CSC News

November 30, 2007

Mentored HS Students Head to Big Apple for National Competition

Three extremely bright students from Enloe High School in Raleigh, under the mentorship of Dr. Donald Bitzer, Distinguished University Research Professor at NC State, are headed to New York City this weekend for the national finals of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. Top prize in the prestigious competition is $100,000 scholarship.

The students, Hao Lian, Daniel Vitek and Vivek Bhattacharya, won the right to compete in the nationals by winning a regional qualifier held at Georgia Tech earlier this month.  The three split the $6,000 scholarship award for winning the regional event, and are guaranteed a share of a $10,000 scholarship award for making the nationals.

Under Dr. Bitzer’s mentorship, the students have routinely worked on their project in NC State’s computer science labs on Centennial Campus developing a complex computer model that can be used by scientists to determine which gene sequences to use to produce specific proteins.  Ultimately, the model and the supported research have the potential to identify cost-effective methods for commercially producing useful proteins such as insulin.

These three students join previous participants from the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics as the only high school students from North Carolina to qualify for the national finals of this competition.

Related news:

Enloe Students Win Science Prize, News & Observer, by Staff Reports, November 4, 2007. (link)

Students Get Taste of Science Celebrity, News & Observer, by T. Keung Hui, November 30, 2007. (link)

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