Three Massachusetts Students Win Regional Siemens Competition At Notre Dame
For Breakthrough Research On Coevolutionary Histories And Mathematical
High School Scholars Earn Top Prizes at Nation's Premier STEM Competition
Arman Bilge of Lexington, Mass. Wins Top Individual Prize; Noah Golowich of
Lexington, Mass. and Kavish Gandhi of Newton, Mass. Win Top Team Prize
NOTRE DAME, Ind., Nov. 9, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind., Nov. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Months of dedication and hard
work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) paid off
tonight for three students named National Finalists in the Siemens Competition
in Math, Science & Technology, the nation's premier research competition for
high school students. Arman Bilge of Lexington, Mass. earned the top honors
and a $3,000 individual scholarship for groundbreaking research on
coevolutionary histories of symbiotic organisms, developing a computer
algorithm that may provide further insight into the study of animal to human
transmissions of diseases, such as influenza and HIV. Noah Golowich of
Lexington, Mass. and Kavish Gandhi of Newton, Mass. earned top honors and the
$6,000 team scholarship for their research on Ramsey theory, developing novel
solutions for an active, complex branch of mathematics.
The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges from
the University of Notre Dame, host of the Region Three Finals. They are now
invited to present their work on a national stage at the National Finals in
Washington, D.C., December 7-10, 2013, where $500,000 in scholarships will be
awarded, including two top prizes of $100,000. The Siemens Competition, a
signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College
"Congratulations to the winners of the Siemens Competition Regional Finals for
their remarkable research in STEM," said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of
the Siemens Foundation. "I commend these scholars for their innovative and
creative projects and look forward to seeing them contend for the top prizes
at the National Finals next month."
The Winning Individual
Arman Bilge, a senior at Lexington High School in Lexington, Mass., won the
individual category and a $3,000 college scholarship for his project, titled
Bayesian Reconstruction of Coevolutionary Histories.
For his research project, Arman developed a computer algorithm that
investigates and reconstructs the linked evolutionary histories of symbiotic
organisms. His novel methodology can provide improved, in-depth understandings
of disease transmissions and overall biodiversity.
"We were blown away by Arman's level of expertise and genuine enthusiasm in
his fields of work. He has an extensive grasp of both biology and applied
mathematics," said competition judge Dr. Holly Goodson, associate professor,
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame. "Very few
scientists possess such breadth and depth of knowledge in a multitude of
fields, but Arman has managed to combine his talents to provide new,
interdisciplinary insights for fundamental questions in evolutionary biology.
With Arman already producing Ph.D-level work, we have no doubt that he will
continue to make impressive contributions with his research."
Arman is currently associated with Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery
Environment (XSEDE), the largest collection of integrated advanced digital
resources and services in the world, used by scientists to interactively share
computing resources, data, and expertise. By using the database to run
analyses on the CIPRES Science Gateway, Arman's work was subsequently featured
on the homepage of the National Science Foundation. He also leads the
computational biology club at his high school and volunteers at the school's
Learning Center, where he tutors students in math and science. Arman is also
president of the photography club and an accomplished violinist. He aspires to
be a professor and principal investigator of a computational evolutionary
Arman's project mentors were Yi-Chieh Jessica Wu, research assistant and
graduate student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rachel Sealfon,
graduate student, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and Mukul Bansal,
assistant professor, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University
The Winning Team
Noah Golowich, junior at Lexington High School in Lexington, Mass. and Kavish
Gandhi, junior at Newton North High School in Newton, Mass., won the team
category and a shared scholarship of $6,000 for their project, titled
Partition Regularity of Linear Homogeneous Equations and Inequalities.
In their research, Noah and Kavish studied an area of Ramsey theory, a field
of mathematics that deals with large systems and structure, which has
applications in theoretical computer science and game theory. Their specific
area of research involves partition regularity and provides novel solutions
for equations that have previously been solved in a trivial way.
"Noah and Kavish studied a fundamental problem in mathematics and provided new
and creative insights," said competition judge Dr. David Galvin, associate
professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Notre Dame. "We were so
impressed by the mathematical maturity of these young scholars that have
already produced Ph.D-level research. Partition regularity was first
introduced in 1933, and they are shedding light on a mathematical question
that has not been completely solved after more than 80 years."
Noah is math team captain at his high school, allowing him to assist and give
lectures to his teammates. He participates in various community service
activities through his membership in the National Honors Society, has received
awards for his performance on national French and Spanish exams, and competes
on his school's tennis team. He plans to pursue a career in mathematics or
Kavish has participated in numerous mathematics competitions and is a
three-time participant in the annual North American Envirothon competition,
winning second place out of 5,000 competing teams in 2012. Kavish is
interested in pursuing a career in mathematics, software engineering,
economics or theoretical physics.
Their project mentor was Laszlo Miklos Lovasz, Ph.D. candidate, Department of
Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The remaining regional finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship.
Regional Finalists in the individual category were:
oJeffrey Cai, Ridge High School, Basking Ridge, N.J.
oAmy Cohn, Park Tudor School, Bloomington, Ind.
oClaire Drysdale, Breck School, Golden Valley, Minn.
oClaudia Huang, Carmel High School, Carmel, Ind.
Team Regional Finalists were:
oYihang Hong, Troy High School, Troy, Mich.; Xinchu Tian, Troy High School,
Troy, Mich.; and David Wu, Troy High School, Troy, Mich.
oAditya Mukundan, Troy High School, Troy, Mich.; and Neha Bidthanapally,
Troy High School, Troy, Mich.
oFrank Wang, Troy High School, Troy, Mich.; and Jordan Zhu, Troy High
School, Troy, Mich.
oTalia Weiss, Evanston Township High School, Evanston, Ill.; and Taylor
Sims, Evanston Township High School, Evanston, Ill.
The Siemens Competition
Launched in 1998, the Siemens Competition is the nation's premier science
research competition for high school students. A record 2,440 students
registered for this year's competition and a total of 1,599 projects were
submitted for consideration. Three hundred thirty-one students were named
Semifinalists and 100 were named Regional Finalists. Entries are judged at the
regional level by esteemed scientists at six leading research universities
which host the regional competitions: Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia
Institute of Technology, University of Notre Dame and The University of Texas
For news and announcements about the Regional Competitions and the National
Finals, follow us on Twitter @SFoundation (#SiemensComp) and like us on
Facebook at Siemens Foundation. A live webcast of the National Finalist Awards
Presentation will also be available online at 9:30am EST on December 10:
The Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of
educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and
mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the
Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, a STEM research competition
for high school students, Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a
sustainability challenge which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative
green solutions for environmental issues and the Siemens STEM Academy, a
national educator professional development program designed to support
educators in their efforts to foster student achievement in STEM fields. By
supporting outstanding students and educators today, and recognizing the
mentors and schools that inspire STEM educational excellence, the Foundation
helps nurture tomorrow's scientists and engineers. The Foundation's mission is
based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is
the hallmark of Siemens' U.S. companies. For further information,
The College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that
connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the
College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the
membership association is made up of more than 6,000 of the world's leading
educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity
in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million
students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and
services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the
Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education
community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and
schools. For further information, visitwww.collegeboard.org.
Video and photos of winners available on request.
Kiesha Boykins Leslie Park
Siemens Foundation Weber Shandwick
SOURCE Siemens Foundation
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