DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Students in the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) at the University of North Texas have earned more placements as semifinalists and regional finalists in the 2014 Siemens Competition than any other school in the United States.
The Siemens Competition is the nation's leading original research competition in math, science and technology for high school students. In total, 22 TAMS students were named semifinalists and seven were named regional finalists. Regional finalists each win $1,000 scholarships.
Regional finalists include:
- Napasorn Kuprasertkul of Keller, whose research found new correlations between ionic liquids, solvents made entirely of pure electrolytes, and biological systems. These correlations enable future researchers to accurately predict drug solubility across the human bloodstream, thereby minimizing the high drug failure rate. The computed correlations proved to be versatile and could also potentially predict environmental toxicity with regards to solubility.
- Sumedha Mehta of Irving, whose research used computer simulation methods involving the Abraham Solubility Model, which can predict the solubility of organic compounds in various organic solvents, to reduce unnecessary drug testing in the drug discovery process.
- Laura Pang of Houston, who studied a newly emerged field in medical science, biomedical implant devices. Biomedical implant devices include heart stents, which can cause blood clots when placed in arteries. However, the mechanisms behind the clotting process are not well understood. Pang verified how implant devices cause blood clot formation, and developed a potential quick screening test for future implant designs.
- Akash Wadawadigi of Flower Mound. Wadawadigi's research involved using computational analysis to develop a method for pharmaceutical scientists and drug engineers to weed out ineffective pharmaceutical compounds in the drug experimentation process, which could prevent needless animal testing and human trials.
- Susmitha Sayana of Allen, Gerald Hu of Plano and Sanchit Sachdeva of Plano. The group's research focused on thermoelectric generator devices, which are used in the biomedical and automobile industries. The devices operate by generating electricity from a temperature difference. But, thermoelectric devices only last for a short time at very high temperatures. The group's research involves testing polymer coatings that can extend the service life of the devices through temperatures above 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The regional finalists will present their work at the Siemens Regional Competition Nov. 14–15 (Friday–Saturday) at the University of Texas at Austin. Winners will then move on to the Siemens National Competition in Washington D.C., held Dec. 5–8 (Friday–Monday) at George Washington University.
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 of 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.