New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Weekly News Flashes

Monday Morning Message, May 3, 2010

Congratulations to each of you for taking the Challenge!

What an awesome time we had in Los Alamos! Thank you David for being such a neat host.

Please check out the publicity about the Expo and Awards Day at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/expo/index.shtml#publicity
Take a look at the photos that were taken at the Expo and the Awards Ceremony by clicking on the links on the home page.

If you received a scholarship or an award, please write a thank you note to the appropriate sponsor as soon as possible. Thanks!

Summer Roundups

We are hoping to have seven roundups the second end of June. If you live near Farmington, Espanola, Las Vegas, Roswell, Las Cruces, Silver or ABQ, we hope to see you at a free week long workshop. Students come in the morning and teachers all day. We will be starting study on our climate change theme.

Parallel Processing

We also hope to co-sponsor a Think Parallel Boot Camp with Intel. Details will be coming soon.

Parallel processing is the ability to carry out multiple operations or tasks simultaneously. The term is used in the contexts of both human cognition, particularly in the ability of the brain to simultaneously process incoming stimuli, and in parallel computing by machines.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_processing

Hispanic College Symposium

We have been asked to repeat our very successful workshop about the Challenge, technical careers and the importance of college. Seniors, would any of you like to join us in doing this workshop on June 16th at UNM?

Next Big Idea

Save the Dates, Friday, July 16th, Saturday July 17th

Come play with us in Los Alamos once again. Let us know if you would like to participate in the Next Big Idea STEM Student Day on July 16th.

Challenge 2010 - 11

Look for our registration page in September! Bring your friends to the next kickoff at New Mexico Tech, Saturday and Sunday, October 16th and 17th. Seniors, plan to come and help us at this event.

Have a great summer. We hope to see you at a Roundup, Boot Camp, The Next Big Idea and/or the Hispanic College Symposium.

Supercomputingly yours,
Betsy, Celia and David


Wednesday Afternoon Message, April 21, 2010

Congratulations to the first round finalists: http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/finalist_sched.shtml

Second round finalists will be selected based on their Expo presentations next Monday morning.

Double check Expo time, be there at least a half hour early http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/exposchedule.shtml

Monday morning check in at the registration desk in the Study Center (upstairs in the Library) then go find your presentation location.

You will get a badge at registration. Badges must be warn while on Laboratory property and returned at the end of your visit on Monday.

Double check hotel reservations: http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo

30% chance of rain on Monday in Los Alamos, so be prepared.

Bring your display board, logo, nice clothes to present in, good walking shoes, . . .

If the Challenge were a marathon, you would be in the last mile, YOU CAN DO IT!

Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, April 19, 2010

Good Day!

Many links here so you will be prepared for our celebration. Are you working on your display board and a new logo for next year? The logo is an optional assignment. We are hoping for a logo other than blue in color!

Please check out your housing assignment and the schedule times for the Expo/Awards Day.

Review of this week and next week

Monday, April 19, 2010, 8:00 am Submissions for the Best Web version of a final report due.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 Judges' Conference Call. First round finalists will be chosen during the Judges' Conference Call. The selections are based on written reports and results will be posted to the Challenge Web page. Consult will call schools as well.

Monday, April 26, 2010 Supercomputing Challenge Expo in Los Alamos

Voting

Remember to vote for your favorite logo and your favorite project after the Expo. 5:00-7:00 Reception at the Bradbury Science Museum.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos, 9:00-noon

Here is the Judging Information
A description of the judging of the finalist teams.
Judging Criteria that will be used during the final judging.
Display Board Requirements
Judges' rubric for the Expo judging.
Directions/Housing/Parking
Directions and Map to the Hotels, Expo, and Awards Ceremony
Hotel arrangements
Questions
consult@challenge.nm.org

Technological Innovation

And what technological innovation do you wish you thought of first and why? The NM Business Weekly asked this of the people they honored as Who's Who in Technology. Write down your answer and we will have a box for them at registration and will read some of them at the Awards Day ceremony.

Excited to know we will be seeing a majority of you in a week!

Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, April 12, 2010

Good Day!

We were excited to receive 61 final reports! Now is the time to be working on your display board and your presentation. Click on these links for tips!

Hotel Plans

If you are still planning to register for our end of the year celebration, please do so today.

Hotel rooms in Los Alamos will be provided for all registrants who live more than 150 miles away on the evenings of Sunday, April 25th and Monday, April 26th.
Schools: Artesia, Bloomfield, Deming, Hatch Valley, Melrose, Navajo Prep, Quemado, Red Mountain Mid, Silver, Tibbetts Mid

Hotel rooms in Los Alamos will be provided for those registrants who live between 60 and 150 miles of Los Alamos on Monday, April 26th.
Schools: AIMS@UNM, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque High, CEPi1, Cleveland High, Edgewood Elementary, Edgewood Mid, Freedom, Hope, Jackson Mid, Manzano, Sandia Prep

Schools expected to commute on Monday and Tuesday are:
Schools: Aspen Elementary, Capshaw Mid, Desert Academy, Espanola Valley High, Home Schools, Los Alamos High, Los Alamos Mid, McCurdy, Monte del Sol, NNMC

Please e-mail Consult AT challenge.nm.org if you will NOT be needing housing for one (or both) of these nights.

Check the housing lists at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo to make sure you are on the list if your team registered and needs housing.

Details on the Expo

The finalist judges will pick approximately five finalist teams based on their final written report. They will be announced on Wednesday, April 21st and will present to the finalist judges on Monday, the 26th in the morning. There will be an Expo schedule created for the rest of the teams to present on Monday, April 26th. Five or so teams will be chosen that morning to present to the finalist judges that afternoon. Check that schedule so you know when to arrive at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. You should arrive at least a half hour before your presentation time so you can find parking, find the Research Library, find your station and get set up.

Clarification on the Presentations

The teams selected as finalist (announced on April 21st) should most certainly have a powerpoint presentation for the Finalist Judges. The rest of the teams will be presenting in the Library, at stations (tables) spread around the basement and first floors. They will be presenting to three or four judges, who will probably be standing, maybe five feet away. If they want to bring a laptop to show their project running and or to have a powerpoint presentation, that is fine. There may or may not be a plug close to the location so batteries should be charged.

Of course, the laptop will need to be secured elsewhere after the presentation and while the teams are on the tours.

Voting at the Expo

When you finish your presentation and as part of your tour, you need to vote for three awards:
The Best Logo for Next Year for the t-shirt, website, etc.
The Best Display Board for the cover of the Finalist Reports
The Crowd Pleaser - Students' Favorite Project
and Teachers vote for their favorite project, too!

Best Web Version

Monday, April 19, 2010, 8:00 am is when the submissions for the Best Web version of a final report due. Check out the archives on our webpage and go to final reports and observe the entries for past years so you can see what is expected. Let us know if you do not have a server where you can place your submission.

Challenge Summer Activities

Details will soon follow as to dates and places for a Summer Roundup in Silver, Farmington, Espanola, Las Vegas, Roswell, Las Cruces and Albuquerque. These are week long workshops for both teachers and student. They will take place at a NMCAC (Computing Applications Center) Gateways where we will take advantage of the 3d and videoconferencing capabilities. The Roundups will include agent based models on Climate Change, our theme for next year.

Also, if you are going to be a junior or a senior next year and you have had algebra two, we will be inviting you to attend Intel's Think Parallel Bootcamp at one of the Gateways also. Stay tuned!

Special Event at 5:00 on Monday, the 26th

You are all invited to attend a reception for Challenge participants at the Bradbury Science Museum. The Museum is located at 1350 Central Avenue Los Alamos, NM 87544. Explore their Interactive Exhibits.

Betsy, Celia and David,


Monday Morning Message, April 5, 2010

Good Day,

The winds are present here east of Albuquerque. Temps are up but with the constant wind, it still feels cool.

TWO DAYS LEFT

You have two days to get your final report in by attaching your file to an e-mail message to finalreport10 at challenge dot nm dot org
Format for the file name is team_xxx_report.doc/team_xxx_report.odt.

Then register to celebrate with us in Los Alamos at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/registration.shtml
The Challenge pays for rooms, breakfasts and lunches.

We already have two reports in! Congrats to

Los Alamos High

Quemado High & Silver High

Judges start looking at your reports at 12:01 on the 7th. Then they have a conference call on Wednesday, April 21, 2010. Consult will contact the five or so teams chosen for finalists. Then on the 26th, five or so more teams will be chosen as finalists.

All teams at the Expo on the 26th will present to two - three judges who will give them oral and written feedback.

Monday, April 19, 2010, 8:00 am is the date for submissions for the Best Web version of a final report due.

Kudos to Cleveland High Team

Intel invited the Challenge to have a table at the Who's Who is Technology Awards Ceremony last Thursday evening. At the last moment, Ryan Cortez, Matthew Bradley and Jeremy Wright, Team 30, joined Eleanor Walther, head Expo judge, Tony Giancola, Challenge Board of Directors and Celia Einhorn, Consult, as we honored all the awardees and also Erika DeBenedictis for her great honor. The Governor gave Erika an award! Thanks Ms. Loftin for organizing the team!

New Educational Games from NASA

NASA has introduced four new educational games. Willard Smith, our NASA connect, sends us information from time to time on NASA educational programs. These are full of facts, quick and might be fun for you to share with your younger brothers and sisters.

Build Your Own Space Mission

In this interactive game, students choose a scientist, laboratory, spacecraft and destination as they design their own space mission. After packing the spacecraft into a rocket, they watch it blast off to their destination of choice. http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/edu_game

Astro-Matic 3000 --

Use the Astro-Matic 3000 to learn how much you would weigh or how old you would be if you lived on another planet. Students also learn facts about each planet. http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Astro-Matic_3000.html

Let's Fly Away Airplane Dodecahedron

In the interactive version, students click and drag the dodecahedron to see NASA aircraft. They also can read about the aircraft and print full color pictures or a coloring page. In the Build Your Own activity, students print, color and construct their own dodecahedron featuring 12 different NASA aircraft.

Interactive Dodecahedron http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/clubhouse/Lets_Fly_Away.html
Build Your Own Dodecahedron http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Lets_Fly_Away.html

LANL and Sandia's Next Supercomputer

The National Nuclear Security Administration officially has announced the acquisition of its newest supercomputing platform from Cray Inc. http://investors.cray.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=98390&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1409130
Look for it on next year's tours after the Expo.

Computingly yours,
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, March 29, 2010

Happy Almost April,

Final Report due in nine days! http://challenge.nm.org/finalreports

Registration for the Expo is available at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/registration.shtml

Important Dates

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at NOON. Deadline to submit final report.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 Registration deadline for Expo and Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos.

Monday, April 19, 2010, 8:00 am Submissions for the Best Web version of a final report due.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 Judges' Conference Call.

Monday, April 26, 2010 Supercomputing Challenge Expo in Los Alamos

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos

More on Erika

We have asked Erika DeBenedictis, winner of the Intel Individual Talent Search, to be the youngest finalist judge and she has agreed to join the panel. She will be sharing her award winning program with all of us at the Awards Day Ceremony.

Five finalist teams will be chosen on April 21st based on the content of their final reports. Those teams will be judged on the morning of the Expo, April 26th. An additional four or five teams will be chosen from the Expo to present to the finalist judges on Monday afternoon. All teams need to have a display board. Details for the board can be found at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/displayboard.shtml

Teacher Sponsor at Desert Academy Takes New Position

Thomas Christie learned this month that he's been accepted to study cognitive science at the University of Minnesota. He has a research assistantship with Professor Apostolos Georgopoulos. He's interested in doing a complex adaptive systems-style model of neural communication (like a neural network, but where the neurons are a bit smarter). Thomas says, "I have to credit the Challenge and GUTS programs for introducing me to the realm of modeling in the first place!" Best of luck to you, Thomas. Perhaps, you could be an online mentor for our teams next year.

