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

Weekly News Flashes

Monday Morning Message, November 23, 2015

Two Types of Models

In a proposal review from a volunteer scientist, the scientist explained:
"(there are two types of models) Agent Based or Mathematical. In an agent based model, you use real agents that interact and spread disease according to certain rules. In a mathematical model, you use a set of equations to model the numbers of susceptible, infected and recovered individuals (look up SIR for Smallpox). I would encourage you to decide how you might want to start modeling based on your interest in math or in agent based programming. There is more info here as well:"

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Balloons

So what does it take to make and display a Macy's Balloon? Obviously, math and engineering, learn more at:

National Science Foundation -- Ten ways advanced computing catalyzes science

Read about NSF-supported supercomputing research in many different areas of science:

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

Monday Morning Message, November 16, 2015

Proposal Reviews/Interims Due

You should be receiving reviews of your proposals from volunteer scientists. Please respond to them, thanking them for their time and input, and ask them other questions. Interim Reports are due December 10th. See for more details.

Past Challenge Winner off to Ireland

Read about what Richard Rush, member of the 2009-2010 winning Supercomputing Challenge team, is up to now:

Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code

Teacher and Students, plan to participate in Computer Science Education Week and do the Hour of Code. Do the tutorials yourself (at then get your school, or the (elementary/middle) school you previously attended, to participate. In 2013 the theme was Angry Birds, in 2014 the theme was Frozen, and this year the theme is Star Wars and Minecraft. They are all fun tutorials with inspiring videos.

Other Competitions

Students: remember that you can enter your Supercomputing Challenge projects in other competitions, like the Research Challenge (aka Science Fair). The web page for Central New Mexico's Research Challenge is and other regions are listed at

2016 Discover STEM Week

Teachers and Students: The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is now accepting applications for schools who would like to attend the 2016 Discover STEM Week. Accepted schools will receive free admission and busing (ABQ metro only) for their students. This event is the week of February 1-5. Applications deadline is December 7th, 2015. Please apply online at:
Teachers, see

Algorithms to Reduce Air Traffic Congestion

Have you been on a plane that pulls away from the gate and sits for what seems like forever before taking off? Check out this issue of CS Bytes & Bits Volume 4 Issue 2 to learn how computer science is helping to reduce congestion on runways!

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

Monday Morning Message, November 9, 2015

Proposal Reviews Coming

Several people have volunteered to review your proposals. You should be hearing from them soon. When you get a review, make sure to acknowledge the effort the reviewer put into the review. Do heed their advice as you work on your project and prepare your Interim Report. Thank them and start a dialogue with them.

Interim Reports due in one month

Remember the next deadline is December 10th, when your Interim Reports are due:

Time management is one of the skills that the Supercomputing Challenge tries to develop in its participants. Take a look at 7 Simple Steps to Meeting Deadlines:

Congressional App Challenge

The second annual Congressional App Challenge opens for submissions today, November 9. The Challenge is open to all students, grades 9-12, who attend high school in participating Congressional districts. Winners get to meet their Member of Congress, and have their app displayed at the Capitol Building! View the details at:

Support the Challenge through Amazon Smile

Parents, teachers, anyone, shop through Amazon Smile and Support the Supercomputing Challenge.
The Challenge, a non-profit, has registered with AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Supercomputing Challenge.

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

Monday Morning Message, November 2, 2015

Proposals and Proposal Reviews

Sixty teams have submitted proposals and we are about to contact volunteers to review the proposals and provide you feedback. So, if your team hasn't submitted a proposal, please do it as soon as possible. See:

Challenge Facebook Page

Are you a Facebook user? Join the Supercomputing Challenge's Facebook page at: or search for Supercomputing Challenge on Facebook. Share what you're doing.

High Performance Computing Matters

Through your participation in the Supercomputing Challenge, we hope to educate you as to how and why computers can be used to benefit society.

SC15 (an international Supercomputing Conference held the third week of November each year) recently released short videos about how high performance computing (HPC) is making a difference in our lives. Check out the introduction video at

Then see the short video about personalizing medical treatments. Through the use of patient specific high resolution computer models of a child's head surgery for epilepsy is much more precise and less traumatic in part thru the use of high performance imaging and visualization. The end result is a much higher quality of life for the child.


October was National Cyber Security Awareness Month, but Securing Your Kids is a never ending activity. The SANS Institute (the most trusted source for information security training) has a site,, that has a good 57 minute video with great advice for dealing with kids and technology.

