34th Annual Supercomputing Challenge KickOff Held at New Mexico Tech

34th Annual Supercomputing Challenge KickOff Held at New Mexico Tech

34th Annual Supercomputing Challenge KickOff Held at New Mexico Tech

Thanks to all the students participating in the 34th annual Supercomputing Challenge, which was a resounding success!  This year’s Kickoff to the program was held September 30th and October 1st at the New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology in Socorro, NM.

What is the Supercomputing Challenge? This is a STEM program open to New Mexico middle and high school students all over the state. Over the course of the academic school year, students work in teams to computationally model a topic of their choosing. To learn more see the 2023/24 Supercomputing Challenge webpage.

Supercomputing Challenge KickoffOn Saturday, the KickOff began with registration, and ID pictures, and then students were taken on a campus tour starting at the Joseph Fidel Student Union building.

After lunch at the cafeteria, the students were welcomed to the event with a Keynote speech by Melanie E. Moses, a Professor of Computer Science and Biology at the University of New Mexico and an External Faculty Member at the Santa Fe Institute. Moses’ speech titled, “The AI revolution: where are we going and how did we get here?”, was on the technical foundations of modern Artificial Intelligence and its potential to transform science and society.  She discussed the perils of AI including disinformation, encoding systemic bias, and eroding privacy.  The presentation also addressed what young computer scientists can do to help AI reach its promise while minimizing negative impact.

The rest of the afternoon, students attended classes including topics such as NetLogo for Beginners, Intermediate NetLogo, Introduction to Python, Google Colab, Machine Learning and Python, and Serious Programming Workshop. After dinner, the attendees were given a second Keynote speech by Nicole Lloyd-Ronning. an astrophysicist in the Computational Physics and Methods group (CCS-2) at Los Alamos National Lab. She also teaches physics and astronomy at the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos. Lloyd-Ronning’s speech was titled, “X-treme Astro: A Multi-scale Investigation into the Universe’s Brightest Explosions”.

Sunday, the students attended various classes where they worked to focus their ideas down to a manageable topic. They divided up tasks and began their research. The 2022-2023 Supercomputing Challenge winners from La Cueva High School gave the lunchtime Keynote on “Machine Learning based Accessible Mobile App for Activity Recognition and Freezing of Gait Monitoring in Parkinson’s Patients”. The KickOff came to a close after lunch.

Any students needing assistance to finish their proposal can contact consult@supercomputingchallenge.org to set up a time for their team to talk with a scientist.

Keynotes and some class sessions were recorded for those who could not attend in person. These will be posted soon at: https://supercomputingchallenge.org/23-24/ko-index

Any interested new students wanting to be involved can make plans to start the next academic year, by contacting:  consult@supercomputingchallenge.org

The Supercomputing Challenge partners include Triad/Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico Consortium, Sandia National Labs, PNM, Air Force Research Lab, BigByte and most state colleges and universities.

The New Mexico Consortium is a proud supporter of the Supercomputing Challenge.