CSC News

December 08, 2009

Mentored Team Takes Second Place in Siemens Competition

The team of Neil Shah, a senior at Northwest Guilford High School, and Yekaterina “Katie” Shpanskaya, a sophomore at Math and Science School (home school) in Raleigh, recently won second-place for their team research project in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, the nation’s premier high school science competition.  The team will share a $50,000 scholarship.

Dr. Nagiza Samatova, associate professor of computer science at NC State University, along with Dr. Anatoli Melechko, associate professor of materials science and engineering at NC State University served as co-mentors for their project, titled “Supercomputing Analytical Discovery of Plasma Instabilities in Fusion Energy Reactors.”  Their project facilitates the understanding of fusion by analyzing computer-simulated fusion reactor data and paves the way for an efficient analysis of massive amounts of data on powerful computer architectures, consisting of hundreds, or thousands of processors operating in parallel.

Six teams and six individuals competed for two $100,000 grand prizes.  Finalists made it through a nationwide pool of 1,348 projects that was whittled down to 96 regional finalists and then 12 national finalists.  Shah & Shpanskaya were recognized last month as Region 6 winners.  They shared a $6,000 scholarship for their win at this level.

The Siemens Competition was launched in 1998 to recognized America’s best and brightest math and science students. It is the nation’s leading original research competition in math, science and technology for high school students, and is administered annually by the College Board, awarding college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 in individual and team categories. The Siemens Competition is a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, the national leader in supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education with contributions surpassing $7 million each year.

For more information on the competition and the Siemens Foundation, click here.


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