Los Alamos High School Students Take Awards At State Supercomputing Challenge

Elijah Pelofske presenting at the Supercomputing Expo. Photo by Sandra Valdez/NIE-CS, LANL

Lillian Petersen with her awards. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
LAPS News:

Several Los Alamos High School students joined 56 other teams representing 26 schools from around the state April 24 in Los Alamos for the 28th Annual Supercomputing Challenge.

LAHS sophomore Lillian Petersen won second place for her project, “Predicting Food Shortages in Africa from Satellite Imagery.” Her program predicts crop yields so that international aid organizations can be better prepared for humanitarian relief operations.

Elijah Pelofske, an LAHS junior, won third place for his “RSA Based Primality Test” project. Elijah says, “Efficient and accurate primality testing is a key mechanism used to ensure digital security in the modern world.”

LAHS junior Sam Crooks won the Judge’s Special Award for Best Real Time Demo for his project, “Artificial Neural Network to Recognize Handwritten Digits.”

Also participating was the team of LAHS students: Gabriel Holesinger, Duncan Fuehne, Uriah Sanchez and Xavier McTeigue. They submitted the project, “With New Mexico’s limited resources, we want to model if a locally-based, hydroponic systems could feed a city like Santa Fe.”

A complete list of all winning student teams is available at the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge website (http://supercomputingchallenge.org/17-18/) All final student reports can be found online.

Scholarships worth more than $36,000 were awarded to most state and community colleges, as well as some out of state schools. Many other awards were distributed ranging from random $100 gifts for finishing the academic marathon to team prizes for teamwork, research, programming prowess and environmental impact.

Tours at Los Alamos National Laboratory included Autonomous and Teleoperated Robotics, Scientific Data Visualization and Analysis, Ground Water Resources in New Mexico and What Makes a Computer Super. A reception at the Bradbury Science Museum rounded out a day of science and computing.

About the Supercomputing Challenge

The New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge teaches computational thinking, computer modeling and 21st century skills such as research, teamwork, project management, written and oral communication to middle and high school students throughout the state. Any New Mexico middle school or high school student, including home schooled students, is eligible to participate in the Challenge. Students conduct research projects on subjects of their own choosing. The Supercomputing Challenge is sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Security, LLC, Sandia National Laboratories, and generous industry and educational partners across the state and country. A complete list of sponsors and supporters of the Challenge is on its website.


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