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South Eugene High School
Western Region Silver Medal Winner
The string topology BV algebra, Hochschild cohomology and the Goldman bracket on surfaces
Dmitry Vaintrob’s project seeks to establish a connection between two different areas of mathematics. This connection may lead to new applications in theoretical physics pertaining to research on string theory and mirror symmetry. With a focus on topological objects in mathematics, Mr. Vaintrob’s work taps into insights which are universal and applicable in any field. His mentor was Pavel Etingof, MIT Professor of Mathematics.
Mr. Vaintrob, a senior, is hoping to translate a lifelong fascination with mathematics into a career teaching on a college level. His project is the latest example of mathematic problem solving that has been encouraged by his parents since childhood. Mr. Vaintrob volunteers in two libraries, in his high school and the mathematics library at the University of Oregon. He is also the organizer of the math club in his school. Mr. Vaintrob is a pianist who enjoys reading classical literature and carrying the Russian tradition of memorizing poetry. He is fluent in Russian, French and English.
The Mississippi School for
Mathematics and Science
Southern Region Silver Medal Winner
Engineering a novel inhibitor of biofilm-encapsulated pathogens
Madhavi Gavini’s project combines microbiology and genome biology to address the potential use of extracts derived from plants to treat bacterial infections. In her research, she screened a number of herbs and herbal products and found that some had inhibitory effects on microbial growth under laboratory conditions. Ms. Gavini’s mentors were Prof. Lakshmi Pulakat, Department of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, and Dr. Mary Davidson, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Sciences.
Ms. Gavini, a senior, has had many discussions on the medicinal properties of herbs with her grandmother and late grandfather who practiced traditional Indian medicine. It was her grandfather who suggested that herbs might help in the treatment of infections. Ms. Gavini has received a number of awards for her scientific work, including the 2006 INTEL Foundation Young Scientist Scholarship and Best of Category in the Medicine and Health at 2006 INEL ISEF. She would like to become a biomedical researcher.
Lexington High School
New England Region Silver Medal Winner
Exploring the Guenon Mystery: An Evolutionary Analysis Using Phylogenetic Tree
In his biology project, Arjun Ramamurti combined multiple methodologies to help unravel the mystery of how guenon monkeys evolved. His research could increase the likelihood that some day we will understand how species (including man) evolve over long periods of time as their genetic makeup and behavior adapt to changes in the environment. Mr. Ramamurti conceived his project after reading an article in Discover Magazine that claimed the evolution of the guenon monkey was tremendously complex. His research involved phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences for sixteen guenon species and positing a potential path of migration for the guenon out of Central Africa over the last one million years. His mentor was Dr. Susan Offner, a biology teacher at Lexington High School.
Arjun Ramamurti, a senior, is fluent in Tamil and Spanish. He won Second Place in the 2005 Massachusetts State Science Fair and Honorable Mention at the same event in 2006. A highly accomplished cellist who has studied privately at the New England Conservatory for nine years, Mr. Ramamurti has served as assistant principal cellist with the Massachusetts All-State Orchestra and principal cellist with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Repertory Orchestra. He spent six weeks this past summer in Tambaram, India teaching English to 5-7 graders. A member of the National Honor Society, he enjoys reading, baseball and basketball.
University High School
Morgantown, West Virginia
Midwest Region Silver Medal Winner
A Search for Radio Pulsars Using the GMRT
Dominic Ludovici’s astrophysics research has the potential to advance the fields of general relativity, solid-state physics, planetary physics and cosmology. By running two different algorithms on data collected from scanning the plane of the Galaxy at a radio frequency of 610 MHz, he discovered three pulsars which offer a testing ground for many physical theories. Mr. Ludovici credits his father for introducing him to the telescope and piquing his interest as young child by pointing out constellations, comets and eclipses. He as mentored by Dr. Maura McLaughlin, Assistant Professor in Radio Astronomy at West Virginia University.
