DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Three students from the University of North Texas Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science were named regional finalists in the 2015 Siemens Competition. UNT's TAMS program had more regional finalists and semifinalists than any other school in Texas.
The Siemens Competition is the nation's leading original research competition in math, science and technology for high school-aged students. Regional finalists in the competition each win $1,000 scholarships.
The finalists are:
- Amber Lu of Sugar Land used matrices to model hypergraphs, which are complex versions of normal graphs. The work has applications in social networking integrated circuits and neurological modeling. Lu's team included Texas State University senior lecturer of mathematics Lucas Rusnak and group members from Clements High School in Sugar Land and Westwood High School in Austin.
- Colleen Dai of Plano and Shoshana Zhang of Frisco conducted computational and organic chemistry research to find alternatives to common carcinogenic and toxic substances used in industrial settings. By identifying alternatives for industrial use, the research can positively impact human and environmental health. The students worked with UNT Professor of chemistry Bill Acree on the research.
The regional finalists will present their work at the Siemens Regional Competition Nov. 14 (Saturday) at the University of Texas at Austin. Winners move on to the Siemens National Competition in Washington D.C., held Dec. 4-8 (Friday-Tuesday) at The George Washington University.
UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science is the nation's first accelerated residential program for gifted high schoolers, allowing them to come to UNT to start their first two years of college early. Mentored by faculty at UNT, TAMS students tackle complex, real-world problems, working on solutions and breakthroughs in fields ranging from healthcare to energy consumption. It's an important pipeline for STEM education, nurturing the next generation of innovators, and is one of the many ways UNT advances science, engineering and technology.