2013 SIEMENS COMPETITION IN MATH, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGYRegion 6, Georgia Institute of Technology Regional Finalists

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Dec 10, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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SIEMENS COMPETITION IN MATH, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Region
6
,
Georgia

Institute of Technology

Regional Finalists


INDIVIDUAL COMPETITORS



TIAN
-
SHUN JIANG



North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics,
Durham, NC

HOMETOWN:
Raleigh, North Carolina

PROJECT: The Radio Number of Grid Graphs

FIELD: Mathematics

MENTOR:
Dr. Daniel Teague, Mathematics Professor
, North Carolina
School of Science and Mathematics


“I aspire to become a high
-
tech entrepreneur, as it will let me use my
knowledge of computer
science and technology to benefit society.”


Tian
-
Shun embarked on his research project after becoming frustrated by
the wireless internet problems at his boarding school. He believed that
by studying a mathematical model of the issue, he would solve the
p
roblem and benefit society. To achieve this, Tian
-
Shun identified and
attempted to crack the radio number problem


a graph
-
theoretical
model of finding optimal frequency allocations


and determined the radio number of the grid graph. In
this work, he dem
onstrated theoretical solutions to any grid
-
like network’s optimal radio frequency
assignment. The results provide network planners better understanding of how to properly space
broadcast frequencies, which could lead to more efficient and higher quality wi
reless communication
methods.


His inspiration for the project blossomed during his time at the Awesome Math Summer Program, during
which he studied combinatorics and graph theory. Now a senior
,

Tian
-
Shun excels in computer
engineering, his favorite class.

He
is also involved in numerous extracurricular activities. He earned a gold
medal in the USA Mathematical Talent Search, third place in the NC K
-
12 Chess Championships, and was a
member of the fourth place
-
finishing team in
the 2013 Chess Supernationals.

He is also a swimmer and
plays the clarinet
. He uses his self
-
taught iOS development skills to maintain the electronic sign
-
in and
sign
-
out system for student safety database application he pro
grammed for his boarding school.

After
high school, Tian
-
Shun
plans to pursue a PhD and become a high
-
tech entrepreneur.

















GERALD MEIXIONG


Lakeside High School,
Evans, GA

HOMETOWN: Evans, Georgia

PROJECT: Cell
-
Cycle Regulated Membrane Association of
NuMA: A Novel Pathway for Efficient Chromosome Segr
egation

FIELD:

Biochemistry

MENTOR:
Dr. Quansheng Du, Associate Professor, Georgia
Regents


“The most challenging experience is confronting the unknown. I
have never done something in my life where days, even weeks, of
work can be spent on a scientific p
rocess with there bein
g a
possibility for no results.”


Gerald’s research focused on mitosis, the process by which cells
divide and sustain life. During mitosis, DNA, the genetic
instructions necessary for development of all living organisms, is faithfully

duplicated, enable cells to
grow. To understand how chromosomes are pulled towards opposite ends, and what creates this pulling
force, Gerald sought to elucidate the mechanism by which the pulling force is generated by using a variety
of techniques includ
ing cell culture, fluorescence imaging, in vitro lipid binding, and transfection. As a
result of his work, Gerald discovered a novel mechanism for efficient chromosome segregation. His study
could provide insight into molecular mechanisms of faithful dupli
cation of DNA in mitosis and identify
potential targets for the development of therapeutic drugs for cancers, which rely on unbridled cell
division.


I
nspired by his brother’s exceptional performance in the 2008 National Finals

of the Siemens Competition
,
Gerald

decided to pursue research in biochemistry by exploring a deep fascination with the cell and the
mitotic spindle. “Learning about how intricate DNA is, let alone one cell, piqued my interest in scientific
research,” he said. Gerald enjoys
competitiv
e
swimming and volunteers as a Junior Volunteer at the
University Hospital in Evans, GA, where he assists nurses in helping cancer patients and
serves

as a clerk.
“As for the future, Gerald enjoys conducting research and hopes to become a professor to make

additional scientific discoveries.



















MARGARET TIAN


North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics,
Durham, NC

HOMETOWN: Raleigh, North Carolina

PROJECT:
Synthesis of a novel titanium dioxide and monolayer
molybdenum disulfide photocata
lyst for applications in hydrogen
generation

FIELD:

Chemistry

MENTOR:
Dr. Myra Halpin, Chemistry Instructor, North Carolina School
of Science and Mathematics



My research explores a new photocatalyst that can use sunlight and water to
produce hydrogen
fuel. This has an important real
-
world application because as the world's energy needs grow and
nonrenewable energy reserves are depleted, it is becoming more and more imperative that technology to produce
low
-
cost, sustainable energy, such as hydrogen fue
l, is engineered
.”