Summer Roundups in a Nearby "Corral"

Summer Roundups are week-long seminars for students and teachers to learn together at a neighborhood NM Computer Applications Center Gateway. Sponsored by Project GUTS and the Supercomputing Challenge, students, teachers, and facilitators will share experiences from last summer's June Roundups which were held in eight locations around NM. This year, we plan to use the Gateways to broadcast lessons from one site to the others and to share project ideas among the Roundups. Our theme this summer is Climate Change. Roundups are scheduled tentatively in Clovis, Albuquerque, Espanola, Vegas, Silver, Farmington and Cruces.

Supercomputing Challenge Teacher of the Year Award

Nominate your teacher sponsor! Tell us why your supporting teacher rocks! In 100 words or less, tell us why she deserves to be honored. How has he supported you? How has she helped with mentors? How has he helped you think through your problem?

The winning teacher will receive an award at the Awards Ceremony, in Los Alamos. Your nomination is due April 6th. Just email your nomination to consult @ challenge.nm.org

Research team 'virtualizes' a supercomputer

A collaboration between researchers at Northwestern University, Sandia National Labs and the University of New Mexico has resulted in the largest-scale study ever done on what many consider an important part of the future of computing -- the virtualization of parallel supercomputing systems. http://www.physorg.com/news183226321.html


Monday Morning Message, March 22, 2010

Good Day,

Scholarships

Seniors, you have three days to complete your online scholarship application. Please write to celia.einhorn @ gmail.com with any questions.

Final Reports

Teams, final reports are due online in two weeks and two days. That is 16 days away. Please read the guidelines at http://challenge.nm.org/finalreports

Register for Expo & Awards Ceremony

Then, please register for our end of the year celebration at http://challenge.nm.org/expo/registration.shtml

Kudos to Erika DeBenedictis

Awesome News from http://www.societyforscience.org/STS
"Intel and SSP are honored to announce Erika DeBenedictis of Albuquerque, NM as top winner of the Intel STS 2010. She received a $100,000 award from the Intel Foundation for her project developing a software navigation system to help improve spacecraft travel through the solar system. Erika's research found that the gravity and movement of planets create easy transit routes, which will ultimately help spacecraft move faster and with less fuel.

The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is America's most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors. Since 1942, first in partnership with Westinghouse and beginning in 1998 with Intel, SSP has provided a national stage for America's best and brightest young scientists to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists."

Link to this YouTube of Erika talking about developing a software navigation system to help improve spacecraft travel through the solar system. The Challenge is very proud of Erika and her achievement here, at Siemens, and of course in the Supercomputing Challenge. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOMYLRygDkc

Supercomputing Challenge Teacher of the Year Award

Nominate your teacher sponsor! Tell us why your supporting teacher rocks! In 100 words or less, tell us why she deserves to be honored. How has he supported you? How has she helped with mentors? How has he helped you think through your problem?

The winning teacher will receive an award at the Awards Ceremony, in Los Alamos. Your nomination is due April 6th. Just email your nomination to consult @ challenge.nm.org

KOAT TV Research Rocks, team 65

Thanks, Supercomputing Challenge team 65 from Los Alamos high school, for allowing KOAT TV to interview you for their Research Rocks! segment that aired on March 19th and 20th. See the clip at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/research_rocks.shtml

Supercomputing Link

World's largest thumb drive? Drowning in Data? It's not just about FLOPS (floating point operations per second) anymore...
http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/supercomputer/02-24NextForHPC.asp

Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Afternoon Message, March 15, 2010

Happy Ides of March! (What is this?)

Are you on spring break? Is the weather cooperating? (sorry for the weather delayed MMM)

Final Reports

The submission deadline for your final report will NOON on April 7th, 2010. That is in little more than three weeks. More details are available at
http://challenge.nm.org/resources/index.shtml#writing

We have mentors waiting in the wings if you need help with technical writing. Mr. G, the Library Guy, in Artesia, says that technical writing of the Final Report is of most importance in the Challenge. Technical Writing is a vital 21st century skill.

Registration for Housing in Los Alamos

Please register as a team at
http://challenge.nm.org/expo/registration.shtml

Hotel rooms in Los Alamos will be provided for all registrants who live more than 150 miles away on the evenings of Sunday, April 25th and Monday, April 26th.

Rooms will be provided for those registrants who live between 60 and 150 miles of Los Alamos on Monday, April 26th.

Schools expected to commute on Monday and Tuesday are:
Schools: Aspen Elementary, Capshaw Mid, Desert Academy, Espanola Valley High, Home Schools, Los Alamos High, Los Alamos Mid, McCurdy, Monte del Sol, NNMC.

Breakfasts and lunches are included in your registration. You will need money for dinner on Monday evening.

Senior Scholarships

Ten more days to get your online application in for our fabulous scholarships. Please write celia.einhorn @ gmail.com with any questions. Please do apply so that we can continue receiving this money for students' benefits.

More Prizes at Awards Day

Our long time sponsor CHECS is giving $500 for the best teamwork project and the project with the best research. The judges select these awards. These two skills also are important in our 21st century work world.

Our logo for next year is created by one of you! It will go on our t-shirts, website, stationary, etc. We all get to vote on our favorite logo. Specific directions are available at
http://www.challenge.nm.org/expo/logo_poster.shtml

Winners of this award receive glory and two crisp one hundred dollar bills.

Display Board

One of our finalist judges, David Janecky, has some thought on your display board which is due on Monday, April 26th in Los Alamos. He notes in an email:

"What I would like to see on the display boards is a focus on computing and simulation results. Sometimes there have been boards that were almost all background information, and very often there are projects that don't move to more than a single run through the code produced. My conceptual view is that the display boards should have no more than a quarter on background, then half on the development of code and computing using that code (preferably somewhat evenly divided, though I would likely be excited by a predominance of computing), and then up to a max of a quarter on what was learned and where the next steps are. I would like to encourage all teams to think in terms of computations. Even those that do have code sometimes only run through it once, and they then have a tendency to ignore the rich results and insights they could get by varying the parameter sets that are readily accessible in the code they built."

So to make David happy:
1/4 of the display board on background info
1/2 on code and computing
1/4 on results and future plans

We all get to vote for our favorite board and that picture goes on the cover of our final report booklet for 2009 - 10. Winners of that poll receive $200.

And Speaking about Zombies and Epidemiology

Challenge friend Roger Critchlow sends us this update:

The zombie paper, "When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical Modeling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection", inspired this blogger to create an agent based model of zombie outbreaks and question some of the assumptions in the original paper,
http://thetortoiseslens.blogspot.com/2010/03/agent-based-computational-model-of.html


Tuesday Morning Message, March 9, 2010

Good Day,

We are looking forward to having some reports next week about our tours at Sandia and UNM. What a neat way to view some technology careers up close!

Senior Scholarships

Seniors, please look in your email for the link to the brand, new scholarship application. We appreciate the patience you have awarded us as we unveil this process. Congrats to Judith Flores from Quemado High for being the first completed application! You have about two weeks to complete your application.

Mini Challenge

Congrats to Brenna Arredondo from Artesia High School for completing our research Mini Challenge. She will receive a $50 gift card from i-Tunes. Abba Technologies is the sponsor for this award.

The Art and Science of System Biology Santa Fe Complex, Saturday, March 27th, Noon - 5

Schools close to Santa Fe, please support this Complex event.
Come see the viewing of ARTS Lab dome projections of Molecularium videos. Pick a workshop on either Nanoscience or Agent-based modeling. Take a peek at the molecular world through imaging at 4 PM. See the winning pieces from the 2009 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge. Learn more at
http://sfcomplex.org/2010/02/the-art-and-science-of-systems-biology

Final Judging and Awarding of Prizes

Here are a listing of important dates as this year draws to a close:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at NOON. Deadline to submit final report.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 Registration deadline for Expo and Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos.

Monday, April 19, 2010, 8:00 am Submissions for the Best Web version of a final report due.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 Judges' Conference Call.

Monday, April 26, 2010 Supercomputing Challenge Expo in Los Alamos

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos

Prizes

Let's talk about prizes! There will be monetary prizes for all the top teams that win the 2009-10 Challenge competition. Each individual that attends the Expo/Awards Day ceremonies in Los Alamos will receive a memento for their work this year. There are prizes for being a brand new team. New prizes this year are for the best theme project on epidemiology and Dr. Liebrock from New Mexico Tech is offering the first annual visualization and parallel programming awards. Teaming and research is valued in the Challenge and we have cash prizes for those two areas. More awards will be discussed next week.

Focus Areas

  • Need help with coding and modeling? Please contact consult to get a programming mentor.
  • Final report guidelines can be found here: http://challenge.nm.org/finalreports Please let us know if you would like some assistance for this technical writing.
  • Challenge logo for next year's t-shirts, website, bags and stationery for 2010-11 is created by one of you this year. Students and teachers vote on their favorite logo displayed in Los Alamos.
  • Graphical presentation with a display board goes on our annual end of the year final reports book.
  • Face to face presentations about your projects will take place on Monday April 26th in Los Alamos.
  • Submit web version of a final report by April 19th.

Supercomputing Link:

Japan signs smart-grid accords with New Mexico
http://albuquerque.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2010/03/01/daily52.html?ed=2010-03-05&ana=e_du_pub

We are proud to be New Mexico Computer Application Center's educational partner!

Supercomputingly yours,
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, March 1, 2010

Happy March,

It is not to late to celebrate international polar bear day, annually on Feb. 27th.

Today is Seymour Papert's birthday. He is the father of Logo, the computer programming language that was developed in the 80s to give young people an environment to study mathematics in a graphical interface. Today languages related to that early Logo are found with Legos, with robot competitions and of course StarLogo TNG and NetLogo have their roots in Logo. Here are a couple of links to learn more about Dr. Papert: http://www.papert.org and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_Papert

Senior Scholarships

We are unveiling a new online procedure. Seniors will receive an email with the URL to the scholarship application page where they can either type in or upload their scholarship letter, letters of recommendation and the scanned transcript.

Mini Challenge

This is the last week for your entries for the Research Mini Challenge. Details at http://www.challenge.nm.org/news_flash.shtml under the February 16th News Flash. Learn about proper bibliographic format and win a prize.

March Tours

We would love for those going on the Sandia and UNM tours to volunteer to do a write up of your day on March 8th. Please write to Consult at challenge.nm.org if you are up to be a reporter for our MMM (Monday Morning Message). Details for the tours area at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/sandiatour

February Evaluations

Congratulations to all of you who participated in your February face to face evaluations. We will be having one more session on Sunday, March 7th before the tours.

Mark your Calendars

Please go to http://challenge.nm.org/dates.shtml to note and mark in your calendars the dates that are coming up starting April 7. The first one to note is April 7. That is the date your Final Written Report is due.

Science Link

Virus batteries provide new power source
Tue, 23 Feb 2010 09:02:04 -0600

Researchers at MIT have shown that they can genetically engineer viruses to build both the positively and negatively charged ends of a lithium-ion battery.

This is an NSF Multimedia Gallery item.

Superly yours,
Betsy, Celia and David


Monday Morning Message, February 22, 2010

Is spring in the air? Will we have more snow days?