Mr. Ludovici, a senior, plays the trombone in the University High School Jazz Choir and sings in Saint Luke’s Catholic Church Adult Choir. Listed in Who’s Who Among American High School Students, Mr. Ludovici is a member of the National Honors Society, National Spanish Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta, National Society of High School Scholars, Science Club and Model United Nations. He plans to study physics in college and to continue research in astrophysics.
Horseheads High School
Horseheads, New York
Middle States Region Silver Medal Winner
Thin Film Assemblies of Gold Nanoparticles: Correlation between the Nanostructural Parameters and Conductivity Properties
In his materials science project, Guannan (Roger) Wang has established a quantitative explanation for the conductive properties of gold nanoparticle films. His research may help improve the design and development of high-sensitivity sensors. Nanomaterials, such as nanoparticle thin films, have a bright future in sensing technology with possible uses in health, homeland security and information storage. Dr. Chuan-Jian Zhong, Research Director and professor, SUNY Binghamton, was his mentor.
Born in China, Guannan Wang moved to the U.S. at age four. His love for science stems from his father, who used to bring his son to his polymer materials science lab at Cornell University. This high school senior still remembers his first science experiment: examining the difference between his and his father’s hair as viewed under a light microscope. A violinist for seven years, Mr. Wang performs with the Youth Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes. Fluent in Chinese, his hobbies include swimming and listening to music. In the future, he plans to pursue a career in medicine.
San Antonio, Texas
Southwest Region Silver Medal Winner
The Effects of Gene Suppression and Exposure to MPTP on Dopamine Neurons of C. elegans as a Model for Parkinson’s disease
Combining medicine and health, Elizabeth Monier’s research explored potential prevention methods against Parkinson’s disease using gene silencing techniques. In her research Ms. Monier looked at whether the genes of C. elegans, a species of microscopic worms, could be altered to model disease prevention in humans. She was inspired to pursue this area of research after reading an article about gene suppression. Her mentors were Scott Maderer, Keystone School Physics and Chemistry Teacher and Julie Etzler, University of Texas Health Science Center Graduate Student.
Ms. Monier, a senior, was a 2005-2006 Siemens Westinghouse Semifinalist. She has won a number of prestigious science prizes and awards, including the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 1st Grand Prize (2005, 2006) and 2nd Grand Prize (2004), and the Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair 1st Grand Prize (2004, 2005, 2006). Ms. Monier is the National Honor Society President, Key Club Member, St. Elizabeth Catholic Church Altar Server and Teen Eucharistic Minister. She considers her grandmother to be her personal hero. Ms. Monier plans to study biology in college and hopes to become either a reconstructive plastic surgeon or a genetic research scientist.
Oak Ridge High School
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
New England Region Silver Medal Winners
Linking Supercomputing and Systems Biology for Efficient Bioethanol Production
Scott Molony, Steven Arcangeli and Scott Horton’s bioinformatics project may one day provide a tool which could enable scientists to genetically engineer bacteria that would cost-effectively turn plant matter into ethanol used to fuel automobiles. The team developed a novel computational systems-biology methodology based on graph theory and statistical theory that could help bioengineers design an efficient ethanol-producing biological system. Their mentors were Dr. Nagiza Samatova, Mr. Chris Symons, Dr. Byung-Hoony Park, and Dr. Tatiana Karpinets, all with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Scott J. Molony, a senior, is a member of his high school cross-country team, editor-in-chief of the school literary magazine, and a varsity member of the Scholar’s Bowl Academic Team. His favorite subjects include Calculus II and Modern European History. Possible college majors include philosophy/theology, Japanese and mathematics. He dreams of a life spent conducting research and teaching.
Steven Arcangeli, a senior, was a finalist in the National Chemistry Olympiad last year. His high school team finished 20th nationally in the National Science Olympiad. Mr. Arcangeli is a member of the National Honor Society, Math Club and Science Club. He expects to major in materials engineering in college. His personal hero is Nick Grabenstein, a fellow student who was a national finalist in the 2005-06 Siemens Competition.
Scott Horton, a senior, became interested in science because of his parents, who both work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was a member of the second place regional team in the Physics Bowl and plans to major in engineering in college. He aspires to work in a laboratory.
