Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Student teams showcase year-long computing projects

The Challenge is project-based learning geared to teaching a wide range of skills: research, writing, teamwork, time management, oral presentations and computer programming.
April 19, 2016
Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

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“Participating students improve their understanding of technology by developing skills in scientific inquiry, modeling, computing, communications and teamwork, and they have fun doing it.”

NOTE TO EDITORS: Media are welcome to attend the awards ceremony from 9 a.m. to noon a.m., April 26 at the Church of Christ, 2323 Diamond Drive, Los Alamos.

Supercomputing Challenge expo and awards ceremony convenes April 25-26

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., April 20, 2016—More than 200 New Mexico students and their teachers will come together April 25-26 at Los Alamos National Laboratory to showcase their computing research projects at the 26th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge expo and awards ceremony.

“One of the goals of the year-long competition is to teach student teams how to use powerful computers to analyze, model and solve real-world problems,” said David Kratzer of the Laboratory’s High Performance Computing Division, LANL’s coordinator of the Supercomputing Challenge. “Participating students improve their understanding of technology by developing skills in scientific inquiry, modeling, computing, communications and teamwork, and they have fun doing it.”

The Challenge is project-based learning geared to teaching a wide range of skills: research, writing, teamwork, time management, oral presentations and computer programming. Any New Mexico elementary-school, middle-school or high-school student is eligible to enter the Supercomputing Challenge.

Kratzer said the challenge also provides a pipeline of potential future employees for the Laboratory.

While at the Laboratory, students will present their projects and take part in tours, talks, and demonstrations with Laboratory scientists. Student projects will be recognized during an awards ceremony from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, April 26 at the Church of Christ Auditorium, 2323 Diamond Drive in Los Alamos. Many plaques and cash awards will be given out; scholarships also will be awarded to high school seniors.

Kratzer noted the support of nearly 100 Los Alamos employees and another 50 individuals from Sandia National Laboratories, universities and business, who volunteer to work on the Supercomputing Challenge. “Without the support of these volunteers we couldn’t provide the first-class event we do for the students who have worked so hard to get to this point. I am grateful for their assistance,” he said, adding that this year, five students are second-generation participants; one or both of the students’ parents are previous Challenge participants.

More information about the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, including lists of student projects and sponsors, is on the Supercomputing Challenge web page.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, BWXT Government Group, and URS, an AECOM company, for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.


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