have to admit it makes sense: The country that spends the most time per capita whining about the weather - the United Kingdom - is investing in the world's fastest weather forecasting supercomputer. When it's complete, the Met Office's (short for meteorological office) new supercomputer will clock in at 16 petaflops - one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, and more than twice as powerful as the next-fastest weather forecasting computer.

Levitated Design and Code at Abq Railyard Market Dec 14

If you happen to be in Albuquerque for the Railyard's Holiday Market, be sure to check out the Levitated Lifestar:

Computer Science Education Week

Don't forget that next week is Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code!

Sincerely yours,
David. Patty and Celia
Management Crew for Consult

Monday Morning Message, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Interim Reports

If you need assistance with your interim report, do not hesitate to ask. We are quoting Patty Meyer here, our star proposal reviewer:

Your work from now until December 10, when Interim Reports are due, is to do your research so you truly understand your problem. Be sure you know what question you are asking and how will you begin to investigate data.

In your report, you will need to demonstrate what that you made some progress since submitting your proposal, have clarified your question and the variables that effect it. If you haven't started a model, you will need to at least know what agents, and variables will be modeled. This report introduces readers to your topic, reason for its importance and demonstrates your knowledge to this point.

When you submit your Interim, please add to your report who your mentor is. If you need a mentor, please write to us at Consult1415 at supercomputingchallenge dot org

ToroFish Update

After you have submitted your Interim Report, remember to log that with ToroFish and log all your other STEM activities as well.

Alumni Spotlight

Mohit Dubey graduated in 2014 from the New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe, NM. He participated in the Challenge from 5th & 6th grade (Project GUTS) and then again in 2012 - 2014. His Challenge projects ranged from Global Warming to Blind Navigation Tools (using Sound) and Modeling Dengue Fever in Cuba. He now attends Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio. He is studying classical guitar, physics, and neuroscience because the brain, the universe, and the soul are wonderful and boundless things to study. He is very interested in cosmology and modern physics as well as the neurological basis of music and sound and how it influences consciousness. He is most proud of inspiring freshman and sophomore students at his high school to take the Challenge with him during his senior year and continue participating while he is at college.

He would like to say this to this year's Challenge teams. (He performed this "Supercomputing Challenge theme song" at the April 2013 Awards Ceremony.) His biggest challenge is not waiting until the last minute to do things, but instead, anticipating and spreading out work over time. He lives by these quotes: Van Morrison - "The only requirement, is to know what is needed and be sure to deliver what's needed on time." or Feynman's last blackboard quote "What I cannot create, I do not understand."

Teaming Ideas

How are your teamwork skills? Check out the many Supercomputing Challenge teaming/teamwork ideas at:

Supercomputing in Plain English, online course

Interested in taking a free online course in Supercomputing in the Spring? It will be held on Tuesdays at 12:30 starting January 20, 2015. Register at:

Computer Science Education Week, Dec 8-14

Be sure to get your school to participate in Computer Science Education Week and be part of the Largest Learning Event in History!

High Performance Computing Matters

See this short video on High Performance Computing's influence on climate modeling:

Space Shuttle Thermal Protective Tiles Available for Educational Use

NASA invites eligible U.S. educational institutions and museums to request space shuttle thermal protective tiles and other special items offered on a first-come, first-served basis while quantities last. Organizations previously allocated thermal protective tiles may request an additional three tiles.

There will be a nominal shipping fee that must be paid online with a credit card. To make a request for special items online, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to GSAXcessHelp at

David, Celia, Patty, Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, November 17, 2014

24 More Days Left for Interim Reports

Teams have until December 10th to refine their projects for Interim Report. Each team must submit a report online that describes the project, tells about the progress to date, and states the expected results of the work. Your interim report should be written proof of what you know about your project topic, a clear question and a summary of research into the work that is already done, and a plan (if not already started) of what are the elements of your model. Read the Interim Guidelines.

