UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science leads Texas in premier science research competition

Friday, January 14, 2011
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DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Students from Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at the University of North Texas continued their dominance in national science contests this week, with seven students being named semifinalists in the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search.

The academy has more semifinalists than any other school in Texas. Nationwide, 300 students were named semifinalists from a pool of more than 1,700 applications. Of the 300 semifinalists, 40 finalists will be invited to Washington, D.C., in March to compete for over $1 million in awards. Finalists will be announced on Jan. 26 (Wednesday).

The Intel competition is the country's most prestigious pre-college science competition. Alumni of the competition have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world's most coveted science and math honors, including seven Nobel Prizes and four National Medals of Science.

The semifinalists are:

  • Carolyn Bu, 17, of Plano, for "Experimental Characterization and Mathematical Modeling of the Retention Behavior of Pharmaceutical and Illegal Drug Compounds"
  • Andrew Ding, 16, of Sugarland, for "A Study of the Water/Single-Layer Graphite Interaction Using ccCA-ONIOM"
  • Jennifer Ding, 18, of McKinney, for ""Estimating Volume Loss of the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas Using Remote Sensing and GIS"
  • John Rogers, 18, of Cedar Hill, for "A Multireference Composite Approach for the Study of Homonuclear 3d Transition Metal Dimers"
  • Prachi Thapar, 17, of Flower Mound, for "Bioimaging and Tracking with Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles"
  • Dante Zakhidov, 17, of McKinney, for "High Mobility Organic Field-Effect Transistors Utilizing Novel Low Band Gap Polymers: PBBTCD and PDDTT"
  • Justin Zhao, 17, of Plano, for "Computationally Modeling Infectious Diseases in Diverse Populations to Study the Dynamics of Epidemics"

TAMS is a two-year residential program at UNT that allows exceptionally talented students to complete their freshman and sophomore years of college while receiving the equivalent of high school diplomas. Students enroll in the academy following their sophomore year in high school, live in a UNT residence hall and attend UNT classes with college students. After two years, they enroll at UNT or another university to finish their bachelor's degrees.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108