× Home About Dates Registration Proposals Kickoff Interims Evaluations Final Reports Expo Newsflash Resources Archive Contact Us / Feedback myTeam
Pushing the limits of "standard" computing du jour.

Kickoff Conference

Urbanization: Cities as Complex Systems

The Kickoff Conference at New Mexico Tech in Socorro will be held on the weekend of October 7-8, 2017.

  • 9:00-11:30: Registration, pictures and campus tours at Joseph Fidel Student Union building (building #10 on the map).
  • 11:30: Lunch in the cafeteria. See the General Schedule for more information. 
  • Room and board provided.
  • Attendance at the Kickoff is not required for participation in the Challenge. Attendance at the Kickoff will be limited to 350 students.

Keynote 1: Sandy Frost

     Sandy is an electrical and computer engineer who works as a solutions architect, developer and certified security specialist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  She was inspired by her Grandfather’s “love of learning” and hopes to light the fire for others.
Title:  The Internet of Things
Learn about the basics of The Internet of Things and how they can be used to make Smarter Cities.

Keynote 2: Sean Salinas


Sean Salinas is a masters of science in computer science student at New Mexico Tech.  He graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from New Mexico Tech in 2016. His research interests focus around the security of cyberphysical systems, with a focus on cars.

Sean Salinas Impresses Judges With Electric Car Security Research

Title: Rough Waters to Car Hacking - Pushing the limits of computer security for fun and profit


Sean will give a brief overview of his academic and professional career in cybersecurity - starting with how he almost got arrested for cyber crimes to how he works for a leading national lab protecting our nation against cyber attacks, with everything in between. 

Keynote 3: 2016-2017 Supercomputing Challenge Winners


Santa Fe High School

Team Members: Rowan Cahill, Lisel Faust, Theo Goujon, Ramona Park

Teacher: Mr. Brian Smith

Title: Urban Installation of Smog Reducing Materials

Executive Summary

Air pollution is a major contributor to many detrimental health and environmental issues around the world. As such, companies worldwide have been creating products aimed at passively reducing smog concentrations in urban environments, including titanium dioxide bearing construction materials. A continuation of our simulation from last year, this project explores the most effective placement of these materials at various elevations, ranging from sidewalks to rooftops via NetLogo 3D. In an effort to update and improve the model, additional research has been conducted. This has resulted in the integration of several new subroutines, including fluctuations in the amount of smog produced, urban wind patterns, solar progression, and expansion of the cityscape. These additions to the code more accurately portray how effective the materials are at neutralizing smog in an urban setting when placed at distinct heights. The data acquired from our simulation indicates that anything other than full coverage significantly decreases the amount of smog processed. As the expense of these materials can be prohibitive, however, our results suggest that their application at higher elevations in the section of Albuquerque modeled would be best for smog reduction, as well as more cost effective. A combined bottom and middle application is also worth considering, as it is likely to result in a lower concentration of smog at ground level and therefore a healthier environment for residents.

Conference Tracks

Beginner Track

The students who take this track for coursework are all Pre-Algebra students and have little to no experience in Netlogo coding.

Intermediate Tracks

These two tracks are for students who have taken Algebra 1 and have some experience in NetLogo programming or want to learn Python or Jave programming.

Experienced Track

This track is for students who have at least Pre-Calculus math level and have some experience with at least one programming language and/or have participated in the Challenge for multiple years.

Teacher Track

This track is for teachers attending the Kickoff. They will learn some coding, technical writing, and Supercomputing Challenge milestones.


Remember that Supercomputing Challenge teams need to bring a Proposal with you to the Kickoff. See proposal guidelines. A Proposal template is to be filled out for each team.

Be sure you have registered for the Supercomputing Challenge.

Class Materials

Class materials


Check out the pictures from the Kickoff.

To learn more about previous years’ kickoffs, visit our archive.