When you submit your Interim, please add to your report who your mentor is. If you need a mentor, please write to us at Consult1415 at supercomputingchallenge dot org

SC14 this Week-HPC Matters

This week several Supercomputing Challenge folks will be part of the 10,000+ people are attending the international Supercomputing'14 conference in New Orleans, LA. ( High Performance Computing affects us all and has provided many benefits. We want you to be part of the positive change in our world by learning about High Performance Computing. See their videos at: to learn more about how High Performance Computing affects/benefits us all.

Challenge Volunteer Spotlight

Challenge volunteer judge and Kickoff instructor, Dana Roberson, was awarded a Top Ten Women of American Business Women's Association (out of roughly 10,000 members) in Overland Park, KS. She had to give a three minute speech on "If I had a personal vision, what would it be and why"

Dana's vision is and has been to encourage and support young women to pursue an education/career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. And she has done just that - Supercomputer Challenge, Expanding Your Horizons, Girl Scouts, etc. Read more at:

Last Year's Supercomputing Challenge Winners Take Project Further

Last year's winners Eli Echt-Wilson and Albert Zuo of La Cueva High took their project on to the Siemens Competition this past weekend and took first in the team competition. Read more at:
Also congratulations of Challenge participant Vincent Tang from Los Alamos High for being a Regional Finalist.

Los Alamos National Laboratory's 100 Supercomputers

Learn about LANL's influence in High Performance Computing History:

Cyber-physical systems

Cyber-physical systems integrate sensing, computation, control and networking into physical objects and infrastructure, connecting them to the Internet and to each other. NSF is a leader in supporting advances in the fundamental knowledge and tools to make cyber-physical systems a reality. Learn more at:

David, Celia, Patty, Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, November 10, 2014

Interim Reports due a month from today

Remember that your Interim Reports ( are due on December 10th.

Computer Science Education Week

CS Ed Week is also a month away. Check out all the activities planned for December 8-14, 2014 at:

Pictures From the Kickoff Posted

Team pictures, and general class pictures, have been post at: Use them to advertise your Supercomputing Challenge participation.

ToroFish Update

Many student registered for ToroFish ( at the Kickoff and some others since then. We have provided names to ToroFish of other Challenge participants and they will be registering you this week. Remember that you get 300 points for participating in the Challenge. You'll get 50 points for submitting your Interim Report in December. (Some students that registered in Socorro only received 20 points instead of the 300 but that is being corrected.)

Alumni Spotlight

Alanna Tempest participated in the Challenge in 2011-2012. Though not a finalist, she did receive a Challenge Scholarship to College. She is presently a Junior at Stanford University in California studying Computer Science with a concentration in Computer Systems. She likes learning how things work (hence the systems concentration). She also likes math and the more theoretical part of computer science -- what problems are solvable with computers, etc. This past summer she is proud that she helped build satellites for Planet Earth Labs. "To this years' Challenge Teams I'd say - Prototype! Define your problem and write some code early. Iterate on it later. I wish I would've started coding much, much earlier. My biggest challenge has been coming to college. I'm around so many brilliant people it's hard to think I can be useful in the world. I've learned to not underestimate myself and now believe that working hard helps get me closer to what I want to be."

"I am large, I contain multitudes." --Walt Whitman

"This quote reminds me that I am diverse as a person. I am allowed to have simultaneous and contradicting thoughts and feelings. I would not be human if I were not complex, and while I strive to be good at what I study, it is also important that what I study is not all that defines me. The mentorship provided by the Challenge is truly amazing. I wish I would've worked harder at my project just so I could've benefitted more from my mentors and the other support staff."

