Growing Exponentially: Supercomputing Challenge

Growing Exponentially: Supercomputing Challenge

Growing Exponentially: Supercomputing Challenge

April 26, 2022.  Supercomputing Challenge students across the state have completed their computational projects on topics such as Alzheimer’s disease, datacasting, fire science, and environmental issues. This year the Supercomputing Challenge celebrated their 32nd annual Expo on April 25th and 26th which featured student final presentations, judging and an award ceremony held on a virtual platform for the third year. 

In this program, middle school and high school students are mentored by a community of volunteer scientists, computer programmers and professors. Several alumni also serve as volunteers. The Supercomputing Challenge partners include the New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, PNM, Air Force Research Laboratory, Westwind, and most New Mexico colleges and universities.

David Kratzer, the executive director of the Supercomputing Challenge, states that “I am always impressed with the students in our state.  We are so proud to be able to show their abilities.”

Supercomputing challengeBy participating in the Challenge, students learn to be prepared and successful in any career. They learn to be persistent by practicing their computer programming skills, completing research, and meeting deadlines to cross the finish line. The Challenge likes to refer to itself as an academic marathon, and these students should be recognized as critical thinkers, communicators, collaborators, and computer scientists.

Scholarships worth $19,2000 were awarded to participating students planning to enroll in New Mexico Tech, the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College. Many other awards were distributed ranging from $50 per team member for finishing the academic marathon to team prizes of up to $1000 for 1st and additional prizes for other categories such as teamwork, technical writing, programming ability, and community impact.

The Supercomputing Challenge is open to all New Mexico middle and high school students, including home-schooled students.  Students work in teams and follow their own interests to choose a topic to computationally model. New students interested in becoming involved can make plans to start the next academic year, by contacting

The top three finalist projects are:

First place

Los Alamos High School, Developing a Control Algorithm and Simulation for Vector Controlled Rockets. Team members include: Daniel Kim, Andres Iturregui

Second place

New Mexico School for the Arts, Modeling Smoke Plume Dynamics from Imagery. Team members include: Django Beaudoin, Elisea Jackson, Madelyn Kingston, Lexington Smith. Teacher sponsor: Acacia McCombs

Third place

La Cueva High School, DNA Methylation with Machine Learning: Prediction of Alzheimer’s Disease and Novel Gene Therapeutics. Team members include: Aditya Koushik,  Abitpal Gyawali. Teacher sponsor: Yolanda Lozano.

View all the final reports and videos at:


The Supercomputing Challenge is sponsored by the New Mexico Consortium.