February Evaluations

Congrats to those teams who presented at UNM and NNMC! We are proud of your presentations. We have two more sessions left this month. Please continue to check schedules at

  • Friday, February 26 - Albuquerque Academy
  • Saturday, February 27 - New Mexico Tech, Socorro
  • Tours

    We are excited about our two tours available on March 8th. The Sandia tour will highlight tours of solar towers, robotics and the largest X-ray generator in the world, designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure. UNM tour highlights include the ARTS Lab which supports media, film, science visualizations and game technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; Computer Science; and the Center for Advanced Research Computing which is a center for high performance computing and has a Gateway to the state's supercomputer Encanto. The Gateway will have all of the software that Challenge teams needs to share their work with each other and to run software that runs in 3D formats.

    Please visit http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/sandiatour for more details.

    Mini Challenge

    Participate in our mini challenge and win an iTune gift card. Details at http://www.challenge.nm.org/news_flash.shtml under the February 16th News Flash. Learn about proper bibliographic format and win a prize.

    EYH = Expanding Your Horizons

    New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering presents conferences for young women in Silver, ABQ, Los Alamos and Santa Fe. Check times and locations at http://nmnwse.org/eyh/eyh_confs.php
    EYH encourages young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. Through Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Network programs, STEM role models and hands-on activities for middle and high school girls are provided. The ultimate goal is to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st Century challenges

    Congratulations to Erika DeBenedictis

    for being one of 40 students recognized in the Intel Science Talent Search 2010: http://apps.societyforscience.org/sts/69sts/finalists.asp

    Arcs and Sparks

    Check out the Sandia Z Machine at http://zpinch.sandia.gov
    "Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories' Z machine -- the former dark horse among accelerators meant to produce conditions required for nuclear fusion -- have increased the machine's X-ray power output by nearly 10 times in the last two years."

    Supercomputing Link - To Build a Better Bobsled

    During the 2010 Winter Olympics, the three U.S. bobsled teams will be competing in the bobsleigh event with their fastest-ever four-man bobsled. One of the U.S. crews, Team Night Train, uses powerful IBM supercomputers along with specialized fluid dynamics software from Exa Corporation to run computerized simulations that shave valuable tenths and hundredths of a second off Night Train's times. Read more at:
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/189654/to_build_a_better_bobsled.html

    Supercomputingly yours,
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Tuesday Morning Message, February 16, 2010

    Good Day,

    Did you know the history of February 16th?

    February Evaluations

    About 1/2 of our teams had a face to face presentation this past week. Pay attention to the judges' suggestions as they will look for your changes in April and can be your team's advocates. Lessons learned from Saturday are to check the directions to know where you are going, know what time your team is presenting, and be there a half hour early to see the locations and get set up.

    This Saturday Project Evaluations will be held in Albuquerque and Espanola so check the schedule if you live close to those places.

    So how did it go at NMSU, Silver, San Juan College, Santa Fe Community College?

    Best of luck to the rest of you! Please keep checking http://challenge.nm.org/evaluations for updates.

    March 8th Tours: Sandia and UNM

    This Friday, the 19th is the deadline to sign up for the Sandia Tour which is taking 25 students this year. We are working on a tour at UNM that will take others.

    Mini Challenge: MLA Bibliography

    Learning to research and cite that research might be the best focus you can have for college work. Attached is a mini challenge with three areas of concentration: print references, formatting and interview format. If you submit the correct solutions, you will win an iTunes gift certificate from our sponsor, Abba Technologies. Please mail your solutions to celia.einhorn @ gmail.com before March 1st. State your name and school on the form.

    Scholarships for Seniors

    The link for uploading your scholarship letter, scanning your transcript and your other recommendation letters (teacher sponsor or mentor and team member letter) will be sent to seniors this week.

    Zoom Into Engineering

    Jackson Mid School joined Consult at the National Nuclear Science and History Museum on Saturday, Feb. 6th. Teacher sponsor, Karen Glennon, was joined by Alberto Ortega, Karina Ortega, Kelsey Theriot, Dante DiPaolo, Chris Hoebing, Brendyn Toersbijns, and Spencer Gomez-Nelson.

    Math and Science Day at the Legislature

    Thanks to Capshaw and Jackson Mid school students who joined Consult at the third annual Math and Science Day at the legislature last Wednesday. Once again thanks to Karen Glennon for joining us with three of her students.

    Fractal Foundation's Sierpinski's Triangle

    Learn to draw a fractal triangle, and combine yours with others to make a bigger fractal triangle at http://fractalfoundation.org/resources/fractivities/sierpinski-triangle

    By March 7th, Mail your completed triangle to:
    Jonathan Wolfe
    Fractal Foundation
    2917 Campus Blvd NE
    Albuquerque, NM 87106

    Cleve on Sudoku

    Take the Sudoku Challenge with finalist judge Cleve Moler's approach to solving puzzles with MatLab. He states "Human puzzle-solvers and computer programs use very different Sudoku-solving techniques. The fascination with solving Sudoku by hand derives from the discovery and mastery of a myriad of subtle combinations and patterns that provide hints about the final solution. It is not easy to program a computer to duplicate these human pattern-recognition capabilities."
    http://www.mathworks.com/company/newsletters/news_notes/2009/clevescorner.html?s_cid=MLD0110naTA1&s_v1=6977238_1-AAM31

    Sincerely yours,
    B, C and D


    Monday Morning Message, February 8, 2010

    February's Big Milestone: Project Evaluations!

    Are you ready? Do you have your files on a thumb drive? Does your presentation run smoothly? Have you practiced with a friend? Do you know where and when your Evaluation will take place? Is your whole team coming? Do you have a chauffeur lined up if you need one? Remember, the judges will have questions for you and you may have time to ask them a question. Good luck and enjoy!

    Project Evaluations Start This Week, February 11

    Make sure to check out the Project Evaluations web page and know when and where your team will be making its presentation this month. See: http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations. Let Consult know if changes need to be made and check back to see what changes might have been made to the schedule.

    Thank you to Teams from Hatch High School and Jackson Middle School

    Yoly Gamboa and Joel Cazares from Hatch High School and Dante DiPaulo and Alberto Ortega from Jackson Middle School in Albuquerque participated in a video link with Lt Governor Denish and the NM Department of Information Technology. They demonstrated the importance of students being able to teleconference with each other from distant parts of the state. Yoly, Joel, Dante and Alberto were articulate and made a fine impression. Thanks, too, to Mrs Gamboa and to JMS teacher, Karen Glennon, for chaperoning.

    Thanks to Jackson MS again

    Thanks to Jackson Middle School students and teachers for helping Zoom into Engineering last Saturday at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Several students helped work the Challenge booth/display and talked about GUTS and the Supercomputing Challenge with people attending the event.

    Wednesday is Math and Science Day at the Roundhouse

    The Challenge and GUTS will have tables on display this Wednesday at the New Mexico State Capital Roundhouse to help celebrate Math and Science Day for the Legislature.

    The Sandia Tour is scheduled for Monday, March 8.

    UNM Tour is still in the planning stage and we expect it to also take place on March 8.

    Sandia National Labs and UNM High Performance Computing Center will host a tour day for participants in the Supercomputing Challenge on Monday March 8th, 2010. Students are eligible to come to the tour day if their team has submitted an interim report and participated in the project evaluations. Participants in the Sandia tour MUST be US citizens.

    The Sandia Tour is limited to 25 Challenge team members and sponsors. Registration will be on a first come first served basis. Motel space will be offered to students who travel from long distances. The following information is needed for every participant:

    Name Date of Birth
    City and State of Birth
    School Name
    School Address
    Team Number

    A Social Security Number is necessary to get visitor badges for access to Sandia National Labs Technical Areas; however, the Challenge will provide your Social Security Number. If you did not provide your Social Security Number to the Challenge during registration, you will need to make arrangements to get that information to us. You will need a photo ID. NO exceptions!

    Please make a reservation only if you will be able to attend as space is limited. Please make your reservation by Friday, February 19, 2010 to allow enough time for processing information at Sandia's badge office. Email the registration information to sandiatour10 at challenge dot nm dot org.

    Third Mini Challenge

    We have planned Mini Challenges to take place throughout our 20th Year. The next one is a research-based challenge and the details will be in next week's Monday Morning Message. You will be given a bibliography that will not be in the correct format and you'll be asked to fix it up. To prepare for this Mini Challenge, you can start preparing the bibliography for your Final Report which is due on April 7, 2010.

    The Report should have a bibliography that tells readers about the research that you have done for your project. See the Final Report Guidelines for specific information. Other Resources are available in the Writing Reports section of the Resources web page. Another resource is at the Challenge Research Wiki: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/wiki/index.php/Research.

    Members of Consult think that one of the best online bibliography makers is Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh], a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work-in the web browser itself. Download it at http://www.zotero.org

    Winners will receive an iTunes gift card from our sponsor Abba Technolgies.

    Seniors! Challenge Scholarships!

    Next week's Monday Morning Message will have the application information and links to forms and letters required for scholarships given at Awards Day. Information is at http://www.challenge.nm.org/scholarships.shtml

    Doodle for Google - An invitation from Google for the team artists

    "...Figure out a cure for cancer...Build a movie theater on the moon...Be an underwater explorer"

    Welcome to Doodle 4 Google, a competition where we invite K-12 students to work their artistic will upon our homepage logo. At Google we believe in thinking big and dreaming big, so this year we're inviting U.S. kids to exercise their creative imaginations around the theme, "If I Could Do Anything, I Would ..." http://www.google.com/doodle4google

    Speaking of Wikis

    There is a Python wiki at http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/wiki/index.php/Python for those of you using Python with your project.

    We'll be back after Valentine's and Presidents Days. See you then.
    For Consult
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Monday Morning Message, February 1, 2010

    Project Evaluations Start Next Week, February 11

    Make sure to check out the Project Evaluations web page and know when and where your team will be making its presentation this month. See: http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations. Let Consult know if changes need to be made and check back to see what changes might have been made to the schedule.

    February is Black History Month

    This article is from AAAS - the American Association for Advancement of Science. It is a worldwide, general science organization. This article is from it journal Science. The story covers includes careers of young scientists who work with lasers and Giant Pandas, and in the fields of cosmology and microbiology to mention a few. Their work will pique the interest of all Challenge team members you think about your career path.

    Spotlight on african american scientists;
    Sponsored by Delta SEE, Science and Everyday Experiences Initiative, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Delta Research and Educational Foundation National Science Foundation

    Since Benjamin Banneker and George Washington Carver left their marks on American science, African Americans have made great strides as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and inventors. It's a story of success in the face of great odds in a racist society. However, there's still much room for progress, because even today blacks are sorely underrepresented as science students, teachers, and professionals. Here you can hear the voices of just a few of the black scientists who are living and working in North America today-and helping to pave the way for those who will follow.

    http://www.scienceupdate.com/spotlights/africanamerican.php

    Interim Reviews

    It's not too late for an Interim Review. Remember to write to Consult if you are still waiting.

    Google announces Google Anita Borg Scholarship for First Years

    Google is very excited to announce the Google Anita Borg Scholarship for First Years, a scholarship opportunity for female high school seniors looking to study computer science at university next year. Details are pasted below and even more detail can be found on the website: www.google.com/anitaborg/first-years/

    Google Summer of Code 2010 - Calling Student developers for open source software projects.

    Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects. We have worked with several open source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify and fund several projects over a three month period. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together nearly 2500 successful student participants and 2500 mentors from 98 countries worldwide, all for the love of code. Through Google Summer of Code, accepted student applicants are paired with a mentor or mentors from the participating projects, thus gaining exposure to real-world software development scenarios and the opportunity for employment in areas related to their academic pursuits. In turn, the participating projects are able to more easily identify and bring in new developers. Best of all, more source code is created and released for the use and benefit of all.
    Visit the Google Summer of Code 2009 site for more details about the program this year. http://code.google.com/soc

    How Crowdsourcing Is Helping in Haiti

    18 Jan 09:16: Please can someone find some help for my friend 2 children that are alive under their house at 4813 Ruelle Chretien Lalu et Poupla Haiti.

