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Laboratory to host Supercomputing Challenge April 21-22

The goal is to increase knowledge of science and computing; expose students and teachers to computers and applied mathematics; and instill enthusiasm for science in middle- and high-school students.
April 16, 2008
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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LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, April 16, 2008— More than 250 New Mexico middle- and high-school students will be at Los Alamos National Laboratory next Monday and Tuesday (April 21-22) for judging and awards in the 18th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.

Forty-seven teams are involved in the competition and another 40 Growing Up Thinking Scientifically (GUTS) teams of middle-school students also are presenting projects they have been working on for several months, according to David Kratzer of Los Alamos’ High Performance Computing Systems group, Laboratory coordinator of the Supercomputing Challenge.

The goal of the year-long event is to increase knowledge of science and computing; expose students and teachers to computers and applied mathematics; and instill enthusiasm for science in middle- and high-school students, their families and communities. Any New Mexico high school or middle school student is eligible to enter the Supercomputing Challenge.

Also on Monday, participating students will present their projects and take part in tours, talks and demonstrations with Laboratory technical staff members. "This event is a great opportunity to show off the talents of New Mexico's students and to show off to the students some of the research we do here at the Laboratory," said Kratzer.

Student projects will be recognized during an awards ceremony from 9 to 11 a.m., on Tuesday in the Church of Christ Auditorium, 2323 Diamond Drive, 1.6 miles north of the Laboratory.

The Supercomputing Challenge was conceived in 1990 by former Laboratory Director Sig Hecker and Tom Thornhill, then president of New Mexico Technet Inc., a nonprofit company that in 1985 set up a computer network to link the state's national laboratories, universities, state government and some private companies. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and John Rollwagen, then chairman and chief executive officer of Cray Research Inc., added their support.

More information on the Supercomputing Challenge, including a list of student projects, can be found at http://www.challenge.nm.org/ online.

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, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS 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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