Google launches Computer Science Custom Search

Today Google announces the launch of Computer Science Custom Search, a customized search engine for finding K-12 computer science education (CS) resources. Developed using a collection of over 550 CS education websites, such as Khan Academy, Google CS First, Girl Develop It, Bootstrap, ScratchEd, and Made with Code to name a few, CS Custom Search connects you to computer science education materials and programs. By focusing on a list of websites that provide primarily free and open K-12 CS education resources, the customized search engine ensures that you will find materials that can be readily adopted for your class, after school program, or enrichment for your child.

Start searching by visiting

Big Data In Ebola and the Elections

Ebola and last week's elections are in the news. See these articles about how Big Data plays a role in these topics.

David, Celia, Patty, Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, November 3, 2014

Project Proposals and Reviews

There are currently 103 Proposals submitted! We have been working hard to find reviewers for your proposals. When you get a review, make sure to acknowledge the effort the reviewer put into the review. Thank them and start a dialogue with them.


Get Mentors to help you with your projects. They could be parents, local community members or contacts at companies. The Challenge staff will try to help you find mentors if you are having trouble.

Interim Reports Due in December

Remember that your interim report is due on December 10th. You'll need to include five sources of your research in interims. See the Interim Report Guidelines at:

Alumni Spotlight

Daniel Washington, Graduated from Southwest Secondary Learning Center - 2012 Participated in the Challenge years of 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Project topics were traffic simulation and ant colony simulation and foraging behaviors. I did receive a Challenge scholarship and I was a two time finalist. I currently attend Stanford University studying Aerospace Engineering. I'm most proud of my work with the National Society of Black Engineers as outreach coordinator for the Stanford Chapter. We have helped many kids get more involved with STEM in a very meaningful way. To this year's participants, I would say to think big, and don't limit yourself to what is easy or well-known. Aim for something difficult to reach and the reward will be just that much greater. My greatest challenge is balancing the many facets of life, from school to extra-curriculars to personal life and free time. My favorite inspirational quote: "The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you."
Daniel J. Washington
Stanford University | 2016 | Aeronautics & Astronautics
Gordon laboratory | Student Researcher
NASA Ames Research Center | Intern
TapTh@t performance group | Financial Officer | Choreographer
Society of Black Scientists and Engineers | PCI Outreach Co-Chair

Supercomputing in the News

"We could've stopped Ebola if we.d listened to the data"
Computational epidemiologists were among the those who foresaw the crisis to come. Even the earliest forecasts of epidemic were dire. Read more at:


Sign up for ToroFish ( if you haven't already. The Supercomputing Challenge is paying for this year's membership, so take advantage of that! Get rewarded for your STEM activities.

David, Celia, Patty, Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, October 27, 2014

Good day!

Definition of Computational Science

It was brought to our attention that the last MMM (Monday Morning Message) had an error in the academic marathon section. We are not just looking for a computer program. We are looking for a computational science project.

This is the first definition that came up in a search:
Computational science is an interdisciplinary field in which realistic mathematical models combined with scientific computing methods are used to study, usually through computer simulation and modeling, systems of real-world scientific or societal interest.

We add agent based models to that definition.

Expo Rubric

We celebrate your work in April at an Expo, similar to a science fair, but with team presentations. Attached is the rubric for the Expo, also found at: Do backwards planning and note that the computational, mathematical or agent based model is worth 40% of your assessment.

Alumni Highlight

WOMEN FROM LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY, AS FEATURED ON THE WOMEN@ENERGY WEBSITE 2014. Women @ Energy: Marisol Gamboa is a computer scientist working for the Global Security Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "Create more opportunities for everyone to experience the possibilities STEM offers. Demonstrate by example how it impacts the world we live in and how it opens up new possibilities. The experience of personally solving a problem with software I created had a profound impact on me, much more so than simply hearing or reading about computer scientists."

Marisol is from Hatch, NM!

Supercomputing in the News

From the crash test to the open road, supercomputers are utilized wider than people think. See more at:

The power of computing has the potential to change everything we do. The NFL, HPC, and Big Data:

Computationally yours,
Patty, David and Celia
P.S. Have your mentors lined up yet?