    After the earthquake, the text messages came streaming in to 4636. Reports of trapped people, fires, polluted water sources, and requests for food, water and medical supplies. Hundreds of volunteers translated them from Creole and French into English, tagged them with a location and passed them on to aid agencies on the ground. Yet not one of the volunteers was anywhere near Haiti.

    The 4636 texting service is part of a new generation of web-based efforts to help disaster relief that has emerged from the revolution in texting, social networking and crowdsourcing. Its impact on the ground is tangible. For example, a Haitian clinic texted 4636 that it was running low on fuel for its generator. Within 20 minutes the Red Cross said it would resupply.

    Groundhog Day is tomorrow.  Did you know that groundhogs are the same as woodchucks? Are there woodchucks/groundhogs in New Mexico?

    Happy February,
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Monday Morning Message, January 25, 2010

    Project Evaluations

    Make sure to check out the Project Evaluations web page and know when and where your team will be making its presentations next month. See: http://www.challenge.nm.org/evaluations. Let Consult know if changes need to be made and check back to see what changes might have been made to the schedule.

    Interim Reviews

    If you haven't received a review of your Interim Report, please let us know. Please thank the reviewers for their time and comments.

    Mini Challenge Results Posted

    The answers Mini Challenge problems are:
    Pythagorean Triangle Square Tilings (ProjectEuler.net #139) Solution & Explanation (.pdf file)
    Square-free Numbers (ProjectEuler.net #193) Solution & Explanation (.pdf file)

    Albuquerque Game Developers Unite For The Global Game Jam

    Albuquerque will once again serve as a site for the Global Game Jam -- a worldwide video game development challenge where participants must create a game, from concept to playable demo, in 48 hours. The Global Game Jam, founded in 2009, is designed to bring together local game developers of all experience levels to push their skills and collaborate with people in their community. The jam starts with all sites receiving a central theme and development teams, working concurrently around the globe, build game prototypes focusing on the theme. Last year's inaugural Global Game Jam had 1600 participants in over 50 cities worldwide, with 370 experimental game prototypes created and shared worldwide at the event's conclusion.

    The Rio Grande IGDA, organizers of the Albuquerque site for the Global Game Jam, is hoping all those interested in game development come out to take on the challenge. Last year Albuquerque's 12 participants formed a monolithic team to develop the game "Chroma Geist", which is rated on the Global Game Jam website as one of the top 50 games created. The Global Game Jam inspired the NM Game Jam held last July and the Rio Grande IGDA hopes these two events will help spur growth of the NM game development industry. "Game jams have so far been the best method I've seen in getting people together and continuing to work on game development projects long after the event's end," says Jon Whetzel, one of the chairpersons for the Rio Grande IGDA. "I'd love to see these jams be the catalyst toward creating larger game projects and even more local game development studios."

    The jam will start Friday, January 29th at 5:00 pm, doors open at 4:00 pm for people to bring equipment and meet. The Albuquerque site for the Global Game Jam is at the UNM ARTS Lab (131 Pine St NE). Game development concludes at 3:00 pm on Sunday, January 31st with teams presenting their creations to the public. For more information on the Global Game Jam, visit their website at http://www.globalgamejam.org . Questions from potential participants about the Albuquerque site may contact Eric Renz-Whitmore (ewhitmore@unm.edu) or Jon Whetzel (jhwhetz@sandia.gov).

    Are You A FaceBook User?

    If so, join the NM SUPERCOMPUTING CHALLENGE group and interact with other Challenge FaceBook users.

    This Is National Nuclear Science Week

    Did you know that:

    • 18 million nuclear medicine procedures are performed per year in the United States
    • 20 percent of our nation's electricity is generated by nuclear power
    • and 436 nuclear power plants are operating in 30 countries, supplying 14 percent of the world's electricity?
    Learn more this week, or any week, at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque.

    Betsy, Celia and David


    Tuesday Morning Message, January 19, 2010

    Happy January,

    How is that peer/parent/school board initial presentation going? We would like to hear about some successes.

    Email Interim Reviews

    If your team has not received a review via email by Friday, the 22nd, please write to Consult at challenge . nm . org and let us know.

    February Evaluation Schedules

    Please continue to check back on this page http://challenge.nm.org/evaluations for scheduling for your face to face evaluation.

    Initial Gateways from NM CAC (Computing Applications Center) Open January 25th

    NMCAC is happy to report the first 11 Gateways will have a grand opening.

    One of the most important goals of the NMCAC is to extend the power of supercomputing to the entire State of New Mexico. Through a total of 44 gateways (remote access points), each strategically placed at every public college campus in the State, the Center will extend Encanto's reach to:

    • Bring small, medium and larger sized businesses onto campus for teleconferencing and training
    • Strengthen STEM education with modern computer teaching methods
    • Support K-12 education and computer learning through state-of-the-art 3-D visualization
    • Assist the healthcare sector with online telehealth instruction

    Project GUTS and the Challenge plan to partner with the center for 3D visualization, videoconferencing, etc. perhaps this spring and at the 2010 Summer Teacher Institute and the 2010 Kickoff at New Mexico Tech, October 16-17. Contact Gina Tanner, Gateway Coordinator, < tanner @ newmexicosupercomputer.com>, 505-554-9273, if you would like to attend at any of these sites:

    NMCAC - Intel, Rio Rancho, UNM, ENMU, NMSU, WNMU, NMT, SJC, Hobbs, NMMI, SFCC

    Free Student Admission to National Museum of Nuclear Science & History Jan 25-29

    The Web site is http://www.NuclearScienceWeek.org and features a "celebration guide" that includes free tips and tools such as a proclamation template plus suggestions for activities each day of the week based on different themes. The special focus Monday is on careers and green jobs that are flourishing in these sectors - energy, healthcare and research.

    Experienced Programming Mini Challenge Results

    Here are the winners for this mini challenge:

    (Heard the trumpets blasting!)

    Kathy Lin, Los Alamos High, The First Place Winner, who submitted a correct solution to problem 139, $100
    Edward Dai, Los Alamos High, Second Place, $80
    Yoliy Gamboa, Honorable Mention, Los Alamos High, Hatch High, $60
    Ryan Marcus, Honorable Mention, Los Alamos High, $60

    Victor Kuhns, from Cray, will be contacting these students with their awards monetary gift cards and goodies from Cray.

    The answers to the problems are:
    Pythagorean Triangle Square Tilings (ProjectEuler.net #139) Solution & Explanation (.pdf file)
    Square-free Numbers (ProjectEuler.net #193) Solution & Explanation (.pdf file)

    Thanks to our volunteer judges, Nick Bennett, Victor Kuhns, Irene Lee, and Josh Thorp for their continued time and support to the Challenge. Thanks to Cray, Inc. for their support.

    Stay tuned for our next mini challenge. It may be an area you in which you will chose to participate.

    Second Annual Young Minds Digital TimesT Film Competition

    We have fantastic prizes for our winners, including two Grand Prize packages to attend the 2011South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Other first place category winners will take home $200 in cold, hard cash. The teacher with the most student film entries, and the school with the most student film entries in Track One: Young Filmmakers Doing Good, will each win $1000! Details are found on the Prizes page. Start talking to your friends now so that their public vote can help you make it to the Grand Prize round!

    The competition is free to all student filmmakers grades 6-8 and 9-12. Registration is currently open for the 2009-2010 Competition - sign up now! The registration period ends February 19, 2010 and all entries are due by March 19, 2010. Check out the detailed timeline on the About page and on Google Calendar.

    As always, please contact us with any questions, challenges, successes. We really do enjoy hearing from you!

    Sincerely yours,
    B, C and D


    Monday Morning Message, January 11, 2010

    Good Day,

    Are you enjoying the clear, sunny, crisp air?

    Peer Review

    We suggest that you share your project this month. Parents, school boards, other students make good audiences. Every time you present, you are becoming clearer about your project.

    February Evaluations

    Here is the form you will receive completed after your presentation. http://challenge.nm.org/evaluations/judging_form.html

    Project Evaluations will be held around the state from Friday, February 12, 2010, through Saturday, February 27, 2010. E-mail Consult with any scheduling conflicts.

    Team members will make an oral presentation of approximately 20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions and answers, not to exceed 30 minutes, to a team of Supercomputing Challenge judges so that the judges can better understand the project, review progress and offer advice and direction on overcoming obstacles or finding additional resources.

    NOTE: All team members do not have to be present - but it is highly recommended that they be there if not competing elsewhere.

    Schedule of Presentation Times for all locations -The schedules are subject to change so please check back during the week of your evaluation for last minute changes.

    Zoom into Engineering at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

    http://www.nuclearmuseum.org/

    Enjoy engineering with a day of fun activities designed to help develop strong science process skills, just like engineers do on a daily basis from. Engineers from Sandia National Laboratories and other organizations will lead activities such as making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, building a lighted Space Needle, and mixing potions inspired by Harry Potter. Groups from schools, scouts, or the community are encouraged to make reservations, which can be made by calling 505-245-2137, ext. 103. The event takes place from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on February 6th and participation is free with admission to the Museum, which is $8 for adults and $7 for children ages 6-17.

    The Challenge will have a display and if any teams want to come and help at the display, sharing about their projects or their participation in the Supercomputing Challenge, let Consult know.

    Computing Link - Predicting insurgent attacks with a mathematical model

    When bombs and bullets left 37 dead during Friday prayers at a mosque in Pakistan, last month, the insurgency was using the element of surprise. Unpredictability is the hallmark of modern insurgent attacks such as this one. However, the likelihood of such events, their timing and strength can now be estimated and managed before occurring, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Miami. The study entitled "Common Ecology Quantifies Human Insurgency" is featured as the cover of the December 17, 2009 issue of the scientific journal Nature.

    http://www.physorg.com/news180284932.html

    Computingly yours,
    B, C and D


    Monday Morning Message, January 4, 2010

    Happy New Year!

    Hope you are refreshed and ready to go and get to some more milestones for the Challenge!

    Response to Interim Reports

    Your team should be receiving an email review of your interim report from one of our fantastic volunteers. It is polite to thank them for their time and expertise and try to answer their questions. They can become your team's advocate during the next four months.

    Dates to Remember

    Get out your calendar, your blackberry or your arm and write down these dates.

    Any time in January a Recommended January Peer Review

    F2F Presentation at a college near you Project Evaluation

    Look at the Project Evaluations rough draft schedule. If you have a particular time or place at which you would like to present, please let us know. Due to the large number of teams in the Albuquerque area, we are considering having Project Evaluations on both the 13th and 20th.

    Review the Dates Page for the rest of the 2009-2010 Challenge year.

    Computing Link

    From our info finder Eleanor Walther, Sandia National Labs

    Johannes Schneider may not have the coolest invention on Time magazine's best and inventions list, but it sure is practical. The University of Mainz researcher and his team developed an algorithm that broke the record for fitting a given number of different-size discs into the smallest circle. The algorithm improves on its competitors (yes, there are competitors) in that it's better at detecting false starts and backtracking when it hits on an inelegant configuration. Schneider believes that his algorithm could benefit packaging and shipping companies by helping them use their resources more efficiently.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1934027_1934003_1933983,00.html#ixzz0bT6iBbRg

    20th Year Mini Challenge

    Mini Challenge for Experienced Programmers

    Deadline for this mini challenge is January 8, 2010. We already have three entries! Just send your entries to Consult @ challenge.nm. org

    This challenge is for experienced programmers. If you and your team mates solve any of these problems below, you will receive a crisp one hundred dollar bill and some other goodies from Cray for your team to share.

