New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

The Supercomputing Challenge Winners, 2009-2010

Isaac Richardson, LANL Deputy Director, welcomed the 62 teams from all over the state at their Awards Ceremony on April 27th.

Top prize at the Supercomputing Challenge Awards Day was captured by a team of three boys from Melrose. Their project Control and Spread of Wildfires II. Richard Rush, Kyle Jacobs, and Randall Rush each earned a $1,000 check. Their teacher sponsors were Alan Daugherty and Rebecca Raulie. This team also received the Crowd Favorite, selected by all the participants - teams, teachers, and mentors - based on a gallery walk through of all the project posters. The team will share $100.

Second Prize was awarded to a Team 65, from Los Alamos High School. The team members were Gabriel Montoya, Rachel Robey, Orli Shlachter, and Orion Staples . Each team member received $500. Their project was called The Holy Grail of Adam's Ale. Their sponsoring teacher was Lee Goodwin and their mentors were Robert and Thomas Robey. They also shared the Visualization award for $150 from the Computer Science and Engineering Department at New Mexico Tech. Team 65 also won the Best Technical Poster Award. Their poster will be the front cover for the 2009-2010 Final Reports which will be published for the Kickoff in October 2010.

Third Prize went to team 70, from Los Alamos High. Their project To Kill a Flocking Bird earned each team member $250. The Team Members were Peter Ahrens, Stephanie Djidjev, Vicky Wang and Mei Liu. Their teacher sponsor was Lee Goodwin, Mentors were Christine and James Ahrens. That's not all! The Council for Higher Education Computing/Communication Services awarded the team the Best Internet Research Prize and a $500 cash award. They also garnered the award from the New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering for the best project with a majority of young women involved. They also shared the Visualization award for $150.

Additional Finalist teams were:

Team 5, Albuquerque Academy, The Metropolis Algorithm and Nanometer-Scale Pattern Formation
Team Members: Michael Wang, Jack Ingalls
Sponsor: Jim Mims, Mentor: David Dunlap, Ph.D

Team 36, Desert Academy, Arbitrary Precision Integers on the Cell Processor
Team Members: Megan Belzner, Matt Rohr, Bjorn Swenson
Sponsor/Mentor: Thomas Christie

Team 37, Desert Academy, The Spread of the Black Death in London
Team Members: Katie Boot, Sara Hartse
Sponsors: Thomas Christie, Jocelyn Cornstock

Team 69, Los Alamos High School,
Enlightenment: Metropolis-Hastings Ray Prediction Model in 3D Space
Team Members: Kathy Lin, Jake Poston, Ryan Marcus, Dov Shlachter
Mentor: Lee Goodwin

Team 84, McCurdy High School, Particle-Atmosphere Interaction
Team Members: Dennis Trujillo, Oliver Galvan, Brandon Ricci
Mentors: John Pretz, Brenda Dingus, Philip Sanchez

All were taking home posters for their school trophy cabinets and a large banner for their gym and $50 per student.

The Challenge honored Erika DeBenedictis who won the individual Intel Science Talent Search with $100,000 scholarship. Erika participated as the youngest finalist judge as part of the Challenge's appreciation for her skills.

The Creativity and Innovation Award, $100, from Sandia National Laboratories went to Team 33, Deming High School, Tortuga Trouble: A New Survey Method. Team Members were Rocky Navarrete and Gabriela Anguiano. Their teacher sponsor was Creighton Edington.

The Science Rocks award went home with Team 18, Aspen Elementary, The Disappearing Honeybees. Team Members were Kim Vo, Rowan Cantua and Kaelan Prime. Their sponsor was Zeynep Unal. Their mentor was Duc Vo.

The best epidemiology project was given to Team 37 from Desert Academy. The title of their project was The Spread of the Black Death in London. Team members were Katie Boot and Sara Hartse. Their sponsors were Thomas Christie and Jocelyn Comstock.

Team 79, Los Alamos Middle School, Alien River Cloggers, won the Los Alamos National Laboratory Environmental Modeling Award and $100. Team members were Jacob Holesinger and Kevin Tao, Teacher sponsor was Clara Vigil. Their Mentor was Terry Holesinger.

Cray, Inc. awarded Team 36, Desert Academy, Arbitrary Precision Integers on the Cell Processor the High Performance Computing Award. Team members were Megan Belzner, Matt Rohr, Bjorn Swenson. Sponsor and mentor was Thomas Christie.

The Don't Panic Award goes Team 50, Freedom High School, A Proper Interpretation of Panic. Team members were William Barrett, Holly Campbell, Chelsea Kibbee and Amy Ronan. Their teacher sponsor was Joe Vertrees.

Teamwork Award went to 107 from Quemado High and Silver High Their project First Impressions earned $100. Team members were Jose Mora and Austin Nightengale. Their teachers were Laura Larisch and Peggy Larisch.

Team 13 from Artesia received $100 for the Best Web Presentation of a Final Report for their project Classroom Behavior. Team members were Cristina Villa, Nayeli Ramirez and Brenna Arredondo. Teacher sponsors was Amy Mathis. Mentors were Randall Gaylor, Nick Bennett and Olivia Rueda.

The Award for Best Agent Based Modeling goes to team 37 from Desert Academy. The team members, Katie Boot and Sara Hartse, worked on the project, The Spread of the Black Death in London. The sponsors were Thomas Christie and Jocelyn Comstock.

