Computer Science Graduate student Manuel Zubieta led his team to a first place finish at the student programming contest held during the “Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment” (XSEDE12) Conference, a competitive programming event which took place on July 29th, 2012 as part of the XSEDE12 Conference in Chicago, IL. Teams consisting of up to six students (high school, undergraduate, and/or graduate students) were given eight to twelve problems from various scientific disciplines including protein folding, computational physics, and path optimization. Each team was asked to solve as many of these programs as possible given an 8 hour time constraint. The competition tested each team’s ability to translate the real-world problems into computer programs and simulations that could be run on today’s fastest parallel supercomputers, and obtain and analyze the results of those simulations. The competition consisted of 13 teams, one from the University of Michigan, two from the Notre Dame Summer Scholars, and nine from the XSEDE Scholars program, each composed of students from institutions throughout the U.S., such as Stanford University, University of California at San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Zubieta recently completed a double bachelor in Computer Science and Mathematics from The University of New Orleans and is a former officer of UNO’s computer science professional organization, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He has distinguished himself as a two-time XSEDE Scholar, and is the recipient of Louisiana Board of Regents Doctoral Fellowship. His doctoral research is being supervised by Dr. Christopher Summa in the Computer Science Department at UNO.