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CNM Student Team to Participate in NASA ‘Swarmathon’

March 14, 2017 -- CNM engineering and computer programming students will be headed to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida April 18-20, to participate in a NASA “Swarmathon” physical competition. Last year, a CNM team took second place in the competition and this year’s group hopes to do even better.

Mar 14, 2017

CNM Student Team to Participate in NASA ‘Swarmathon’

The CNM student member of the Swarmathon Robotic Work Group (SRWG) started meeting weekly on Oct. 8. They spent much of Spring Term enhancing NASA-provided robots with algorithms that may be used for future space exploration. The students programmed the robots to communicate and interact as a collective swarm, similar to ants foraging for food. Prize money will go to teams that place first, second and third in the national competition.

Click here to view a video made by last year’s CNM Swarmathon Team.

The competition is a NASA Minority University Research Program project, which strives to ensure that underrepresented and underserved students participate in NASA education and research. The “Swarmies” were designed through a collaboration between the University of New Mexico and NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Swarm Works facility.

CNM robotic team member Joel Adkins said he is really excited about the competition and trip to Florida.

“Swarmathon provides students the opportunity to improve their skills in computer science and robotics,” Adkins said. “We’re given the opportunity to learn programming and this affords us the chance to work with some real-world applications of physics and math. Students are not limited in what we can learn.”

CNM Swarmathon Team members include Adrian Acosta Villa, Joel Adkins, Rudy Garcia, David Kirby, Steven Lindsley, Kristin Markle, Jacob McCullough, Charles Nuanes, Dina Reyes, Juan Rueda, Jeffery Schlindwein, Paul Ward and Kaily Young. The CNM faculty advisor is Dr. Chu Jong.

The Swarmathon Team of students has set up a GoFundMe page to help fund their trip to the NASA competition. To make a contribution or for more information, contact Adkins at jadkins9@cnm.edu or: (559) 457-9843.

Two years ago, UNM was selected to manage the NASA Swarmathon C?ollege -- chosen from among a nationwide pool of 14 proposals after a rigorous peer review by education and technical experts. The university received an award totaling nearly $1.8 million, paid in annual increments of $600,000 for a maximum of three years.