Chinese Americans among 2004 40 Science Talent Search finalists

The 40 Intel Science Talent Search finalists for 2004 were selected from 1,652 entrants by a national jury of professional scientists. The Intel STS 2004 finalists come from 36 schools in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Chinese americans who received the awards are:

Yuyin Chen, 17, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, submitted a mathematics project about graph theory. Yuyin considers the optimal way to remove all edges from a complete graph Kn in the least number of steps. At most w edges at a time can be removed, and no more than one edge from each connected part at each step. For each w, he finds upper and lower bounds for the ratio of the optimal number to the number of edges in Kn as n increases. His results are new for finite w greater than 2. Cutting problems in graph theory have extensive applications, including Very Large Scale Integration Systems and geographical information systems. Born in China, Yuyin attends Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills where he is editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, founder and president of the math club, president of the QuizBowl and computer teams, and plays the violin in the school orchestra. He has co-authored a paper on graph theory that has been accepted for publication in Congressus Numerantium. The son of Jingke and Joy Chen, Yuyin hopes to study math and economics at Harvard or MIT, become a teacher and make discoveries in mathematics.

Ann Chi, 17, of Terre Haute, Indiana, used computational chemistry methods to examine the fundamental but complex reactions of the yttrium metal atom (Y) with ethane (C2H6) for her Intel Science Talent Search project in chemistry. Ann's computational study projects the intermediate transition state structures and potential energy surface involved in the Y+ C2H6 reactions. Her research is the theoretical counterpart to experimental studies performed elsewhere and suggests an alternative mechanism to the one proposed by laboratory experimentalists. First in her class of 388 at Terre Haute South Vigo High School, Ann is on the golf team and serves as president of the math and Latin clubs. Winner of numerous awards in music and math, she was a national finalist in the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee and an Indiana Academic All-State golfer. An accomplished musician, she is second violinist of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra and concertmaster for the Crossroads of America Youth Symphony. Ann, who has perfect SAT scores, is the daughter of Dr. Henjin Chi and Yuli Lo Chi and hopes to attend Harvard, eventually earning her doctorate in aerospace engineering.

Qilei Hang, 18, of Cumberland, Maryland, submitted her engineering project in materials handling. On a quarry tour, she had been intrigued by the materials stacking and reclamation process, in which stored material is drawn from cone-shaped stockpiles by tunnel conveyors. Qilei wondered how to best locate the drawpoints to reclaim the maximum amount of material and how to calculate it. To find design solutions, she used mathematical modeling to develop new equations and built miniature stockpiles to test their validity. Her equations, increasing efficiency by about 20%, are already being used in the field, and her work has been recognized by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. Qilei is first in her class of 200 at Allegany High School, where she competes in tennis and track, and on the math and debate teams. She is principal cellist in the senior all-county and community orchestras, and her numerous awards include a first place in her category at the 2003 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Qilei was born in China and is the daughter of Youhong Hang and Weixing Han. She plans to study physics and biochemistry at Harvard.

Kevin Yibo Wang, 17, of Stony Brook, New York, developed a new simulation method to predict protein structure for his Intel Science Talent Search project in biochemistry. His research focused on the "protein folding problem"-the challenge of correctly predicting a protein's three-dimensional tertiary structure given only its linear amino acid sequence. Kevin's protein simulations, done on parallel supercomputers, showed a three-fold improvement over constant temperature standard simulations. He believes his research may eventually help in computer-aided drug design. Kevin will be first author of a paper to be submitted to the Journal of Computational Chemistry, describing his methodology and preliminary results. His methods will be made available to all researchers with the next release of a commonly used molecular modeling program (AMBER). Kevin competes on the Science Olympiad Academic team at Ward Melville High School, East Setauket, and has consistently medalled on regional and state levels. He is a published author and sings with the all-county and all-state choirs. Born in China, Kevin is the son of Dr. Hu Wang and Jing Yuan. He plans to continue his studies at MIT.

Felicia Yuen-Lee Yen, 17, of Dix Hills, New York, conducted breast cancer and gene therapy research for her Intel Science Talent Search project in medicine and health. In the first phase of her project, using the genetic data of 100 cancer-associated genes, Felicia developed a diagnostic test for breast cancer with the capacity to predict the development of a tumor from normal tissue in the early developmental stage of tumor formation. Her prototype microarray panel diagnostic test demonstrated a remarkable 83-to-93 percent success rate. Felicia also investigated the use of a genetically modified adenovirus in conjunction with heat-shock drugs to cure cancer by selectively killing mutated cancer cells while leaving normal cells intact. Felicia attends Half Hollow Hills High School East where she is co-president of the National Honor Society, co-president of Mathletes, co-captain of Science Olympiads and Science Explorers, senior president of the Academic Team and a competitive swimmer. Outside of school she is co-director of Habitat for Humanity and a flutist with the Gemini Youth Orchestra. The daughter of Dr. Clifford and Yuet Yen, she plans to earn an M.D./Ph.D., become a clinical physician and do research.

Ning Zhou, 16, of Plymouth, Minnesota, investigated the genetic cause of variations in the size of the corpus callosum, part of the brain that connects the left and right hemispheres and which is associated with a variety of disorders, for his entry in the Intel Science Talent Search in medicine and health. His study mapped genetic loci controlling corpus callosum size in the mouse brain using brain sections from 191 recombinant inbred mice. Ning's mapping identified a genetic locus on chromosome 10 and two interactive genetic loci on chromosomes 1 and 6, which strongly suggests that corpus callosum size is inheritable. He believes his work could one day lead to minimally invasive treatments for diseases such as schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and dyslexia. First in his class of 702 at Wayzata High School, Ning is on the debate team and captain of both the Minnesota State High School Math League and the State All-Star Math Team. He is a Schubert Club regional piano solo finalist, teaches in a Chinese school and is a board member of TeenLinks. Born in China, Ning is the son of Drs. Xiaohong Zhou and Lily Xia. He plans to pursue a career in biological research after attending Harvard.

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