2020 Supercomputing Challenge Award Winners Announced

LAHS student Charles Strauss wins Judges’ Special Award


Three of the 9 finalists in the 2020 Supercomputing Challenge held virtually April 28 were from Los Alamos High school.

Twenty New Mexico schools participated including two from Los Alamos, 36 teams competed including five from Los Alamos, 27 awards were presented, and nine scholarships were awarded.

The Los Alamos finalists include:

Team 1005, Los Alamos High School Project Title: Comparing Sparse and Dense Neural Networks: Using AI to Detect Cancer – Team Member: Charles Strauss who won a Judges’ Special Award for this project. His mentor is Garrett T. Kenyon. Strauss also is a scholarship recipient and will attend the Colorado School of Mines.

Robert Strauss wins Judges’ Innovation in Programming Award

Team1003, Automatic Differentiation and AI Applied to Computational Physics School – Team Member: Robert Strauss who won the Judges’ Innovation in Programming Award.





Lillian Petersen wins the Judges’ Technical Writing Award

Team 20, Activity-by-Contact Model to Predict Enhancer-Gene Connections: A Tool to Increase our Understanding of Cancer. School – Team Member: Lillian Petersen won second place and the Judges’ Technical Writing Award. Her mentor is Graham McVicker. Lillian Petersen also is a scholarship recipient and will attend Harvard University.

The First Place High School Award went to Team 59, from the New Mexico School for the Arts for Modeling Forest Fire Risks in New Mexico.

Los Alamos Middle School Award Recipients

LAMS Students Asher Koh and Hyunoo Kim

Team 21, How to Win Monopoly – Team Members: Asher Koh and Hyunoo Kim win the Middle School Award. Their mentors are Aik-Siong Koh and S. Jun Kim











LAMS student Andrew Morgan

Team1017, Visual Detection of Melanoma with A.I. Team Members Andrew Morgan, Harry McKigney (Not Pictured) won the Judges’ Special Award for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. Their mentors are Ed McKigney and Nathaniel Morgan.

Find the complete list of winners here: https://supercomputingchallenge.org/19-20/expo/AllWinnersList.pdf

The Supercomputing Challenge is open to all interested students in grades 4 through 12 on a non-selective basis. The program has no grade point, class enrollment or computer experience prerequisites.

Participants come from public, private, parochial, and home-based schools in all areas of New Mexico. The important requirement for participating is a real desire to learn about science and computing. Supercomputing Challenge teams tackle a range of interesting problems to solve.

The most successful projects address a topic that holds great interest for the team. In recent years, ideas for projects have come from Astronomy, Biology, Geology, Physics, Ecology, Mathematics, Economics, Sociology, and Computer Science.

This Supercomputing Challenge is an annual event to promote computational literacy and teamwork in science across New Mexico. It is a homegrown New Mexico  effort, not a national organization, ongoing for 30 years.

The main sponsors are Triad, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the New Mexico  Consortium. Judges are drawn from many sources across the state but historically principle leaders have come from Los Alamos. The Awards Ceremony specially thanked LANL Director Thom Mason and New Mexico Consortium CEO Steven Buelow as instrumental to this year’s successful challenge.


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