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

Monday Morning Message, October 19, 2015

Research and Report Writing

October is speeding past, this is the month where you really need to be collecting, reading, and annotating research for your project topic. Work, Work, Work! By December 10th.

School Visits

If you want a school visit, please request one ASAP. Write to: consult1516 at

Project Proposals

There are several teams that have not submitted their proposals. Please get that done as soon as possible.

Interim Reports

Interim Reports are due Dec 10th. Don't miss the deadline so that your project is on track.

Google Cardboard Glasses

At the Kickoff, we played around with and gave away google cardboard glasses. If you want to know more, or want your own glasses, here's the link:

Your Coding Method is Like a Fingerprint

Did you know that your coding method is like a fingerprint? Read the following article to find out more:

Want more help learning to code? Check out these websites.

Important Dates Checklist

September 1-20, 2015: Registration
October 10-11, 2015: Kickoff
November 2015: School visits
December 10, 2015: Interim reports due
January 2016: Peer Review
February 5-27, 2016: Project Evaluation
February 28, 2016: Deadline to submit scholarship applications
March 2016: Tours
April 6, 2016: Deadline to submit final reports
April 6, 2016: Registration deadline for Expo and Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos.
April 11, 2016: Submissions for the Best Web version of a final report due.
April 13, 2016: Judges' Conference Call.
April 25, 2016: Supercomputing Challenge Expo in Los Alamos
April 26, 2016: Awards Ceremony in Los Alamos

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

Thursday Afternoon Message, October 15, 2015

We heard you enjoyed the speakers at the Kickoff, David Mascarenas (Los Alamos National Lab) talked about Engineering sensors, Roger Wiens (Los Alamos National Lab) spoke of the Mars Science Laboratory and ChemCam, and Meghan Hill and Katelynn James (2014-15 First place Supercomputing Challenge winners) presented their project and gave you pointers for the coming year.

This past weekend we had 200 attendees and 65 instructors/volunteers. A job well done all!

DEADLINES: Your proposal should be submitted. Please take the time to do that now! If you have not submitted it yet or want to update, go to

If you want to see the materials presented at the Kickoff, you can find Class Materials here:

Class and team pictures can be found on your YAPP app and on the website.



Preliminary research on topics
Look for any research like what you propose to do.
Look for more information on topic to expand knowledge
Look for influencing variables
Create a preliminary timeline and rough draft of plan
Find Mentors
Major Research Push
Increase knowledge on topic
Increase knowledge on topic
Discover Variables that might affect outcomes
Decide on an appropriate Model for the project
Mathematical? Agent Based? etc.
Discuss with Team
Write and Submit INTERIM REPORT -- DEC 10
Be clear and concise
Make report long enough to truly represent what you now know about the topic, what you have discovered, and what will be critical to pay attention to. Include a timeline plan if possible.
Continue Project work
Coding Ramps up
Consult mentors
Save reviewers comments and incorporate them
Coding and project work continues
Begin to write final report
Don't forget to keep a record of references
Present to Peers and Adults
Consult mentors
Prepare report and presentation for PROJECT EVALUATIONS -- FEB 5-27
Reevaluate progress on your plan
Consult mentors
Continue coding
Use Report reviewer's suggestions
Generate Research Data, Paying attention to patterns in the data
Assess whether project is testing what you think it is testing
Gather Proof how you know that it is (Use in Final Report)
Assess whether project results are how the system would work in the real world.
Gather Proof how you know that it is (Use in Final Report)
Work on final report
Finish work and upload FINAL REPORT -- APR 6
Polish report and presentations
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Even after submitting continue any unfinished work
EXPO April 25 -- 26

Don't forget if you have questions, requests, or needs, write to: consult1516 at

David, Josephine, Patty
Supercomputing Challenge

Thursday Morning Message, October 8, 2015

This is one last message before we all pack up and head to Socorro!


When you go through registration on Saturday morning, you will need to select an elective to participate in on Saturday night. Look over the list at: to see what you might be interested in. Choose more than one just in case they fill up.


We will have eight different tracks that students will be following during the two days. Three tracks will learn NetLogo and three tracks will learn Python and two tracks cover other topics for advanced students.


Remember you need to bring a proposal with you to the Kickoff and it would be nice to have it posted beforehand at: As of this writing, 15 teams have already submitted their proposals.

Team Numbers

We have sorted all the teams by school names and renumbered them from 1 to 108 and you'll see what your team number is when you submit your proposal, or on your nametag that you get on Saturday.