Mililani High School
Western Region Silver Medal Winners
Computer-Aided Identification of Cancer from Photomicrographs by Entropy Analysis
Lucia and Philip Mocz’s (brother and sister) research could potentially help scientists come up with a more accurate, timely method of identifying cancer. The team created an entropy formulism that provides a new set of tools for the computer-aided identification of cancer. Their mentor was Dr. Andre S. Bachman, from the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii.
The team decided to create a real-world problem based on their strong interest in mathematics. Since the early identification of cancer is time-consuming and depends on the human expert, Lucia and Philip sought a new, automatic method to improve the time and cost efficiency of cancer detection.
Lucia Mocz, a sophomore, is a member of several clubs and organizations at Miliani High School, including the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, SET (Study of Exceptional Talent) Member, Hawaii Suzuki Association, Hawaii Youth Symphony Association, Math Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Tri-M Music Honor Society and the Mock Trial Team.
Philip Mocz, a junior, is a member of several clubs and organizations including the American Astronomical Society, the Hawaiian Astronomical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Math Club, Mu Alpha Theta, an the Tri-M Music Honor Society.
The brother and sister team consider their father to be their greatest hero. They remember how excited they were as children to visit a laboratory where they were able to see the tools with which modern scientists work (Lucia and Philip’s father is a professor of biochemistry).
The North Carolina School of
Science and Mathematics
Durham, North Carolina
Southern Region Silver Medal Winners
Engineering Synthetic Oscillatory Gene Networks at the Population Level
Sagar Indurkhya and Nicholas Tang’s conducted their bioengineering research in the area of synthetic biology, an emerging interdisplinary field related to systems biology that uses concepts based on living systems to design biological networks much like electronic networks. Their project explored methods, models and design patterns for the construction of complex artificial gene circuits at the theoretical level. Dr. Lingchong You and Dr. Jingdong Tian of the Duke Department of Biomedical Engineering served as their mentors. Earlier in November, the team presented their work at the 2006 Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) conference at MIT.
Fluent in Hindi, Mr. Indurkhya, a senior, is the co-president of his school’s Model UN team as well as president and founder of the computing club. He serves as a senior representative for the Student Government Association. Previously, Mr. Indurkhya received a 1st Place Airforce Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and 1st Place in Computer Science at the North Carolina Student Academy of Sciences. His personal hero is the noble-prize winning physicist Richard P. Feynman and he hopes one day to become a computer science professor.
Mr. Tang, a senior, is a talented musician who has played violin and piano for seven and 11 years respectively. In 2003, he received the Excellent Performance Award at Cary Music School. His favorite subjects are immunology and embryology. He would like to become a professor of synthetic immunology (an emerging field).
Plainview Old-Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School
Plainview, New York
Herricks High School
New Hyde Park, New York
Middle States Region Silver Medal Winners
Surface Molecular Imprinting of a Nanoscale Tansducer for the Rapid Detection of Bioterrorist Agents and Early Diagnosis of Cancer
In their bioengineering project, Jinju Yi and Vijay Jain created a biosensing mechanism that might one day aid in the detection of viruses, early signs of cancer, and bioterrorist agents. Their research constructed an improved approach to the fabrication and use of potentiometric sensing for cancer-marker proteins and viral capsids. Their mentors were Dr. Yantian Wang, Dr. Miriam Rafailovich, Marylou O’Donnell, Rebecca Isseroff, Charles Duggan and Karim Gangji.
Jinju Yi, a senior, is fluent in Korean and enjoys playing the piano and drums, as well as playing and performing traditional Korean dances and instruments. A member of the National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society, Ms. Yi’s previous honors include the 2006 Regional Ricoh Sustainable Development Award in the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair and the National Society of Professional Engineers Innovative Engineering Award. She anticipates majoring in chemistry or psychology.
Vijay Jain, a senior, is fluent in Hindi and Spanish. He is a recipient of the Herbert Hoover Young Engineers Presidential Libraries Award and was selected as one of two U.S. Representatives for the 39th Joint Schools Science Exhibition in Hong Kong, China. Mr. Jain is treasurer of the student council, managing editor of his school newspaper and president of the Diversity Club. He enjoys tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, piano and violin, and has performed with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. Potential majors include biophysics and applied mathematics.
