New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge


Team: 14

School: Capital High

Area of Science: Epidemiology

Interim: Definition of the Problem
The bacterium that we are researching is Neisseria gonorrhea, which is a Gram-negative, coffee bean shaped bacterium. It is diplococcic and responsible for the sexually transmitted disease, gonorrhea. It is a problem to mankind because it affects teenagers between the ages of 15 and 29(although it also affects adults). It causes sores and pus to appear in the genital areas and it can cause some serious problems in both men and women. In women, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. In men it can cause pain in the testicles. Infertility is the biggest problem caused by gonorrhea. The gonorrhea can enter the bloodstream and make a person more vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. Currently, the only solutions to this problem are to practice safe sex, and reduce the number of sexual partners who are exposed, and a vaccine is on development for prevention. We can help by providing a test in which we see which method of spread and resistance such as, transduction, transformation or, conjugation. We will test to see which antibiotic can destroy the antigens, or slow the rate of reproduction.
Problem Solution
We plan to find a solution to the problem by finding different reasons for how gonorrhea passes from person to person. This will help us find possible solutions that will lead to immunity. We will run several models to gain the most accurate data. In the model we will input real population data from several cities that contain infected populations. Every so often that the dots that represent an individual touches an infected dot it will also become infected.
Progress to date
So far we have researched the gonorrhea bacteria, including symptoms, treatments, and the infection rate. We have also researched different epidemic models including the SIR and SIS models that could be the possible starts for our model. We have also stated to research possible languages for the model. So far we will be using NetLogo to write the computer program. We plan to create a model in which individuals are represented by dots. Each time an infected dot touches another there will be a possibility of infection, simulating sexual contact.
Expected Results
We expect to obtain data that is similar to real life situations. With these results we hope to learn more about gonorrhea and how it is being transferred from person to person. This will help us create possible solutions to the problem to generate possible solutions for people that have contracted the disease. The program could be a starting plan that scientists could use in researching other similar diseases.
Team members: Alonso Arana, Anthony Garcia, Jorge Lira, Nicholas Cardona, Bianca Solis

Gonorrhea. (2012, December 19). PudMed Health. Retrieved from
Gonorrhea. (2012, December 19). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from
Gonorrhea. (2012, December 19). Wikipedia. Retrieved from

Team Members:

  Nicholas Cardona
  Anthony Garcia
  Jorge Lira
  Bianca Solis
  Alonso Arana

Sponsoring Teacher: Jenifer Hooten

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