    The problems:

    As always,
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Monday Morning Message, December 14, 2009

    Good Day,

    We will take a two week break from our MMM (Monday Morning Messages) during winter break. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    Project Interims

    57 teams have submitted their project interim reports. Consult is proud of you for meeting the Interim Report deadline. Technical writing, learning time management in a project, teaming and problem solving are important 21st century skills. The remaining teams will get a note shortly. In early January, we will be scheduling the February Project Evaluations base on Interims that have been submitted so please get those Interims in, if your team is still participating in the Challenge.

    Mini Challenge for Experienced Programmers

    Deadline for this mini challenge is January 8, 2010. We already have two entries! Just send your entries to Consult @ challenge.nm. org

    This challenge is for experienced programmers. If you and your team mates solve any of these problems below, you will receive a crisp one hundred dollar bill and some other goodies from Cray for your team to share.

    The problems:

    Supercomputing Link

    September 11th, 2009 (PhysOrg.com) -- A new study by a University of Warwick researcher has demonstrated that researchers trying to model a range of processes could use the power and capabilities of a particular XBox chip as a much cheaper alternative to other forms of parallel processing hardware. Learn more.

    Innovate/Educate Grant

    Good news! The Challenge has received a grant from NMSTE (New Mexico Society of Technology Educators) and Innovate/Educate to underwrite our online AP Computer Science class, taught by Albert Simon from Alamogordo High. Students from Silver High and CEP1 (Albuquerque) and two teachers are enrolled in the course.

    Peer Review

    Anita Gerlach, Teacher Sponsor, Santa Fe High, first proposed this event to the Challenge community. Here is how she describes it:

    I initiated the peer review many years ago. I ask students to bring in scientists, parents, etc and also have the students there. I have a rubric for judging which includes the topic, student knowledge of the topic, student dress, the PowerPoint presentation, etc. The students present their projects just as they would in April, except they are interim, not final. They then are asked questions by the audience. Some parents are very aggressive - so be it. I also ask the audience to give constructive criticism, not destructive. Often a parent agrees to help the students with their presentation. The students receive all the feedback sheets, including one I fill out. I videotape them and let them watch themselves, as well. The presentations usually last about ten minutes with 5-10 minutes for questions. It is quite a "heads up" for them.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Monday Morning Message, December 7, 2009

    Happy December!

    December Deadline for Interim Reports

    Your interim report is due on December 10th. That is this week. Guidelines are at http://challenge.nm.org/interims. We hope that each and every team reading this message submits an interim.

    Six teams have already submitted their reports: Congrats to you!
    Albuquerque Academy    6    An Autonomous Spacecraft Navigation System
    Espanola Valley High    46    How Much water is in A Orange
    Los Alamos High    67    Save Energy
    Los Alamos High    68    Astrophysical N-Body Simulations of Star Clusters
    Los Alamos Mid    79    The Alien River Cloggers
    McCurdy High    85    Contributing Factors for Obesity in the U.S.

    National Computer Science Education Week, December 7th

    The Challenge is joining in with Congress to advance computing's role in preparing skilled workers and creating career opportunities. We think that your projects do just this: teaching you to become a skilled student in the areas of math, science, technology, engineering and computing.

    Chris Stephenson, executive director of CSTA (launched by ACM in 2005), and a friend of the Challenge, noted the vital role of computing in people's daily lives and the urgency of building a strong computing workforce. "We need to expose K-12 students to computer science concepts to help them gain critical 21st century skills and knowledge, and we're grateful for Congress' recognition of this need as a national priority," she said.

    Deadline for the Current Mini Challenge

    Deadline for this mini challenge is January 8, 2010. We already have two entries! Just send your entries to Consult @ challenge.nm. org

    This challenge is for experienced programmers. If you and your team mates solve any of these problems below, you will receive a crisp one hundred dollar bill and some other goodies from Cray for your team to share.

    The problems:

    Summer Plans?

    It is not too early to think about what you might be able to do in the area of computing this summer. We would like to see a Challenge participant participate in the Research Science Institute. Each summer, 80 of the world's most accomplished high school students gather at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the Research Science Institute (RSI). Invited students enjoy a six-week, cost-free program designed to kick-start their careers of leadership in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. Learn more at: http://www.cee.org/programs/rsi

    Sandia Role in Asteroid Impact Investigation

    Last year, for the first time in the history of space exploration, scientists spotted and tracked an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. About the size of a truck, the asteroid disintegrated in an airburst and pieces slammed into the Nubian Desert in Sudan, in nearly the exact spot and only a few seconds from the time scientists had predicted. In its "Naked Science" series, the National Geographic channel will air a documentary about the 2008 TC3 asteroid - and Sandia's role in modeling the airburst, featuring Mark Boslough (1433) - on the following dates and times (MST):
    Thursday, Dec. 10, 4 p.m.
    Monday, Dec. 14, 12 a.m.

    Mark joins NASA scientists and others in examining the remnants of the asteroid to unlock the clues to help prevent - or simply survive - future incidents.

    Sincerely yours,
    B, C and D


    Monday Morning Message, November 30, 2009

    Hope your turkey was moist or your tofurkey was grand!

    December Deadline for Interims

    Your interim report is due on December 10th. That is ten days away. Guidelines are at http://challenge.nm.org/interims. We hope that each and every team reading this message submits an interim.

    National Computer Science Week

    ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society has joined with several partners from the computing community to commend the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of a resolution to raise the profile of computer science as a transforming industry that drives technology innovation and bolsters economic productivity. The resolution, H. RES. 558, designates the week of December 7 as "National Computer Science Education Week" in honor of Grace Murray Hopper, one of the outstanding pioneers in the field of computer science, who was born on December 9, 1906.

    ACM is partnering with Microsoft, Google, Inc., and Intel as well as the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), and the Computing Research Association (CRA) to build awareness of computer science education as a national priority.

    Citing the influence of computing technology as a significant contributor to U.S. economic output, the House resolution calls on educators and policy makers to improve computer science learning at all educational levels, and to motivate increased participation in computer science.

    Mini Challenge

    So to celebrate the Challenge's 20th birthday and Computer Science Education Week, the Challenge in conjunction with Cray, Inc. is offering a mini challenge. We will offer different mini challenges throughout the year and there will be different audiences for each.

    This challenge is for experienced programmers. If you and your team mates solve any of these problems below, you will receive a crisp one hundred dollar bill and some other goodies from Cray for your team to share.

    The problems:

    Your work will be judged by our fantastic volunteer judges, Nick Bennett, Victor Kuhns, Irene Lee and Josh Thorp. You will also be highlighted in a press release about the Challenge's birthday and your success.

    Deadline for this mini challenge is January 8, 2010.

    Supercomputing Story

    Shared Supercomputing and Everyday Research
    For decades, the world's supercomputers have been the tightly guarded property of universities and governments. But what would happen if regular folks could get their hands on one? Follow this link, suggested by Eleanor Walther, Sandia National Labs, to learn more.

    Sincerely yours,
    B, C and D
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Monday Morning Message, November 23, 2009

    A Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    Kickoff Feedback

    We would like to thank the multiple people from CETi1. Desert, Deming, Espanola Valley High, Freedom, Hope, Jackson Mid and Quemado who responded to our survey.

    Please spend five minutes filling it out at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=NP83jrI0Rsf0fYkLu_2f8iMg_3d_3d

    Consult needs to decide in December whether or not to return to Sacramento next year for the kickoff and your feedback is valued.

    Project Review

    Please let us know if you have not received a review of your proposal. Our volunteers are busy people and their review may have slipped their minds

    An Important Announcement

    All of us at the Supercomputing Challenge were saddened to hear of a severe accident affecting one of our alumni, Lindy Jacobs of Los Alamos. She was a participant the past two years in the Challenge. Lindy is recovering in a Portland, Oregon hospital. We would like to offer our thoughts and prayers in support of Lindy's recovery, and to encourage her and her family during this difficult time. Offers of assistance and supportive emails can be sent to Mom at perkijacobs@gmail.com

    Bob and Peggy Robey, Los Alamos

    December Interim Report and Research

    Only 17 more days until your Interim Report is due.

    Project Refinement and Interim Reports

    December 10, 2009 Interim Report is due

    Mentors

    Need mentors? Contact Consult. Talk about your mentor in your interim report.

    Epidemiology

    The governmental agency where Robin Bush works is MIDAS - Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study.

    Check out their models at
    https://www.epimodels.org/midas/modelProfilesFull.do

    You can use a model or code in your project as long as you cite your sources.

    SC09

    David Kratzer was able to attend the Education Program of the Supercomputing 09 Conference held in Portland, Oregon last week. There were several sessions related to use of parallel programming techniques. With all new computers begin manufactured today, there are multiple cores (central processing units) in each one and we need to be able to create programs that will take advantage of the used in 1990 was about the same speed as your laptop is today. It had 8 processors and many desktop systems now are available with 8 processors and 32 and 64 are just around the corner.

    Warmly,
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Monday Morning Message, November 16, 2009

    What is the wind chill factor at your house? Pretty cold Sunday in Tijeras!

    Kickoff Feedback

    41 people have filled out our one page survey. Please spend five minutes filling it out at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=NP83jrI0Rsf0fYkLu_2f8iMg_3d_3d

    Project Review

    Our scientists and alums are emailing you with your second review of your project. Please write back to them, thank them for their time (they are volunteers) and cc consult @ challenge.nm.org. If you do not hear from someone within one week, please let us know.

    December Interim Report

    Your team needs to submit your Interim Report before you leave school for winter break. Guidelines can be found at http://challenge.nm.org/interims Then one of our volunteers will review your report in Jan. You need to have five sources and only three of them from the Internet and you need to cite them. There on online tools that can help you with that: Zotero, Citation Machine, Bibme

    This bibliography will then be ready to paste into your final report. We are going to create a wiki with research tips.

    Mentors

    It would be prudent for you to find a mentor this month so that you can report your progress in the December Interim. Please let Consult know if you need some assistance. You can get an online expert, a parent, a community member, an university professor or graduate student, a Challenge alum or a business person to help you with your project in many different areas.

    Aspen Visit to the Santa Fe Complex

    Aspen Elementary students from Los Alamos participated in a supercomputing field trip to the Santa Fe Complex. Many of the students enjoyed the hands-on training and learning to write programs in Star Logo TNG and Net Logo. One thing that all students found fun to work with was the sand table as it helped them to see elevations and how the different terrains could affect an experiment. The computer program developed for the simulation of fire propagation and other natural events were very interesting. The students learned that the fire propagates upward because of the hot air moves upwards. They could see this on the sand terrain that the simulation results were projected. They change the terrain properties to prevent the fire etc. This field trip showed the students that computers can do so many more things than they ever imagined.

    The students want to thank all who helped them at the Santa Fe Complex. They highly recommend it for future supercomputing students and suggest the class be taught all day. By having an all day session, the students would gain additional guidance in the programming of their Supercomputing Challenge projects.

    Thanks so much for allowing us to come to the Santa Fe Complex and all of the hands-on training they received.

    Aspen Elementary School

    November

    Any team needing a school visit? Please let Consult know.

    Epidemiology

    Robin, our keynote, continues with these goals for epidemiologists:

    1. Identify causes and risk factors for disease.
    2. Determine extent of disease in the community.
    3. Study natural history and prognosis of the disease.
    4. Evaluate preventive and therapeutic measures.
    5. Provide foundation for public policy.