Monday Morning Message, October 20, 2014

Happy Autumn!

Academic Marathon

The Supercomputing Challenge is an academic marathon. There are beginner, intermediate and advanced competitors. You run the course with supporters along the way. There are dates and milestones in the course to mark your progress. Your supporters are a teacher sponsor, the Consult team, the Challenge website, Monday Morning Messages, a project consultant or mentor, and your teammates.

Your goal at the end is to have a computational science project or a computer program for the April Expo. It takes a large amount of effort, hard work and focus. You need core strength, a solid base and the right running shoes for a marathon. For the Challenge you need to finish a computational project or a computer program, complete research, find a mentor and write reports, and meet the deadlines throughout the year. Read more . . .


91 proposals have been submitted. We have the potential for 150 proposals if everyone that registered submits one. This would be the largest amount ever submitted. A wonderful tribute to our 25th year. Please remember to thank the person who reviews your proposal and comment to their suggestions. They are all volunteers and their time is so appreciate.


Do you have a mentor yet? Use this resource, Science Buddies, to ask any scientific questions.

Research Tip

Use Firefox browser? Here is a great research tool to use: Zotero Citation Mini Manual created by Richard Foust, teacher sponsor from Freedom High, ABQ.

Alumni of the Week

Visit this YouTube selfie by Martha Hughes, alum from Shiprock High. The message that science is fun resonates with us, Thanks, Martha for sharing. Love the sunflowers!

Your Consult team, the curriculum, advisory and management team of the Supercomputing Challenge
consult1415 at supercomputingchallenge dot org

Tuesday Morning Message, October 14, 2014

Happy Tuesday!


What an awesome weekend! Thanks to all of you who attended. We do love to hear your kudos, challenges and suggestions!

Matt from Microsoft has offered much follow-up. Here is his email: Matt Wallaert . He will skype with any team that would like his help on a project. He would like to do a webinar for our community. Can you send us suggestions for topics?


We anticipate you will receive an email review of your proposal by November 1st. Take the suggestions seriously and PLEASE send your reviewer a thank you note for her time and suggestions. These people can become your advocates for the Expo in April because they have followed your progress.


Winning and finishing teams all have mentors. You can have one mentor who is your calendar keeper, one your cheerleader, one for science, one for coding. Click here to find one here at UNM STEM-H. Let us know if you have difficulty.

Alumni of the Week

This being our 25th year, one way we will celebrate is to recognize different alum in our weekly messages. This is a quote from Thomas Christie, past teacher from Desert Academy, Santa Fe.

My experience with the Supercomputing Challenge taught me two things: first, that computation is a hugely empowering tool for experimentation, exploration and fun, I have no doubt that discovering this led me to my current field of cognitive science and machine learning. Second, watching students blossom into strong investigators and observing their powerful creativity and aptitude has made me question the value of traditional age-based curriculum and favor getting learning-friendly tech into the hands of as many people as possible of all ages.

Your Consult team, the curriculum, advisory and management team of the Supercomputing Challenge
consult1415 at supercomputingchallenge dot org

Monday Morning Message, October 7, 2014

25th year Logo
We are excited that we will be seeing most of you in less than a week! Note anything new about our logo?

Here are several important instructions here for you.

Before the kickoff

Proposals We have 26 proposals submitted. We would like to have EVERY team's proposal up on the webpage before Sunday, the 12th. Click here for the guidelines. We have people waiting in the wings to help you write your proposal. Write to Consult1415 at supercomputingchallenge dot org for assistance.

Bring a hard copy of your proposal with you as you need it to talk to a scientist about your project. You can work on your proposal on the bus, car or railrunner on the way to Socorro. We may check you at the door to see if you have your proposal. You can work on it Saturday morning in Socorro instead of a tour of the campus. Look in the Challenge archives for ideas. Can you tell that we really want you to realize that you need a proposal to participate in the Meet the Scientist/Project Review on Sunday?

