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New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge :: 27 April, 2007
scientists from Albuquerque, Kristin Cordwell of Manzano High School, Erika DeBenedictis of St. Pius X High School, and Brian Lott, a home-schooled student, captured the top prize Tuesday during awards ceremonies for the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge held at and co-sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The team's project, "Optimization of Trajectories," modeled routes for spacecraft and evaluated how to use gravitational pull from planets and other solar bodies to assist the flights. Each student on the winning team earned a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond, and the team's sponsoring teacher, Steve Schum of Manzano High School received a projection system for his classroom. This team also won for Best Written Report.
Now in its 17th year, the Challenge is open to any New Mexico high-school or middle-school student. More than 275 students from 37 schools around the state have researched scientific problems, developed sophisticated computer programs, and studied computer science with mentors from the state's national laboratories and other organizations since the program began.
The goal of the year-long event is to increase knowledge of science and computing; expose students and teachers to computers and applied mathematics; and instill enthusiasm for science in middle- and high-school students, their families, and communities. Participating students improve their understanding of technology by developing skills in scientific inquiry, modeling, computing, communications, and teamwork.
A Los Alamos High project "E.coli in Hostile Environments," earned second place in the competition. Sisters Iliana and Stoyana Alexandrova were awarded a $500 savings bond. For her efforts, their teacher, Diane Medford, received a projection system.
Third place went to Jonathan Robey and Dov Shlachter of Los Alamos High for their project "Compressible Fluid Dynamics." Their sponsoring teacher is Diane Medford. Robey and Shlachter also received a savings bond.
Fourth place went to the Albuquerque Sandia Preparatory School for its project, "Examining the Evolution of Social Behaviors." Team members are Alexander Clement, Amelia Clement, Gregory Fenchel, Jeffrey Fenchel, and Jayson Lynch. The sponsoring teacher is Neil McBeth. The team also won the Council for Higher Education Computing Services Inc, Teamwork Award and Albuquerque Tribune Lighthouse Award for the Most Professional Presentation.
To read a list of other Supercomputing Challenge award winners, go to http://www.lanl.gov/news/newsbulletin/pdf/Supercomputing_2007winners.pdf online.
At Los Alamos, students presented their research to a team of volunteer judges on Monday and discussed poster displays of their computing projects. They also toured the Laboratory's supercomputing centers and heard talks and demonstrations by Laboratory researchers.
Supercomputing Challenge Board President William Blackler presented awards at Tuesday's ceremony, which also was attended by State Rep. Jeannette Wallace, R-Los Alamos. U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico sent a video message to the students, and Veronica Rodriguez from Sen. Pete Domenici's office read a letter on behalf of the senator. The Special Award was presented to Blackler for his networking and positive outlook for the Challenge. Eleanor Walther of Sandia National Laboratories, received the Governor's Award for her tireless championship of the Challenge.
Los Alamos National Laboratory and the state of New Mexico sponsor the Supercomputing Challenge, which began in 1990.
Educational Partners include CHECS, Eastern New Mexico University, MIT StarLogo, New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, New Mexico Public Education Department, New Mexico State University, San Juan College, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe Institute, Tennessee State University, and the University of New Mexico.
Lockheed Martin, Sandia National Laboratories, Siemens Foundation, and Wolfram Research, Inc. are "Gold" commercial partners. "Silver" commercial partners are Gulfstream Group and bigbyte.cc, HP, Intel Corporation, One Connect IP, VanDyke Software, Inc., and ZiaNet. Abba Technologies/SGI, Albuquerque Tribune, Apogentech, BX Internet, iniCom Networks Inc, Lobo Internet Services, New Mexico Information Technology and Software Association, New Mexico Technet/Computer Reruns, New Mexico Internet Professionals Association, Redfish Group, and Strategic Analytics are "Bronze" commercial partners.
More information on the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge can be found at http://www.challenge.nm.org/ online, and final student reports are available at http://www.challenge.nm.org/finalreports/ online.
Los Alamos National Laboratory is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. The Laboratory is operated by a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, BWX Technologies, and Washington Group International for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.
Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health and global security concerns
Release link: http://www.challenge.nm.org/