Remember that students may be housed four to a two-bed room so bring a sleeping bag to put on the bed if that is your desire.

What Else to Bring

Money for snacks, laptop computers (make sure they are tagged with your identification information), appropriate clothes (weather looks good-no chance of rain, low of 50 degrees, high of 83 degrees), toiletries, pajamas, walking shoes, TEAFs and registration fees if they haven't been turned in already, . . .

David, Josephine, Kari, Patty,
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, October 6, 2015


The 26th Annual Supercomputing Challenge Kickoff is this weekend!
At New Mexico Tech in Socorro. Plan to arrive at the Joseph Fidel Student Center (#10 on the map below) between 9:00 am and 11:30 am to register and get t-shirts, schedules, and more. See the map of the NM Tech campus at:

See the general schedule for the weekend at:

The Challenge will provide lunch and dinner on Saturday and lunch Sunday at NM Tech. Breakfast Sunday morning is at the hotel. You might want to bring some spending money for snacks (or to spend at the NM Tech bookstore on Saturday).


Try to post your project proposals before Friday. See: for guidelines and the links to submit your proposal. (Eight teams have already submitted their proposals.) In the next day or two we will renumber the teams to numbers between 1 and 100 alphabetically by school name. Remember that you need to bring a copy of your proposal with you to the Kickoff.

Kickoff Housing

The housing lists for Saturday night have been posted at:

Check to make sure you are on one of the lists if you need housing on Saturday night. Let Consult know of any issues.

David, Josephine, Kari, Patty,
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Evening Message, September 28, 2015

Team Membership

Team registration is now available. Go to: and click on Register or Manage Teams and organize yourselves onto teams. You will be assigned a team ID and once everyone is registered, we'll re-organize the teams alphabetically by schools and renumber them to numbers between 1 and 100.


Once you have registered a team, you can submit your proposal. Go to: and read the guidelines, the click on Submit or Edit your proposal to login and enter your team's proposal. (Team members need to do this, not teachers.)

Remember to bring a copy of your proposal with you to the Kickoff on Oct 10th.

Kickoff Housing Lists

We hope to have the Kickoff Housing Lists posted later this week so check back for them at:

UNM event Saturday

UNM's School of Engineering is housing an open house the Saturday. Details at:

NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing and Educator Award

Girls, nominate yourself for the National Center for Women & Information Technology's Award at: and nominate your teacher at:


Robots to the Rescue, "It's not the robots, it's the data."

David, Josephine, Kari, Patty,
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, September 21, 2015


Planning is in full swing for the Supercomputing Challenge Kickoff which will be held at New Mexico Tech in Socorro on October 10th and 11th. Teams should expect to arrive between 9:00 am and 11:30 am. Registration will be in the Joseph Fidel Student Union building where teams will get their schedules, Challenge t-shirts, and have their pictures taken. NM Tech students will be there to give tours of the campus before we have lunch in the cafeteria. There will be an after lunch keynote session, three classes, dinner, an evening keynote session and electives. Sunday morning will have three classes followed by lunch with a keynote session and then everyone will depart from Socorro. The Challenge will pay for meals and lodging for the weekend.


Be preparing a proposal about the project you would like to work on this year and plan to bring it with you to the Kickoff. Hopefully next week we'll be accepting proposal submissions on the web site.


If you haven't registered yet, please get that done as soon as possible as we need to make food and housing plans and order t-shirts and such.


Send us an email, to consult1516 at

David, Josephine, Kari, Patty,
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Monday Morning Message, August 25, 2015

Welcome to the 26th Annual Supercomputing Challenge!


Start forming teams to participate in the 26th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

Registration is proceeding. We hope to have the team registration web site available soon, but we may have to ask you to email in who is on what team so we can help you get organized. Follow all the steps at:


Be thinking about your projects and start preparing a proposal about what you want to work on this year. Read the Proposals Guidelines at: and be ready to submit a proposal when that web site becomes available.


Make your plans now to join us at New Mexico Tech in Socorro on October 10th and 11th for two days of fun and learning. We continue to add content to the Kickoff website:


If you aren't a member of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) join now, it's free and they send out useful newsletters:

Sign up for NASA's EXPRESS message at:

Apply to join the NM Science & Math group at:!forum/nm-science-math

David, Josephine, Kari, Patty,
Program Managers for the Supercomputing Challenge

Supercomputing Challenge Consulting, consult1516 @

These News Flashes are archived at so that you can review them at a later date. There is also a link at the top of each Challenge web page pointing to Newsflash.

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

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

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