Click here for a General Schedule.

Electives, check out the possible Saturday night electives at: and open your Poll Everywhere app. Choose participant. When prompted, insert text in second block for your choice. You can only vote once. If you don't have a smart phone text the bold KEYWORD to 22333.

Project Management Trello might be the key to your project management. Looking a little like Pinterest, Trello allows users to create project boards and easily manage the people and resources associated with each task. It makes organization easy and may be a way to work with the mentor for your project. Trello is free, but does require registration.

At the Kickoff

Registration Come into the Fidel Student Center from the west door by the post office.
There will be two lines: teachers and students.

The teacher stations include: payment, TEAF's, name tags, flash drives, some handouts, a wonderful Challenge bag.

The student stations include: schedules and electives.

Then the line merges for t-shirts, team and individual pictures and registration for a Challenge gift, a Torofish recognition and reward system for your STEM activities.

Schedules At registration, students pick their individual schedule by math and prior programming languages. Team members may be in different classes.

Hotel Checkin Teachers may check into the hotel Saturday afternoon between 2:00-4:00 or from 5 - 6:45 on Saturday evening.

Ebola on Your Mind?

Note the great visualization about how contagious some infectious diseases are. Visualization and mathematical terms are vital for your projects.

Celia, David, Patty, Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, September 29, 2014

25th Annual Kickoff in just two weeks!

We look forward to seeing most of you on Saturday morning, October 11th, at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. Registration will open up at 9:30. Once registered, some NM Tech students will show you around the campus and lunch will start at 11:30 in the Cafeteria and then we'll gather in the Macey Auditorium at 12:45 for our opening Keynote session. See for descriptions of our keynotes, the generic schedule, and look at the housing link later this week once we get them posted. The Challenge provides room and board while teams are in Socorro. There will be two lines for registration in the Fidel lobby this year, one for teachers and one for students, so we hope to reduce congestion.

Team Entry Authorization Forms

Collect the $40/student registration fees, fill out the Team Entry Authorization Form and mail them to the Supercomputing Challenge. See steps 5 and 6 on the Registration web page.


Review the Proposals web page,, and submit your proposal before the Kickoff on October 11th and BRING a HARDCOPY of it with you to the Kickoff.

Download Phone Apps Now

We will be using some smartphone apps at the Kickoff this year:

YAPP-download our Kickoff app at: We'll be updating it this week and next.

Poll Everywhere-We want you to sign up for the Saturday night electives with We'll send out the link to that poll soon. We also hope to have our Keynote speakers ask some questions during their talks and we'll be able to see everyone's results immediately. That works on tablets, smart phones and basic cell phones.

QR Code Reader-If you have a smart phone, make sure you have a QR Reader App (they are free). Just search for QR Code Reader in your App store.

Team Registration Numbers

When teams register, a number starting at 1000 is assigned. This week we'll order all the teams by school name and assign team numbers that range from 1 to 150. So far 83 teams have registered and 133 students haven't registered on teams. We'll make some team assignment for you which can be changed on the Register or Manage Teams web page.

Have Questions?

Email consult1415 at supercomputingchallenge dot org and ask!

David, Celia, Patty,
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Wednesday Afternoon Message, September 24, 2014

Welcome to the 25th Annual Supercomputing Challenge!


300 students and 48 teachers from 49 schools have registered for this year's Challenge. So far 75 teams have registered but there are still 133 students not registered on teams. Please click on the Register or Manage Teams link on the Registration page to organize teams.

Teams will be renumbered to numbers between 1 and 150 based on the alphabetical ordering of school names next week.

Team Entry Authorization Forms

Collect the $40/student registration fees, fill out the Team Entry Authorization Form and mail them to the Supercomputing Challenge. See steps 5 and 6 on the Registration web page.


Be thinking about your projects and review the Proposals web page,, and submit your proposal before the Kickoff on October 11th.