Team 102, from Navajo Preparatory School, Alexis Archambault, Ariel Nephew and Wilfred Jumbo received the Community Focus Award and $100 for their project The Latest Buzz About Bees. Their sponsor was Mavis Yazzie.

The Award for Best Professional Presentation Award, given by the Albuquerque Journal, went to Team 68 from Los Alamos High School. They were well-prepared, articulate, dressed appropriately, and responsive to feedback. The team members were Sam Baty and Peter Armijo. Their sponsors were Lee Goodwin and Diane Medford. Mentors were Roy Baty and John Armijo. Their project title was Astrophysical N-Body Simulations of Star Clusters.

Team 53 was taking home the Jeff Bingaman Middle School Award. Team Members were Ariel Koh and Aline Parliman Their project was Grocery Tracker. Their mentor was Dr. Aik-Siong Koh.

Harry Henderson and JP Gonzales were awarded the Challenge Service Award for traveling the state to support teams and being a vital part of the Challenge management team.

Two new awards went to Jerry Esquivel, CEPi1, an Albuquerque charter school and Laura Larisch, Quemado High. Laura won the Newcomer Award for being a first year teacher sponsor who supported three teams and two scholarship applicants. Jerry won the Magellan Award for bringing computer science to his school community and modeling life long learning.

The best logo award went to Team 11, for the best graphic for next year's logo which goes on the t-shirts and teacher bags. Artesia High School, Sugarscaping On a Beowulf Ring. Team Members were Wesley Green, Isaiah Jordan, James McGee, Wen Hai Zheng. Their teacher sponsor was Randall Gaylor. Their mentors were Nick Bennett and Jose Quiroz.

The Best Use of Parallelism Award went to Team 69, Los Alamos High School, with their project Enlightenment: Metropolis-Hastings Ray Prediction Model in 3D Space. Team members were Kathy Lin, Jake Poston, Ryan Marcus and Dov Shlachter. Their Teacher sponsor was Lee Goodwin. They received a $300 cash award from the Computer Science and Engineering Department at New Mexico Tech.

This year the Challenge was given $50,000 from LANL's Division of Computer, Computational, and Statistical Sciences Division for scholarship awards. An additional $2500 came from Intel, $1200 from the Challenge for the Willard Smith Scholarships and $9,000 was given by in-state colleges and universities. Students receiving scholarships were

Erika DeBenedictis, Albuquerque Academy
Dennis Trujillo, McCurdy High
Gabriela Anguiano, Deming High
Brenna Arredondo, Artesia
Kathy Lin, Los Alamos
Oliver Galvan, McCurdy
Jon Romero, Bloomfield High
Cristina Villa, Artesia High
Jack Ingalls, Albuquerque Academy
Ryan Marcus, Los Alamos High
Rocky Navarrete, Deming High
Michael Wang, Albuquerque Academy
Elysia Berg, Hope Christian High
William Jennings, Hope Christian High
Judith Flores, Quemado High
Janessa Larabee, Quemado
Erick Chavez, Deming High
Cameron Corley, Bloomfield High
Matt Crockett, Bloomfield High
Kaitlyn Dow, Northern New Mexico College
Amanda Edington, Deming High
Yolly Gamboa, Hatch High
Jake Poston, Los Alamos High
Brandon Ricci, McCurdy High
Jeremy Salazar, Bloomfield High

Consult, the Challenge management team, honored head finalist judge, Michael Trahan, Sandia National Labs, veteran teacher, Karen Glennon, Jackson Mid School, Albuquerque, and new teacher sponsor, Creighton Eddington, Deming High, for their patriotism, time and expertise.

CHECS, the New Mexico Council for Higher Education Computing/Communication Service, provided cash for random drawing door prizes and Amy Ronan from Freedom High, Michael Wang from Albuquerque Academy, Kelsey Theriot from Jackson Middle School, Ryan Cortez and Lewis Taylor from V. Sue Cleveland High and Ryan Marcus from Los Alamos High each received $100.

Now in its 20th year, the Challenge was open to any New Mexico high-school or middle-school student. Over the past year, schools around the state researched scientific problems, developed sophisticated computer programs, learned computer science with mentors from the state's national laboratories and other organizations, and got the opportunity to run their programs on some of the world's most powerful computers.

The goal of the year-long event was to increase knowledge of science and computing; expose students and teachers to computers and applied mathematics; and instill enthusiasm for science in middle- and high-school students, their families and communities. Participating students improve their understanding of technology by developing skills in scientific inquiry, modeling, computing, communications and teamwork.

Supercomputing Challenge Sponsors:

Primary Sponsors:

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, the State of New Mexico

Educational Partners:

CHECS, Eastern New Mexico University, MIT Starlogo, New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Northern New Mexico College, New Mexico Public Education Department, New Mexico State University, San Juan College, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe Institute, Tennessee State University and the University of New Mexico

Commercial Partners-Gold:

Lockheed Martin/Sandia National Laboratories, Siemens Foundation, Wolfram Research, Inc.

Commercial Partners-Silver:

Google RISE, Gulfstream Group and, Intel Corporation, One Connect IP, VanDyke Software, Inc. and ZiaNet

Commercial Partners-Bronze:

Abba Technologies/SGI, Albuquerque Tribune, Apogentech, BX Internet, iniCom Networks Inc, Lobo Internet Services, New Mexico Technology and Council, New Mexico Internet Professionals Association, Redfish Group and Strategic Analytics

More information on the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge can be found at online, while final student reports are available at online.

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