St. Agnes Academy
Mary Catherine Wen Archbishop Molloy High School
Southwest Region Silver Medal Winners
Proliferation and Alignment of Osteoblasts on Oriented Magnetic Nanocomposites
Jenny Yeh and Catherine Wen’s biomedical research uses magnetic fields and magnetic nanocomposites to help enhance bone cell growth which, in turn, increases the rate of healing fractures. Existing research has shown that strong magnetic fields can stimulate bone growth and orient osteoblasts along the direction of the magnetic field, and the team’s research aims to further accelerate fracture healing. Their mentors are Dr. Miriam Rafailovich, Dr. Nadine Pernodet, and Nicole Brenner from Stony Brook University and Hilana Lewkowtiz-Shpuntoff from Princeton University.
Ms. Yeh, a senior, is a member of Math Club, National Honors Society, Model United Nations, Student Council, and Eastern Pacific Youth Club among others. Fluent in Chinese, she plays the flute and has won a number of awards for her musical ability. She plans to study nutrition and pre-medicine in college and would like to become a physician specializing in nutrition and weight management.
Ms. Wen, a senior, has placed second at New York State Science and Engineering Fair and ROHM and HAAS Invitational Science Fair, and won several awards at NYC Science Olympiad. Her favorite subjects are biology, calculus, and English. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and plays the flute. She considers Astronaut Charles Camarda, a graduate of her high school who worked for NASA as an aerospace engineer and traveled in space, as her hero. She enjoys swimming, sewing, and reading, and would like to become a chemical engineer.
Hathaway Brown School
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Midwest Region Silver Medal Winners
International Space Station Experiment to Measure Effects of Atomic Oxygen on Spacecraft Materials
Ms. Catherine McCarthy, Ms. Lily Roberts and Ms. Rochelle Rucker’s project in the field of materials engineering has the potential to maximize the lifespan of future spacecrafts. By quantifying the extent of atomic oxygen erosion in a wide variety of polymers, their research results could be extremely valuable to spacecraft designers who decide which polymers to use in their designs. Kim de Groh, Senior Materials Research Engineer at NASA, and Bruce Banks, Chief of the Electro-Physics Branch at NASA, were mentors for this team project.
Ms. McCarthy, a senior, has always been interested in space exploration and has closely watched the NASA shuttle launches. She pursued the project and her work at NASA despite having two major facial reconstructive surgeries in the summer of 2004, working on papers, presentations and data analysis from home. Ms. McCarthy was a Siemens Westinghouse Regional Finalist in 2006 and a Semifinalist in 2005. She has five third-author publications and two NASA technical first-author memoranda pending publication. She plays the piano, guitar and clarinet and has been awarded the Hathaway Brown Orchestra Superior Achievement Award (9th grade). Ms. McCarthy would like to study psychology and mathematics and to pursue a career in math and/or science.
Ms. Roberts, a junior, is an accomplished harpist and singer. She won the Anne Kinder Eaton Performing Arts Award and the “Emerging Artist” and “Outstanding Vocal Performance” awards for her high school chorus. In addition to performing with the award-winning Hathaway Brown Bravuras, an elite a capella group at her high school, she is Editor-in-Chief of the Hathaway Brown Review (school newspaper), President of Amnesty International and Young Progressives, and volunteers as part of 10,000 Villages. She also performed with the Blossom Festival Orchestra, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra. Ms. Roberts would like to study political science in college and hopes to combine her interest in government and public policy with science and technology in her career.
Ms. Rucker, a senior, plays the flute in the Hathaway Brown School Instrumental Ensemble. Combining her affinity for photography, reading and writing short stories, she is both a staff writer and photo editor at Hathaway Brown Review. Additionally, she participates in the Literary Magazine and Environmental Club. Interested in math and science from an early age, Ms. Rucker plans to study biomedical engineering in college in order to help those who are ill.