    Perhaps, if your project is about epidemiology, your team might want to focus on one of these goals.

    Project Proposals

    We currently have 86 proposals on the web. We will be nagging the others registered to submit their proposals to https://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/proposal_login.php. We really want each team who registered in September to finish in April.

    Teaming

    We are also creating a teaming wiki http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/wiki/index.php/Teaming where you can get ideas to keep your team moving forward. You can create an account and add some ideas to our wiki. Deb Loftin currently from Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, shares that food really helps teams focus. Get a schedule made out for whom brings snacks to what meetings.

    Warmly,
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Monday Morning Message, November 9, 2009

    Good Day,

    Lovely weather we are enjoying, crisp night and mornings and pleasant days.

    Kickoff Feedback

    Only 21 people have filled out our one page survey and most of them are staff. Please give us your feedback.
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=NP83jrI0Rsf0fYkLu_2f8iMg_3d_3d

    Research Phase

    Now is the time for you to be finding at least five sources that pertain to your project. Interviews, surveys, previously written code, and even past Challenge projects. You can use our search process which is found on the upper left hand side of our home page. Type in a word like "epidemiology" or "ecology" or whatever it is you are interested in researching for your project. That will take you to a list of past Challenge investigations. Teams would be honored to be cited as a resource.)

    Utilize the advanced search mode from Google http://www.google.com.au/advanced_search.
    Here are some tips from Google on how to use this feature: http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=136861

    Project Review

    Our scientists and alums are emailing you with your second review of your project. Please write back to them, thank them for their time (they are volunteers) and cc consult @ challenge.nm.org. If you do not hear from someone within one week, please let us know.

    November

    In the Challenge milestones, November is the time to let Consult know that your team wants someone to come visit and help them focus on their project. Please write to consult and let us know. We have visits to Bloomfield High, Navajo Prep and Tibbetts Mid in the Four Corners, Northern NM College in Espanola, and Edgewood Elementary, as well as Sandia Prep and Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque planned so far. Please let us know if your team would like a visit this month.

    Epidemiology

    We failed to share the site of Robin's keynote with you last week. It is http://rmbush.bio.uci.edu/Robin.Sacramento.pdf

    Questions she raises about modeling epidemiology:

    • Who has already been infected?
    • Who of those left are the most susceptible?
    • What are the co-morbidity factors?
    • What is the relative risk?
    • Who should get access to limited antivirals and vaccines?
    • What if the most susceptible people are fat teenage smokers?
    • Would you give one of them your vaccine?
    • How do we best allocate resources to keep the evolution of antiviral resistance at bay?
    • If the disease is relatively mild now, would it be better to risk catching it, so that you might be partially resistant if it were to come back in a more virulent form?

    Project Proposals

    We currently have 78 proposals on the web. We will be nagging the others registered to submit their proposals to https://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/proposal_login.php. We really want each team who registered in September to finish in April.

    Challenge as a Marathon

    We like to look at the Challenge year as an academic marathon. Each and every one of you can finish your project! Please read about our marathon at http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/marathon.shtml

    So, just as the completion rate in a modern marathon is over 90%, participants in this year's New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge are likely to enjoy the rewards and satisfaction of the presenting their final projects in the spring.

    Mentors

    Successful teams credit their success to having the correct mentors. You can have several mentors. Get someone to help you with your research, someone to help you with your science, someone to help you with your agent based or mathematical modeling. We have a database for you to utilize at http://www.challenge.nm.org/resources/mentors.shtml. Write a polite and articulate note to one of these volunteers and let us know of your success. Contact Consult if you are having difficulty obtaining a mentor. We suggest that by the end of November that you have some mentors in place.

    Mini Challenge

    Santa Fe Complex is hosting an "Art of Systems Biology" Show in the Spring 2009 with Los Alamos National Lab. They're recruiting students and mentors to learn about Systems Biology and develop models and visualizations for the show and for projects in Supercomputing Challenge. Please contact Stephen Guerin for more info.

    Aspen Elementary Challenge Students visited the Complex last week and worked with Project GUTS. We will ask them to send us a review. Consider taking a field trip to the Complex for a marvelous view of art, science and technology.

    Teaming

    There is some old research that talks to teams' progression: forming, storming, norming and performing. We assume that you are currently in the second stage of storming. "Decisions don't come easily within group. Team members vie for position as they attempt to establish themselves in relation to other team members and the leader, who might receive challenges from team members. Clarity of purpose increases but plenty of uncertainties persist. Cliques and factions form and there may be power struggles. The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationships and emotional issues. Compromises may be required to enable progress. Leader coaches."

    There is also an excellent free test at Don Clark's Big Dog site, to indicate whether your team is forming, storming, norming or performing.

    The correct way to site this source according to IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ) rules is

    A. Chapman, "Bruce Tuckman 1965 original 'Forming-storming-norming-performing' concept.". [Online]. Available: http://www.businessballs.com/tuckmanformingstormingnormingperforming.htm [Accessed: Nov. 8, 2009].

    We will be talking about citing sources throughout the year.

    Warmly,
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Monday Afternoon Message, November 2, 2009

    Happy November!

    We loved meeting many of you at our 20th kickoff in the Sacramento Mountains. Please check out the pictures on our home page, http://challenge.nm.org

    On a more serious note, we are still missing a Dell 3200MP projection system. If you know the whereabouts, please email Consult or call 505-667-2864. There is a reward for the projector's return.

    Keynote

    Look at Robin's presentation (8 megabyte pdf file). Many of our classes will be listed at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/kickoff/classes. If one you are wanting to review isn't there, please let us know.

    Survey Monkey

    We want your feedback about the kickoff. Please fill out this short survey created by John Paul Gonzales. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=NP83jrI0Rsf0fYkLu_2f8iMg_3d_3d

    Project Proposals

    We currently have 65 proposals on the web. To the other 60 or so teams, please let us know about YOUR project by submitting YOUR proposal too. For details see: http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals

    Project Review

    Our scientists and alums are emailing you with your second review of your project. Please write back to them, thank them for their time (they are volunteers) and cc consult @ challenge.nm.org If you do not hear from someone within two weeks, please let us know.

    Research

    You need to include five resources for your project in your Interim report, due by Winter Break. Two of your sources need to be non-internet sources. Utilize your librarian and get some extra credit from your English teacher.

    Here are some research tips: http://challenge.nm.org/archive/04-05/sti/research/index.shtml

    Also, please check out Zotero It is a powerful, easy-to-use research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources and then share the results of your research. www.zotero.org

    Epidemiology

    Robin has offered her honorarium to the team(s) who does the best project(s) on our topic of epidemiology. This award will be presented at our Awards Day on April 27, 2010.

    Important Challenge Dates are available at http://challenge.nm.org/dates.shtml

    Let's review the SIR model here, to model the progress of an epidemic in a large population. Here is a good link from Duke University: http://www.math.duke.edu/education/ccp/materials/diffcalc/sir/contents.html

    Can you answer these questions from Duke University?

    1. Explain briefly the modeling steps that lead to the SIR model.
    2. Given a population and disease combination for which the SIR model is appropriate, what are the possible outcomes when a trace of infection is introduced into the population? How can you tell whether there will be an epidemic?
    3. Does "epidemic" mean that almost everyone will get the disease? If so, what keeps the spread of disease going? If not, what causes the epidemic to end before everyone gets sick?
    4. How can it happen that a large percentage of a population may get sick during an epidemic even though only a small percentage is sick at any one time?
    5. Explain briefly the key idea for finding solutions of an SIR model without finding explicit solution formulas.
    6. Describe briefly the meaning and significance of contact number.
    7. Describe briefly the meaning and significance of herd immunity. How can an inoculation program lead to herd immunity?
    8. The contact number for poliomyelitis in the U.S. in 1955 was 4.9. Explain why we have been able to eradicate this disease even though we cannot eradicate measles. Give a careful argument -- "smaller contact number" is an observation, not an explanation.

    November

    In the Challenge milestones, November is the time to let Consult know that your team wants someone to come visit and help them focus on their project. Please write to consult and let us know.

    Python Forum

    There was talk after the electives on Sunday night to have a Python club. If you are interested in joining an online forum about Python, please write to consult and tell us of your interest. We will then set up an Open Source (free) forum for you to talk with some New Mexican "Pythonistas."

    Sincerely yours,
    Betsy, Celia and David, Consult Management


    Thursday Morning Message, October 29, 2009

    Let's keep the enthusiasm from the Kickoff going!

    Proposals

    So far 55 teams have submitted their proposals. To the other 70 or so teams, please let us know about YOUR project by submitting a proposal too. For details see: http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals

    Missing equipment from the Kickoff Conference

    When we finished packing up the equipment around noon on Monday, we realized that we were missing a Dell Latitude C820 laptop computer and a Dell 3200MP projection system. If you know the whereabouts of these items, please email Consult or call 505-667-2864. There is a reward for their return.

    Santa Fe Complex visit

    Several students from Aspen Elementary school will be visiting the Santa Fe Complex on Tuesday for some instruction in StarLogo TNG and to learn about some of the exciting things that are happening at the Complex.


    Friday Morning Message, October 23, 2009

    Students and Teachers,

    We will be greeting you in about 48 hours to welcome you to the 20th annual Supercomputing Challenge Kickoff!

    Here are some reminders from Monday's message:

    Pack

    Don't forget your flashlight for your night classes. And remember your pillow, sleeping bag, towel, tooth brush, etc. It will be in the 30's in the evening and in the 50's during the day, so dress accordingly.

    Valuables

    If you have a laptop, please bring it with you, but make some plans with your teacher about where you might be able to lock it up. Perhaps you can talk to your bus driver and lock the bus. Please leave other valuables at home. We will have phones available for emergencies.
    Phone Numbers for Emergencies
    Betsy Frederick 505-220-5050
    SMA - 1.800.667.3414
    1.575.687.3414

    Maps and Directions to SMA

    Road map

    http://www.sacramentoassembly.org/docs/Map%20to%20Camp.pdf There will be balloon bouquets at important intersections.

    Camp map

    http://www.sacramentoassembly.org/maps.php Print out how to get to the camp and also the layout so that you can find your classes and dorm.

    Rules of the Grounds

    http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/SMA_rulesofthegrounds.pdf while at the Sacramento Methodist Assembly.

    Individual Schedules

    http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/session_one.html with drop down menus for math levels 1 - 11.

    Housing

    Here is the housing list http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/housing_session1.html

    Proposals

    We now have 37 proposals online. We will work with all teams on their proposals and help those who don't have one online yet.

    Registration

    See you in the small cafe Sunday 12 - 2 to get your schedules, t-shirts, etc.

    Overview, 2PM in the gym

    Our Nick Bennett will talk to you about the kickoff, our epidemiology theme, computational science and complex systems. Got questions? consult @ challenge.nm.org

    Anxiously awaiting your arrival,
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Monday Morning Message, October 19, 2009

    Good Day,

    The majority of us will be together next Monday at the Sacramento Methodist Assembly (SMA) Camp having computational science classes and then taking the bus home. Our team of facilitators have planned seven wonderful classes for you.

    Projects

    Talk with your team about your school year long project. We already have 17 proposals submitted at http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/view_proposals.php One of the main goals of the Kickoff is to help you focus on the problem you want to solve. There will be a session most of you will attend to help you plan your proposal. Attached are some suggested past projects that you could study and improve upon also.

    Pack

    Don't forget your flashlight for your night classes. And remember your pillow, sleeping bag, towel, tooth brush, etc. It will be in the 30's in the evening and in the 60's during the day, so do bring layers that you can place on and then take off. We will be over 7000 feet elevation.