Margaret engineered a photocatalyst that can harness sunlight to split water into oxygen and hydrogen
fuel. Her project advances the critical need for developing renewable sources of energy, which will help to
slow

the threat of climate

change. “I have always been interested in saving the environment,” she
explained, “especially in green, alternative energy and the possibilities of replacing greenhouse
-
gas
emitting fossil fuels with sustainable, effective, environmentally
-
friendly fuels.
” Margaret was drawn to
using water
-
splitting photocatalysts in her research due to their simplicity and enormous potential for
creating low
-
cost and sustainable hydrogen fuel to power our growing energy needs.


Margaret is a senior at North Carolina Schoo
l of Science and Mathematics where she excels in both math
and science and speaks fluent Chinese. Margaret was
awarded national Honors (top 150) in the U.S.
National Chemistry Olympiad and is the reigning champion of the Science Olympiad State and Regional

Tournament. In addition to her academic accomplishments
, she is the founder of a website on Asian
entertainment and pop culture that receives over 25,000 views daily and has over 19 million hits to date.
Margaret plans to combine her aptitude in math and
science with her passion for the environment and
green energy as an entrepreneur in
chemistry or chemical engineering.






















MAXWELL TUCKER

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics,
Durham, NC

HOMETOWN: Mint Hill, North Carolina

PRO
JECT: Design and Synthesis of a Novel Thiolate Histone
Deacetylase Inhibitor

FIELD:

Chemistry

MENTOR:
Dr. Myra Halpin, Dr. Da
rrell Spells, and Dr. Amy Sheck,

North
Carolina School of Science and Mathematics


“STEM fields are extraordinarily exciting bec
ause there is a sense of
limitless discovery. I love being able to do things that have never been
done before, and science allows me to satisfy this desire.”


In his project, Maxwell sought to find alternatives to current cancer
treatment drugs, which ofte
n have many unwanted side effects and
cause patient discomfort. To do this, he synthesized a novel histone
deacetylase inhibitor, a class of drugs that have recently been applied to the treatment of late stage
cancers. This class of drugs works by inhibiti
ng the action of a certain protein that plays a critical role in
gene transcription and cell reproduction. Maxwell’s breakthrough shows great potential for cancer
treatment.


Maxwell’s initial interest in the sciences stemmed from his science
-
focused famil
y; his
father is a
chemistry processor

and his mother is a math professor. Today, Maxwell says his favorite subject in school
is chemistry. “It offers the ability to truly understand the world around us and can be found in nearly
every aspect of daily life
, and is perhaps one of the most applicable sciences,” he explained. He nurtures
his love for chemistry by serving as a teaching assistant. In this role, Maxwell grades his peers’
assignments and provides them tutoring on complex topics. His curiosity for
the sciences helped him
garner win the Gold Medal in the International Sustainable World competition, and in the Project
Olympiad contest. He also enjoys music and plays the trombone as a way to relax and have fun. Maxwell
hopes to continue his science res
earch in his future career.























MAX ZHAN

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School,
Lexington, KY

HOMETOWN:
Lexington, Kentucky

PROJECT: Mutation of Human Butyrylcholinesterase for treatment of
cocaine
-
alcohol dependence

FIELD:

Bioengineering

ME
NTOR:
Mrs. Heidi Anderson, Biology Instructor and Mrs. Beverly Smith,
Physics Instructor and Research Supervisor/Counselor, Paul Laurence Dunbar
High School; Ms. Shurong Hou, Ph.D. student, Dr. Fang Zheng, Associate
Professor, Dr. Chang
-
Guo Zhan, Professo
r, and Dr. Hsin
-
Hsiung Tai, Professor,
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy


“I love the beauty of results produced by advancing technology. Nothing is truly perfect in this world, all
for the best, but humanity's vain attempts to app
roach this goal result in two questions created for every
question answered.”


For his project, Max investigated the chemical reactions involved in cocaine use to discover a treatment
for abuse of the highly addictive drug. Currently, there is no FDA
-
appro
ved medication for cocaine
overdose or addiction. Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE)
-
catalyzed hydrolysis is the primary pathway for
cocaine detoxification in humans, but the native BChE has a very low catalytic activity against cocaine. To
solve this, Max desig
ned human BChE mutants, which have 2000
-
fold improved catalytic efficiency against
cocaine. Further investigation could lead to clinical development of a novel enzyme therapy for treatment
of cocaine abuse and concurrent use of cocaine and alcohol.


