2023-24 Supercomputing Challenge Kickoff

Kickoff Conference at New Mexico Tech in Socorro will be held on the weekend of September 30 - October 1, 2023.


  • 9:00-11:30: Registration, pictures and campus tours at Joseph Fidel Student Union building (building #18 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 300 students.


After lunch Keynote, Melanie Moses, The AI revolution: where are we going and how did we get here? Melanie's slide deck.

Melanie Moses, UNM 

Keynote description: This talk will describe the technical foundations of modern Artificial Intelligence and its potential to transform science and society.  It will also discuss the perils of AI including disinformation, encoding systemic bias and eroding privacy.  The talk will also address what young computer scientists can do to help AI reach is promise while minimizing negative impact. 

Biography: Melanie E. Moses is a Professor of Computer Science and Biology at the University of New Mexico and an External Faculty Member at the Santa Fe Institute. She earned a B.S. from Stanford University in Symbolic Systems and a Ph.D. in Biology from UNM. Her interdisciplinary research crosses the boundaries of Computer Science and Biology by modeling search processes in complex adaptive systems such as ant colonies and immune systems, including the immune response to COVID. She builds bio-inspired swarms of robots to autonomously cooperate with each other. Recently her team has taken these robots into the field to monitor the gas emissions from volcanoes. She is building an agent based model to understand how fish foraging protects coral reefs. She has mentored dozens of graduate and undergraduate students and led projects including NM CSforAll, the NASA Swarmathon, and the Google ExploreCSR Swarmathon:TNG to engage thousands of women and URM students from high school through graduate school. She co-founded the UNM-SFI Working Group on Algorithmic Justice, is part of the UNM ADVANCE program to support women faculty in STEM, and she currently serves on the board of the Computing Research Association-Widening Participation.

After dinner Keynote, Nicole Lloyd-Ronning, X-treme Astro: A Multi-scale Investigation into the Universe's Brightest Explosions Nichole's slide deck.

Nicole Lloyd-Ronning 

Biography: Nicole Lloyd-Ronning is an astrophysicist in the Computational Physics and Methods group (CCS-2) at Los Alamos National Lab, and teaches physics and astronomy at the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos.  She models the multi-scale physics behind the bright, explosive deaths of very massive stars, the black holes they create, and uses these explosions as tools to learn about star formation and their evolution in our universe.  She is the author of Great Mysteries in Astrophysics: A Guide to What We Don’t Know, a book about the most pressing unsolved puzzles in our universe. She grew up all over the U.S. and Germany, moving about every two years, and graduated high school in Honolulu, Hawaii. She received her B.A. in physics from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University, and has been living in and loving New Mexico since 2003. In her free time, she likes to run, swim, listen to music, read, cook, and eat.

Sunday lunch Keynote, 2022-2023 Supercomputing Challenge Winners


Machine Learning based Accessible Mobile
App for Activity Recognition and Freezing of
Gait Monitoring in Parkinson's Patients     

La Cueva High School

Team Members: Abitpal Gyawali, Aditya Koushik, Aiden Shoppel,
Amandeep Prasankumar, Venkata Menta


Conference Tracks

Track 1 - NetLogo, Beginners, Schedule

The students who participate in this session typically are Pre-Algebra students and have little to no experience in NetLogo coding.

Track 2 - Intermediate NetLogo, Schedule

This session is for students who have taken Algebra 1 and have some experience in NetLogo programming.

Track 3 - Introduction to Python, Schedule

This session is for students who have some experience with at least one programming language.

Track 4 - Experienced - Google Colab, Machine Learning, Python, Schedule

This session 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.

Track 5 -  Serious Programming Workshop, Schedule

This session is for any student who wants to learn Python programming on the Linux operating system. After the Kickoff, the students are supported with bi-weekly mini-courses on Python programming in various fields of research.

Teacher Session

This session is for teachers to familiarize themselves with the Supercomputing Challenge year and milestones.


Remember that Supercomputing Challenge teams need to submit a Proposal prior to the Kickoff. See proposal guidelines.

Be sure students have registered and teachers have registered for the Supercomputing Challenge, submitted a TEAF and paid the registration fee.

Class Materials

Class materials

Housing Lists

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Comfort Inn - Schools: Capital High, Cleveland High, La Cueva, McKinley Mid, Melrose High

Econolodge - Schools: Acad for Tech & Classics, Harrison Mid, Justice Code, New Futures


Check out the pictures from the Kickoff.


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