    Valuables

    If you have a laptop, please bring it with you, but make some plans with your teacher about where you might be able to lock it up. Perhaps you can talk to your bus driver and lock the bus. Please leave other valuables at home. We will have phones available for emergencies.

    Phone Numbers for Emergencies

    Betsy Frederick 505-220-5050
    SMA - 1.800.667.3414
    1.575.687.3414

    Maps and Directions to SMA

    Road map
    http://www.sacramentoassembly.org/docs/Map%20to%20Camp.pdf . There will be balloon bouquets at important intersections

    Camp map
    http://www.sacramentoassembly.org/maps.php Print out how to get to the camp and also the layout so that you can find your classes and dorm.

    News from a Cruces friend:
    We are in the midst of a movie filming here. It has complicated travel on Highway 70 for several weeks. Closures will be posted online at NMRoads.com and through the automated system at (575) 526-0795. More information is available by calling the Department of Transportation at (575) 525-7340 or the film office at (505) 227-2663.

    Registration at SMA, starting at noon

    Your teacher will come to the first table in the small cafe and get your name tags. You will pick up a t-shirt at the t-shirt table. You will pick up a schedule for the two days at the schedule table. You will sign up for an elective and you will get your picture taken so you have a picture ID for our end of the year tour at Los Alamos National Labs.(LANL)

    Lunch

    Some teams will receive a sack lunch from 12 - 1. Teachers, please make sure you have placed your order today.

    Overview, 2PM in the gym

    Our Nick Bennett will talk to you about the kickoff, our epidemiology theme, computational science and complex systems.

    Epidemiology

    Talk about a timely topic! If you have a fever, please stay home. We will have a health professional to work with us. We need to use the hand sanitizer in the dining hall before every meal and the bottles in the computer labs.

    Three Hourly Classes from 2:30 - 5:30

    Birthday Dinner

    It is our 20th birthday celebration. LANL is sponsoring a special dinner for us all!

    Keynote, Skipper Hall, Gym

    Dr. Robin Bush, Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine, in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will be our Keynote Speaker. Learn more about her. We will all have a piece of birthday cake afterwards.

    Electives

    Six of your classes are based on your math level. You may be separated from the rest of your team. After the keynote and cake, you can choose to watch a movie in the gym: How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer and then do some fun related activities. Or you can choose to go to one of these impressive classes:

    1. Web Programming - For Beginners to Advanced -HTML Syntax, FTP, Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, Applets, Server Side Scripts, Resource Booklet
    2. Introduction to Python - Dynamic Programming Language, Immediate Feedback, Links, Epidemiology Model
    3. Virus Game - Palm Pilot Virus Simulation Game
    4. Career Workshop - Want to Make Money? Take STEM classes! Learn what STEM means
    5. Gaming with StarLogo - Learn Some Gaming Fundamentals
    6. I am a Technical Woman - Watch a DVD about Women in Technology then discuss how to be a "woman of influence" in technology
    7. Tower of Hanoi - Play this Mathematical Game Online. What is a Recursive Algorithm Anyways?
    8. AP CS - Advanced Placement Computer Science Online Class
    9. Student Mentoring - College kids helping high schoolers, high schoolers helping mid-schoolers, mid schoolers helping elementary students
    10. More Visualization - Visual Delights: Data visualization is about the combination of visual and statistical thinking
    11. Parallel Processing - Learn How to Work Faster and Smarter
    12. Open Source- Learn what Free Open Source Means and What Programs the Challenge Uses

    Curfew 11 PM

    You need to be in your room with lights out. Teachers are working on what the consequences will be if you choose not to follow this rule.

    Breakfast 7:30 - 8:25

    Three more classes

    Lunch 11:30 - 12:30

    Teachers once again please place your orders for either a sack lunch for the bus or a cafeteria lunch if you haven't already.

    We can't wait to see you next week and learn with you about epidemiology and computational science

    Sincerely yours,
    Betsy, Celia and David
    Supercomputing Challenge Consulting


    Monday Morning Message, October 12, 2009

    Good Day,

    We are now almost 400 strong. Here are some statistics we have gathered. 79 of you are taking Algebra 2. 143 of you are in the 12th grade. 333 teachers and students are coming to the kickoff. 44% of you are girls. 253 of you are new to the Challenge. 35 of you have been GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically) participants. 133 of you ordered a medium t-shirt.

    Checklist Pre-Kickoff

    _____ Send in TEAFs and registration fees.
          http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/teaf.pdf
    
    _____ Form Team.   http://www.challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml
    
    _____ Submit Proposal.
          http://challenge.nm.org/proposals/  We will help you with a
          proposal if you do not have one.
    
    _____ Read Kickoff Ground Rules.
          http://www.challenge.nm.org/kickoff/SMA_rulesofthegrounds.pdf
    
    _____ Read Acceptable Use.
          http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/aup.shtml
    
    _____ Fill out the Pre-Challenge Survey.
          http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Tl54WswqoCSvEyEqrpgwpQ_3d_3d
    
    _____ Find a sleeping bag, pillow, toiletries and towel to bring with
          you to the kickoff.
    

    Birthday Celebrations

    Please check out the first cake of our 20th birthday celebrations at the Santa Fe Convention Center. That picture is attached to this message. The Challenge was the honored guest of Innovate/Educate and Qwest that night.

    We are going to have five mini monthly challenges to celebrate our birthday. The first one is for the 87 of you that have been in the Challenge before. We want you to create a short You Tube video that explains the Challenge process. There will be monetary awards from NMTC (New Mexico Technology Council) for all those videos that come in.

    Create a three minute video of the Challenge process with the important dates highlighted. Use costumes, insert pictures, make a TV show, dance, sing a song, etc. Our experienced teams have much to share with our new teams and this may be fun! We will play the videos and give out the awards at the kickoff. Come on Artesia, Melrose, Bloomfield, Hope, Manzano, Silver, Socorro and others. Help us celebrate! Include that we are 20 years old, a statewide program, 8000 participants, mentors, the Kickoff conference, interim and final reports, face to face evaluation, end of year expo and awards ceremony and scholarships and prizes. We can't wait to see the experienced teams' creativity!

    Kickoff http://challenge.nm.org/kickoff

    The Kickoff Conference at the Sacramento Methodist Assembly will be held on October 25-26. Sacramento is located about 30 miles southeast of Cloudcroft and 80 miles west of Artesia (in the Sacramento mountains). See their website for maps and directions.

    Schedule Highlights

    12-2 Registration in the small cafe: Receive schedule according to math
         level, get t-shirt, get picture taken
    12-1 Lunch: Request form will go to teachers this week.
       2 Kickoff and Epidemiology Overview
    2:30 - 5:30  Three classes
    5:30 Birthday Bash
    7:30 Keynote
    8:30 Elective or movie
    11 Curfew
    7:30 Breakfast
    8:30 - 11:30  Three more classes
    11:30 Lunch (Sack lunches for those who need to leave early.)
    

    Epidemiology

    From Project GUTS, here is an introduction to epidemiology: http://projectguts.org/files/Fileshare_Area493/Unit1/GUTS_unit1-Overview.pdf

    "Epidemiology is the scientific study of factors affecting the health and illness of populations. The basic premise of epidemiology is that the cause of a disease results in higher rates of the illness in those that have been exposed to the cause than in those who have not been exposed. And thus, one can look for the commonalities in those who are infected when searching for the cause. Epidemiology serves as the theoretical foundation and cornerstone methodology of public health research. Computer simulations are used in the field of epidemiology to study the spread of diseases and the outcomes of interventions made in the interest of public health and preventive medicine.

    Epidemiology was chosen as the first unit in the Project GUTS curriculum and for the Challenge yearly theme,because it is a timely and relevant subject and a topic that can be studied as a complex system using a variety of technology tools. We have seen students relate "infectivity" to many situations and scenarios they witness in every day life: the fads and fashions that spread through a school, the spread of rumors, and the infectious quality of bullying behavior have been chosen as students' research topics that relate to epidemiology."

    Supercomputing Link

    This week's link comes from Mr. G, the Library Guy, a teacher sponsor from Artesia High School. Keep those cards and letters coming about supercomputing and parallel processing.

    NASA Science News for October 6, 2009
    Archeologists are using NASA satellites and supercomputers to crack the mystery of the ancient Maya. New findings suggest the Maya may have played a key role in their own downfall.

    FULL STORY at
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/06oct_maya.htm?list1087052

    See you in two weeks! We can't wait.

    Sincerely yours,
    Betsy, Celia and David, Challenge management team


    Monday Morning Message, October 5, 2009

    Team Formation

    There are still 61 registered participants that haven't formed teams. Please form teams soon as part of step three of the Registration process.

    Team Entry Authorization Forms

    Step five of the registration process above is to submit with the TEAF for each team, along with the Supercomputing Challenge registration fee.

    Pre-Survey

    Have you filled out the pre-Challenge survey at step seven of the registration process?

    Kickoff Schedule

    We hope to have the Kickoff Schedule ready to share with you soon. Much work is being done behind the scenes to make the Kickoff a valuable event for you. Mark your calendars, arrive in Sacrament, NM by 2:00pm on Sunday October 25. Classes and activities will be held Sunday afternoon and evening and on Monday morning. Lunch will be provided on Monday before your departure. Help us celebrate our 20th annual kickoff!

    Proposals

    Step nine of the registration process is to prepare a Proposal about the project you wish to work on this year. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals for details and submit your proposal online and bring a hard copy of it to the Kickoff so that you can discuss it with a scientist.

    Looking forward to see all of you October 25th!


    Monday Morning Message, September 28, 2009

    Registration

    Our registration is at 248 people. New schools to register this week are Tibbetts Middle School in Farmington, San Jon High and Hatch Valley High.

    After registering, start forming your teams. Click on "Register or Manage Teams" at https://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/teamreg_login.php. 51 teams have registered so far, so there are still 83 students that need to form, or register, their teams.

    Please send in your in Team Entry Authorization Forms which can be found at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/teaf.pdf

    Class at the Kickoff

    Are any of you out there mad scientists? Would you like to learn about Arduino? Learn about it at http://www.arduino.cc/

    This micro-controller programming environment is based on the same editor as Processing uses. If we find that some of you are interested, we may offer this as an optional class on Sunday evening. Please write to consult @ challenge dot nm dot org with your interest.

    Research

    The Oregon School Library Information System has six steps to doing research:

    1. Define
    2. Plan
    3. Research
    4. Create
    5. Present
    6. Reflect

    Step Four is Create. Steps One - Three are on our webpage under Newsflash.

    Putting It All Together - the Post-Search

    • Prepare your presentation and evaluate your results.
    • Communicate what you have learned.
    • Create your presentation.
    • Cite your sources appropriately.
    • Use Citation Maker MLA or APA
    • Prepare to present the results of your research to others to edit or make suggestions prior to actually turning in or presenting the project.

    Don't forget!

    Record titles, authors, publishers, dates and other relevant information for citation purposes.

    Research Terms Dictionary

    Interesting Supercomputing Link

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9138362/SGI_aims_at_personal_supercomputing_that_s_cheap_easy_to_use

    From Computer World, September 22, 2009

    "They aren't selling personal supercomputers at Best Buy just yet. But that day probably isn't too far off, as costs continue to fall and supercomputers become easier to use."

    Proposals

    Do you have an idea for a project? Start working on your proposal now. You can check out the two that have already been posted at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals

    Most Challenge teams will have proposals posted before the Kickoff Conference and need to bring a hard copy of the proposal with them to the Kickoff. If you are a new team and are not sure about this process, bring your ideas and we will help you get a proposal planned at the Kickoff.