Max b
ecame interested in the topic of cocaine abuse after becoming frustrated with peers who advocated
for liberal substance use policies. Growing up as a son of a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and a
computational chemist, Max understands the harmful eff
ects of drug use and was inspired to pursue
research in the field at an early age. His scientific research earned him second place at the Kentucky State
Science Fair in the health and medicine category. Outside of class, Max excels at chess and led his tea
m to
first place in the regional chess tournament.
H
e
also

volunteer
s

as a team l
eader at God's Pantry Food
Bank

and writ
es

fictional stories. Max aspires to pursue a career in biochemistry, computer programming
or creative design.




2013 SIEMENS COMPETIT
ION IN MATH, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Region 6, Georgia Institute of Technology

Regional Finalists


TEAM

COMPETITORS


SANDY CHO, McLean High School,
Mclean, VA

TIMOTHY CHA, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology,
Alexandria, VA


PROJECT:
Rapi
d and Simple Chemiluminescent Biosensor for Early Diagnosis of Cancer

FIELD:
C
hemistry

MENTOR:
Ji Hoon Lee, Ph.D, CEO Mentor Luminescent



We discovered a new way to efficiently detect specific types of cancer through luminescent intensity.”


Sandy and T
imothy
developed

a highly sensitive and rapid biosensor
that can be used to conduct early
diagnoses of

human cancer. Based on the students’ discovery and
methods
, they
developed

a new way to
efficiently detect specific types of cancer through luminescent i
ntensity. The team
‘s
new technology
could
be applied to early diagnose
s

and prognoses of cancers
,

as well as cardiac diseases such as hypertension,
heart attack, infections, and diabetes.


SANDY CHO

HOMETOWN: McLean, Virginia


“To me, biology seems to be
the one Science subject where all the
different types of Science come together.”


Sandy is a junior at McLean High School with a deep passion for math
and science, specifically veterinary sciences. Sandy is a music lover,
particularly of jazz and classic g
enres, and plays the clarinet in her
school’s Symphonic Band and with the American Youth Philharmonic
Orchestra. She also volunteers on the Best Buddies program, where she
and her peers care for mentally disabled people in their area. Outside of
school, Sa
ndy is a journalist and secretary for a nonprofit organization
called The Other Side of the World. Sandy is fluent in Korean.



TIMOTHY CHA

HOMETOWN: McLean, Virginia


“What I like most about math, science, and technology is how interesting they
are and t
he endless possibilities each has to offer.


Timothy’s
sixth

grade math teacher first sparked his interest in both math and
science when she recommended that Timothy join the elementary school's
MathCounts and Science Olympiad teams. Since then, Timothy h
as developed
a fascination with the subject
. At school, Timothy participates on the Math
Team
,
and competes on the school track and field team.
After college,
Timothy

intends to pursue a career related to medicine

by studying surgery
.








































SANJAY KANNAN, Raleigh Charter High School,
Raleigh, NC

ANDREW ZHOU, Raleigh Charter High School,
Raleigh, NC

ELISH MAHAJAN, Raleigh Charter High School,
Raleigh, NC

PROJECT: Trailblazer: Cooperative, Infrastructure
-
Independent Generatio
n of Indoor Floor Maps Using
Handheld Android Mobile Devices

FIELD: Computer Science

MENTOR:
Rudra Dutta, Professor of Computer Science, North Carolina State University


“One of my team members had the experience of giving directions in a local universi
ty hospital, where
maps were either outdated or did not adequately show the different components of the large building.”


The team of Sanjay, Andrew and Elish of Raleigh Charter High School in Raleigh, NC developed
software to
map indoor spaces. The system

requires only a modern Android smartphone and an internet connection
to generate a building’s digital representation. When people walk around a given location with their
devices, their movements are tracked and merged to create a map that only improves as

time goes on.


SANJAY KANNAN


HOMETOWN: Apex, North Carolina


“I am particularly excited for the advent of ultra
-
mobile computing, including
wearable eyepieces, sleek tablets, and rapidly advancing smartphones.”


Sanjay developed an interest in comput
er science when he accidentally
discovered that he could build his own website in the first grade. Today, Sanjay
is an active student and serves as co
-
captain of Quiz Bowl Team and speaker of
the Student Legislative Assembly. Sanjay aspires to become an en
trepreneur in
the technology industry by forming his own start
-
up.





