2010-2011 Supercomputing Challenge

It has been another successful year for the Supercomputing Challenge, an NM EPSCoR education outreach partner. Open to all students in New Mexico schools, grades 6-12, the Supercomputing Challenge supports further development of the human component of New Mexico’s cyberinfrastructure, the focus of the EPSCoR Tri-State Western Consortium project. Participation is offered at minimal cost to students or the school district through funding by sponsors, including NM EPSCoR. Last year’s winner was a team from Melrose, NM, and senior team member Richard Rush credits his scholarship to Harvard University in part to winning the Challenge. “Winning helped me advance my plans to go college,” he said at this year’s kickoff. In fact, his future plans didn’t include college until his first participation in the Challenge two years ago. “We met a lot of interesting people that can give us good opportunities for scholarships.”

This year’s Kickoff Conference was held on October 16th-17th at the new Joseph A. Fidel Center at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM. Over 150 student participants were in attendance with their advisors and parents for registration, workshops, and STEM information sessions, including keynote speaker Amanda White, a former NM EPSCoR research scientist. Final judging took place at Los Alamos National Laboratory on Monday, April 25th, where 10 finalist teams were chosen. On Tuesday, April 26th, NM EPSCoR gave a $100 Climate Change award to Sara Shiina from Aspen Elementary for her project, "Global Warming: What can we do about it?" The winner of the 2010-2011 Supercomputing Challenge was Cole Kendrick from Los Alamos Middle School for his project, "Computer Simulation of Dark Matter Effects on Galaxy Rotation."


New Mexico EPSCoR sponsored its first award for the Challenge – the Climate Change Award.


The Challenge provides many beneficial outcomes. This year included a Harvard Scholarship for a member of the 2009-2010 winning team, and increased student, educator, and parental involvement with STEM activities.

Source/Image Provided By: Natalie Willoughby, NM EPSCoR, University of New Mexico, nwilloughby@epscor.unm.edu

Image caption: Climate Change Award Winner Sara Shiina with Natalie Willoughby of NM EPSCoR and Shaun Cooper from the Supercomputing Challenge Board