Smart Phones at the Kickoff

Be sure to bring your smart phone with you to the Kickoff as we hope to make use of them this year.

Housing at the Kickoff

We'll be making housing lists for the hotels in Socorro early next week and will let you know when they are posted. Supercomputing Challenge sponsors cover the cost of the hotels and meals are provided will you are at the Kickoff.

David, Celia, Patty, Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Afternoon Message, September 16, 2014


With a week to go for registering, we have 129 students and 29 teachers from 34 schools signed up. We'll be working on the hotel housing lists next week so please do get those registrations in soon. The Supercomputing Challenge will make hotel reservations for everyone coming from out of town.

Form Teams

Ten teams have formed so far, so the other 108 currently registered participants need to form teams. Click on the Register or Manage Teams link on the Registration web page.

Submit Proposals

Two teams have submitted their proposals, good job! While working on your proposal, see the Proposals web page at:

Keynote Speakers

We have some great Keynote Speakers lined up, Matt Wallaert from Microsoft will be our Saturday night Keynote Speaker, learn about him at:

Stephen Guerin, of, will be our Sunday lunch Keynote Speaker.

Speaking of keynote speakers, Christa Brelsford, our keynote speaker two years ago, won the International Federation of Sport Climbing Paraclimbing World Championship in Spain last week:!comp=1501&cat=92
Congratulations Christa!

9/11 Memorial

David, Celia, Patty, Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Afternoon Message, September 8, 2014

Registrations are rolling in!

So far, we have 56 students and 18 teachers registered for the 25th Annual Supercomputing Challenge. Five schools are new this year: Aldo Leopold, East Mountain, NM Military Institute, St. Michaels, and South Valley Prep. Welcome!

Teachers, if you haven't registered yourselves and your teams, go to:


Once students have registered, start forming teams by clicking on the Register or Manage Teams button on the Registration page.


We even have one proposal submitted so far. While working on your proposal, see the Proposals web page at:

David, Celia, Patty,
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Tuesday Afternoon Message, September 2, 2014

Registrations are starting to roll in

Six teachers and four students have registered so far. Please register for this year by the 20th of September.

Kickoff Theme: AA to VV

We are looking at themes for this year and they will include Modeling and Big Data and Cyber Security and we hope to cover "abstractions and algorithms to validation and verification"

Supercomputing Challenge Milestones

During the July Summer Teacher Institute we talked about the monthly Challenge activities that teams/teachers should be doing and here are the activities for August and September:


      • Remember Diversity
      • Demo and Advertise

See the full list.

UNM CS/ECE Day, Wed 10th 1:30pm-5pm

See our research
Meet our students

Please mark your calendars: The Depts of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering are happy to invite you to a showcase of our cutting edge research, and the projects that our students are doing. See for details.

Los Alamos ScienceFest

Los Alamos is having a ScienceFest from September 5th through September 13th. Check out the schedule at: and

NASA Educational Express Message

We sent out a recent email from NASA Education. Some deadlines have passed, but it is interesting to see what kind of opportunities are available from NASA. Subscribe at

David, Celia, Patty,
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, August 25, 2014

Are you ready for the 25th Annual Supercomputing Challenge?


Start forming teams to participate in the 25th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

Registration will open on September 1st

Registration deadline is September 20th.


Teams need to form and start thinking about their projects and preparing a proposal. See for guidelines.

Our theme for this year will be modeling.

Kickoff Conference

The Kickoff Conference will be held October 11-12 in Socorro, New Mexico.


Please print a flyer to place in your school for advertisement.

Here is the invite link:

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 25th year, help us celebrate!

Celia, David and Patty representing Consult, the Challenge Management Team
Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult1415 @

These News Flashes are archived at so that you can review them at a later date. There 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: consult1415 @

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
If you have volunteered for the Challenge, please fill out our In Kind form.
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