ANDREW ZHOU

HOMETOWN: Cary, North Carolina


“More connections between high schools and the research groups at local
universities should be established so that the students can get a f
irst
-
person
view into the real world of math and science research.”


Reading
The Double Helix
by James Watson and Francis Crick first piqued
Andrew’s interest in a career in math and science. Andrew serves as founder
and president of the school Chem Club.
Andrew

also

volunteers to mentor
younger students

and

organized a science competition for his town’s middle
school
to

encourag
e

them to start studying the sciences at an earlier age. He
hopes to pursue a career as an engineer in the field of nanotechnolo
gy.









ELISH MAHAJAN

HOMETOWN: Cary, North Carolina


“I am interested in genetics and how it is the building block of life. I
think it will be the future of health care.”


Elish is a well
-
rounded student
and

excel
s

in school an
d

finding
time to play s
ports and volunteer after class. Elish also founded the
Investment Club, captai
ns the reigning North Carolina State
C
hampion Golf team, competes on the school’s Mock Trial team,
and is a committed Junior Volunteer Leader and Junior Ambassador at Duke Hospi
tal.
He
aspires to
become an entrepreneur or a physician scientist.








































DAVID LU, Mills E. Godwin High School,
Henrico, VA

ALLEN LEE, Millburn High School,
Millburn, NJ

JASON LEE, Millburn High School,
Millburn, NJ

PROJECT
: Rationale
-
based design of a targeted therapy for prostate cancer with SPOP mutations

FIELD: Biochemistry

MENTOR:
Dr. Jason Chen, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University


“My teammates and I examined the mechanism of prostate cancer, and used that to d
evelop a new
targeted therapy to treat a population of prostate cancer with certain gene mutation.”


After a close family friend of Allen and Jason was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the team members
were surprised by the lack of therapy options available

for patients suffering from the disease. To solve
this, the team probed the human genome database and conducted numerous PubMed searches to
understand which genome sequence was most important in prostate cancer. As a result of their research,
they

identif
ied a mechanism for treating prostate cancer with a special mutation
,

which could be
potentially used in therapy.


DAVID LU

HOMETOWN: Richmond, Virginia


“What I like most about science are the advancements in medicine and
health.”


David’s deep interes
t in science began in the seventh grade when he
began performing a variety of hands
-
on science experiments under the
leadership of his inspirational, enthusiastic teacher, Ms. Mitchell. Today,
his favorite subject is AP Biology.

At school, David a member o
f the
debate team, serves as a youth group officer and plays tennis. He

hopes
to pursue a career in the field of science as
a
doctor or engineer.





ALLEN LEE

HOMETOWN: Short Hills, New Jersey


“Science is my favorite subject. I love science because it

examines the system in which life and society operates.”


Born in to a family of science and math, Allen start
ed

going to
his father’s lab at the age of seven and became inherently
curious about the world around him. As a sophomore, Allen’s
favorite subj
ect is science because it examines the
fundamentals of human life and how elements connect in the
physical world. Allen was also a Regional Finalist in the 2012
Siemens C
ompetition.
He
is a member of
the

debate team
and
play
s

the
piano.
After

college, Alle
n aspires

to become a
biochemist
.




JASON LEE

HOMETOWN: Short Hills, New Jersey


Jason
, brother of Allen, has a thirst for knowledge and admits

his
favorite subject
in

school is science because
the subject is always
evolving and advancing
.
Like his broth
er
, Jason

credits his interest in
the sciences to his parents.
“With both of my parents related to
science fields
.

Jason competes as a member of the S
cience Olympiad

team
, volunteers at a church camp,
plays

competitive chess and plays
tennis. Jason’s fasci
nation with technology and computer science has
inspired him to pursue a career related
to

bioinformatics.









































BEN WANG, Oakton High School,
Vienna, VA

OLIVER SHI, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology,
Alexandria, VA

KEVIN WAN, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology,
Alexandria, VA

PROJECT: New Discovery of Silicene
-
Based Spintronics

FIELD:

Materials Science/Nanoscience

MENTOR:
Dr
.

Luo Qian, National Graphene Research and Development

Center


“I

was particularly interested in the research of graphene and silicene materials because they hold a lot of
promise in advancing current electronic technology far beyond our current limits.”


Ben, Oliver and Kevin designed a possible new material

for spintronics,

an emerging technology that uses
the spin of electrons instead of the charge of electrons. This new technology has the potential to increase
processing speeds while decreasing storage space dramatically.


