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A pair of students, one from St. Pius X High School and the other from La Cueva High School, won first place in the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge.
Erika DeBenedictis and Tony Huang took the top prize for their simulation of the shockwave in rarified gas from an object moving through the upper atmosphere. Their project used a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo program, which they had analyzed as the best way to solve the problem.
Second place went to a team from Los Alamos Middle School. Rachel Robey and Jessie Bohn were trying to build an energy-efficient wall and came across a design suggestion that they found not to work so well. From analyzing the poor design they came up with a wall that worked better.
The Albuquerque Academy team of Michael Wang and Ari Shaw-Saber won the third place prize by writing a program to simulate a nanoscale self-assembly process.
The winners were announced this morning and the awards ceremony was scheduled to take place in the Church of Christ auditorium.
Los Alamos National Laboratory sponsors the challenge, now in its 18th year. The event involves more than 250 students from across the state, who develop supercomputer projects and written reports with the help of teachers and mentors over the course of the school year.
Information about the challenge, a full slate of winners and an archive of all the reports are available at www.challenge.nm.org/ finalreports.