    Sincerely,
    Betsy, Celia and David among others!


    Monday Morning Message, September 21, 2009

    If you have registered since last Monday, see the past MMMs at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/news_flash.shtml

    Registration

    Our registration is at 189 people. New schools to register this week are Deming High, Highland in ABQ, CEPi1 Charter School, Farmington, Jackson Middle in ABQ, Manzano in ABQ and Quemado who has already sent in their TEAF. What? They sent in their Team Entry Authorization Forms which can be found at http://challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/teaf.pdf

    Register today at http://challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

    After registering, start forming your teams. (Click on "Register or Manage Teams" at the above link.) 20 teams have registered so far, so there are still 100 students that need to form, or register, their teams.

    Supercomputing Link

    The Supercomputing Challenge is an exciting program that offers a truly unique experience to students in our state. The opportunity to work on the most powerful computers in the world is currently available to only a very few students in the entire United States, but in New Mexico, it is just one of the benefits of living in the "Land of Enchantment."

    The Supercomputing Challenge is a program encompassing the school year in which teams of students complete science projects using high-performance supercomputers. Each team of up to five students and a sponsoring teacher defines and works on a single computational project of its own choosing.

    Throughout the program, help and support are given to the teams by their teacher sponsors and the Supercomputing Challenge organizers and sponsors.

    The Supercomputing Challenge is open to all interested students in grades 6 through 12 on a non-selective basis. The program has no grade point, class enrollment or computer experience prerequisites.

    Participants come from public, private, parochial and home-based schools in all areas of New Mexico. The important requirement for participating is a real desire to learn about science and computing.

    Research

    The Oregon School Library Information System has six steps to doing research:

    1. Define
    2. Plan
    3. Research
    4. Create
    5. Present
    6. Reflect

    Step Three is Research

    • Gather your information,
    • Collect what you can use,
    • Evaluate the content of your sources,
    • Digest Your Own Info

    Don't forget!

    Record titles, authors, publishers, dates and other relevant information for citation purposes.

    Research Terms Dictionary

    Interesting Link

    http://www.technologyreview.com/TR35/Profile.aspx?Cand=T&TRID=818

    Complex physics simulations can run on everyday PCs. Adrien Treuille simplifies simulations by "streamlining the mathematical representation of a scenario, removing unlikely outcomes. For example, he says, a full simulation of how a shirt might be folded would include fantastic origami-style shapes."

    He also co-created a downloadable game called Foldit, "that allows players to fold and tug on simulations of known proteins to design new molecules." http://fold.it/portal/user/46/show_scores. More than 90,000 users have registered and played since the game's launch in May 2008. Treuille wonders if someone--perhaps even an amateur--might someday use Foldit to discover a protein that cures cancer."

    Proposals

    Start working on a proposal for your project. One as already been posted at: http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals/
    Challenge teams should have proposals posted before the Kickoff Conference and need to bring a hard copy of the proposal with them to the Kickoff.

    Got questions?

    consult @ challenge . nm . org
    Betsy, Celia and David among others!


    Monday Morning Message, September 14, 2009

    It is State Fair time in Albuquerque. We know many of you participate through 4H and such, so good luck and enjoy that cotton candy.

    Registration

    New schools to register this week are Chaparral Mid, Los Alamos High and Mid and the Media Arts Charter School. That takes us from Anthony through Albuquerque up to Los Alamos.

    Register today at http://challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

    After registering, start forming your teams. (Click on "Register or Manage Teams" at the above link.) Fourteen teams have registered so far.

    Supercomputing Link

    What is supercomputing? Why is this program called the Supercomputing Challenge?

    Supercomputing is performing computational science on high-performance computers. This statement introduces two questions: what is computational science, and what are high-performance computers.

    Computational science is a discipline in which a scientific problem, be it one of biology, physics, geology, medicine, engineering, or any other field, is modeled by one or more mathematical equations. These equations are typically so computationally intensive that it might take human beings years to solve the problem by traditional pencil and paper methods. Thus, these equations must be solved by a computer, where the work can be accomplished in relatively little time. Similarly, the output can be so complex that it must also be interpreted by a computer. Often this means displaying the output in some type of graphical format.

    As you can see, computational science isn't just computer programming, but it includes any general area of science along with math and computer science. The definition of a high-performance computer (or a supercomputer), changes daily since computers are continually getting stronger and faster. Therefore, a high-performance computer could simply be considered to be one of the "best" at the current time.

    Your current desktop is more powerful than the supercomputers teams used 20 years ago. The Supercomputing Challenge is an exciting program that offers a truly unique experience to students in our state. The opportunity to work on the most powerful computers in the world is currently available to only a very few students in the entire United States, but in New Mexico, it is just one of the benefits of living in the "Land of Enchantment."

    The "Challenge" is to come up with a project that could be expanded to require the processing power available with supercomputers.

    Research

    The Oregon School Library Information System has six steps to doing research:

    1. Define
    2. Plan
    3. Research
    4. Create
    5. Present
    6. Reflect

    Step Two Plan

    • Any time you want to know about something, you're going to need to do some research. Good research requires a good plan, whether it's just for a quick answer to something you wonder about or if it's for a major research project for a class assignment.
    • Learn how to plan your research, locate the best sources, and put it all together for a great presentation.
    • Use the Online Research Planner ...(Be sure you PRINT this planner after you enter your answers! AND before you close it!!!) ...to map your own project as you go through this "How-To."

    NASA Link

    Spectacular First Images from the Rejuvenated Hubble Space Telescope
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/09sep_hubbleimages.htm?list195095

    Sincerely yours,
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Tuesday Morning Message, September 8, 2009

    Happy September!

    We hope you enjoyed your day off on Monday!

    Registration

    Have you ever heard that saying the early bird gets the worm?

    We have some early bird registration information:
    TOTAL: 90 (students: 77 | teachers: 13)

    If we get that many students and teachers registering each week, we will reach our participant goal for this year.

    Register today at http://challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

    Proposals

    So what problem is your team going to work on this year? We are going to study epidemiology together here online and at the kickoff. So you can do an epidemiology project.

    You can look at all the final reports from past years and study them and improve upon those. Look in the archives at http://challenge.nm.org/archive to find these projects.

    Or you can think up your own problem.

    Each of these three categories will have awards connected to them. Guidelines for proposals can be found at http://challenge.nm.org/proposals/proposal_guidelines.shtml

    We hope to have a Meet the Scientist workshop Sunday, the 25th in the Sacramento Mountains that will really help you with all of this technical writing and computational thinking.

    Supercomputing Link

    Eleanor Walther, judge, mentor, friend of the Challenge, at Sandia National Laboratories suggested this link

    Personal Supercomputers Promise Teraflops on Your Desk
    "True supercomputers, the rock stars of computing, are capable of millions of calculations per second. The shift away from large supercomputers to smaller versions has also made research more cost effective for organizations."

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/08/personal-supercomputers

    Research

    The Oregon School Library Information System has six steps to doing research:

    1. Define
    2. Plan
    3. Research
    4. Create
    5. Present
    6. Reflect

    Step One Define

    1. Define Your Timeline:
    2. Challenge Dates
    3. Essential Question

    Resources: Define

    1. Picking a Topic
    2. Guidelines for Choosing and Picking a Topic for the Challenge

    These are your tips for registering early.

    Thanks, Artesia, Espanola, Freedom High and Melrose for having several teams already registered.

    Sincerely yours,
    Betsy, Celia and David


    Monday Morning Message, August 31, 2009

    Registration

    Registration is live at http://www.challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

    Be the first one in your neighborhood to register.

    Registration deadline is September 30th.

    Links

    Every week we will be sharing either a research, supercomputing or science link. Please send us any interesting links that you come across.

    Research Link

    What skills do college students need and does the Challenge help provide?
    http://studyskills.suite101.com/article.cfm/job_skills_that_every_college_student_needs

    The Challenge Board of Directors would like you to become a creator of technology, not just a consumer. We want to take you on a journey that is beyond Information Technology. We want you to "know about data and idea and combine these resources to solve problems." We want you to "move beyond using tools and information to creating tools and information". We want you to "manipulate data, using abstractions." Pat Phillips defined this as computational thinking. We borrowed these thoughts from a PowerPoint on the web, so we need to cite that source and if we were writing a technical paper, the citing would look like this.

    Phillips, Pat. Computational Thinking: Preparing Students to Succeed in the Creative Age. Retrieved August 29, 2009, from http://www.csta.acm.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/sub/CSIT09Presentations/Phillips_Computational.pdf.

    NASA Link

    COLBERT, Leonardo and a Neutralino Heading for Space Station
    http://www.universetoday.com/2009/08/28/colbert-leonardo-and-a-neutralino-heading-for-space-station/

    Teachers

    This is a seminal article by Jeanette Wing on Computational Thinking
    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/usr/wing/www/publications/Wing06.pdf

    This topic would be a good one to use if you are teaching a Supercomputing Class this year. Here is a class being offered at Towson College:
    http://triton.towson.edu/~compthnk/meetings/jan09/EverydayComputationalThinkingJan2009.pdf

    Thoughts?

    Hoping your semester is off to a good start. We are looking forward to seeing you at the kickoff, October 25th and 26th in the Sacramento Mountains.

    Betsy, Celia and David,
    Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult at challenge.nm.org


    Monday Morning Message, August 24, 2009

    Registration

    Registration opens September 1st. Start forming teams now.

    Please register at http://www.challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

    Registration deadline is September 30th.

    Once all team members have registered individually, be sure to register the team: https://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/teamreg_login.php

    Look Into The Future

    Important dates are available at http://challenge.nm.org/dates.shtml. Please note these dates in your school calendar, your personal calendar, the calendar on your refrigerator, etc.

    Kickoff Conference

    Join us for the kickoff, classes and community building, in the Sacramento Mountains, Sunday, October 25 and Monday, the 26th.

    Proposals

    Teams should be thinking about their projects and preparing a proposal. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals for guidelines. Teams will have a chance to work with scientists on Sunday, the 25th to finalize a project.

    Theme

    The keynote theme at the Kickoff is epidemiology and several of the workshops will have examples of techniques used to study how diseases spread. Teams may wish to choose a project that relates to epidemiology. The website will also soon have suggested past projects that teams can study and improve.

    We are excited to be starting our 20th year and hope you can join in the celebrations!

    Sincerely yours,
    Betsy, Celia and David representing Consult, the Challenge Management Team
    Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult @ challenge.nm.org


    Monday Morning Message, August 17, 2009

    Are you ready for the 20th Annual Supercomputing Challenge?

    Registration

    Start forming teams to participate in the 20th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

    Registration opens September 1st at
    http://www.challenge.nm.org/registration.shtml

    Registration deadline is September 30th.

    Proposals

    Hopefully teams have been thinking about their projects and preparing a proposal. See http://www.challenge.nm.org/proposals for guidelines.

    Kickoff Conference

    The Kickoff Conference will be held October 25-26 in Sacramento, New Mexico.

    Teachers

    Please print a flyer to place in your school for advertisement. http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/invitation_flyer.pdf

    Here is the invite link:
    http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/09-10/invitation.shtml

    Is the Challenge hard? Remember our discussion of the Challenge as a Marathon at http://www.challenge.nm.org/archive/07-08/marathon.shtml

    NASA Connect

    Check out the Blast Back to School With NASA Educational Resources web page.

    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 year,

    Betsy, Celia and David representing Consult, the Challenge Management Team
    Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult @ challenge.nm.org

    These News Flashes are archived at http://www.challenge.nm.org/news_flash.shtml 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: consult @ challenge.nm.org

    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