BEN WANG

HOMETOWN: Herndon, VA


“For me, the allure of math and science came from stories of great scientists
like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking who made new, ground
-
breaking
discoveries that changed the world.”


Ben avidly reads about the newest developments within the fields of
science
and technology.
He
is particularly interested in researching graphene and
silicene materials because they hold tremendous promise in advancing
current electronic technology far beyond our current limits. Ben’s favorite
subject in school is physics
and
he
dreams of becoming a research scientist in
applied or theoretical sciences. Outside of
school
, he teaches the elderly
computer skills at a nearby Chinese school.




OLIVER SHI

HOMETOWN: Herndon, VA


“Instead of trying to ge
t students interested b
y using ‘real world examples’

or
grinding the quadratic formula into their heads, present them with challenging
math problems that stimulate deep thinking and a desire to solve.”


Oliver’s favorite subjects in school are physics and chemistry.
He
maintains

a
rigorous course load


he is enrolled in 8 A
dvanced
P
lacement

c
lasses,
including chemistry,
calculus, and Chinese.
Oliver also enjoys competing on
the school’s crew team
.

After college,
he

plans to pursue a career in scientific
research.








KEVIN WA
N


HOMETOWN: Herndon, VA


“When I was small I had always wanted to be a doctor. Because of this I
became extremely interested in biology and how the body works.”


Kevin’s curiosity for
understanding
how the body works has inspired him
to pursue a career as

a doctor and continue conducting research in
psychology and neuroscience. Outside of school, Kevin competes on
Thomas Jefferson’s Varsity Tennis Team
.

Last year, Kevin led the team to
win the Virginia AAA Tennis state championship
.

During his free time,
K
evin volunteers at INOVA Fairfax Hospital.








































JESSICA WU, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology,
Alexandria, VA

JEFF
E
R
Y LIU, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology,
Alexandria, VA

WILSO
N ZHOU, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology,
Alexandria, VA


School for Science and Technology,
Alexandria, VA

PROJECT: Surface Chemistry Tuning of Molecule Adsorption on Two
-
Dimensional Materials

FIELD:

Chemistry

MENTOR:
None



We d
etermined that newly
-
discovered monolayers can be used to ameliorate environmental afflictions by
sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”


Jessica
, Jefferey

and Wilson leveraged their interest in the potential of supermaterials such as silicene a
nd
graphene to discover new ways of reducing harmful human emissions

and slowing global warming
. In
their research, the team discovered that new 2
-
D materials could help remove carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere


a critical step towards eliminating greenh
ouse gas emissions.


JESSICA WU

HOMETOWN: Centreville, Virginia


“I've enjoyed math for a long time and have participated in numerous
math competitions; I find working with numbers extremely interesting
.”


Jessica’s interest in math and science started w
hen she was just 7 years
old and began joining her father, a doctor, on trips to his medical lab
.
Now a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and
Technology, Jessica is pursuing research in math and chemistry.
Outside
of school, Jessica partic
ipates in singing and piano lessons and competes
in local music contests

and volunteers at a nearby Chinese school as a
full
-
time English teacher to senior citizens.

She intends to pursue a career in either the medical fields or chemical
engineering to fol
low her passions.





















JEFF
E
R
Y LIU

HOMETOWN: McLean, Virgina


“I became interested in math and science because as I child, I was
mesmerized by the power of nature as seen in volcanoes and tsunamis.”


Jef
fer
y’s love of math and science began

at an early age, when he
developed a strong curiosity of natural and engineering ph
enomena.
Outside of school, Jeffe
r
y volunteers at Inova Fairfax Hospital as a
patient discharge volunteer. Jeff
e
r
y and his friends recently participated
in a Hackathon wher
e they received all
-
paid expenses to a prestigious
mobile app development convention.
He
aspires to pursue a career that
intersects chemical, electrical or mechanical engineering and business.



WILSON ZHOU

HOMETOWN: Great Falls, Virginia


“Math is my f
avorite subject because it is challenging, but also interesting
and useful.”


Wilson is a junior at Thomas Jefferson with a passion for math and science.
He loves the challenges math poses and finds the subject interesting and
useful. He is a student athle
te in high school and is a player on the Thomas
Jefferson football team. Outside of school, he volunteers at Inova Fairfax
hospital every weekend. Wilson is inspired b
y his parents and hopes to
follow in their footsteps by pursuing a career in science and technology.