|Volume 7, Issue 1 -
SUPERCOMPUTING COMPETITION "CHALLENGES" NEW MEXICO STUDENTS
In 1994, more than 700 students participated in the Fourth Annual New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge. Through this year-long event, students increased their knowledge and enthusiasm of science and computing by researching scientific problems, writing programs, and running those programs on supercomputers at Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and New Mexico State University.
The competition was conceived in 1990 by Los Alamos Director Sig Hecker, U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, and John Rollwagen, former chairman and CEO of Cray Research. The Advanced Computing Laboratory, CRPC's site at Los Alamos, played a role in the competition, providing students with access to computers and giving them the necessary training to use this equipment. ACL staff also gave students tours of their facilities and advice on their projects.
Any New Mexico high-school student is eligible to enter the competition. Teams submit a written proposal for a research project that requires a supercomputer. Projects range from computer science, mathematics, and engineering to physics, geology, and environmental science. Albuquerque Academy junior Agbeli Ameko, this year's winner, developed a statistical model for a 1941 theory that ice ages are caused by variations in the Earth's orbit. Last year's winners from Las Cruces High School developed a simulation showing how temperatures and thermodynamics inside a house are affected by outside temperature fluctuations.
Sponsors for this year's competition included New Mexico Technet Inc., Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, Phillips Laboratory, Cray Research, Digital Equipment, Intel, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, New Mexico State University, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque Tribune, American Teledata, Honeywell, IBM, Council for Higher Education Computing Services Inc., and Thinking Machines.
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