15 Students Named Intel Science Semifinalists

January 14, 2004
Fifteen Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students - 13 from Montgomery Blair High School and one each from Rockville and Walt Whitman high schools - have been named among 300 semifinalists in the 63rd Intel Science Talent Search.

One of the most prestigious and rigorous science competitions for high school students in the United States, the Intel competition is administered by Science Service.

Blair had more semifinalists than any high school in the nation except for Stuyvesant High School in New York City. MCPS had 15 of the 23 semifinalists in Maryland.

MCPS semifinalists and their project titles are:

Montgomery Blair High School:

§ Melis Nuray Anahtar, Microfluidic Device for Rapid Isolation of Pure Leukocyte Populations
§ Easha Anand, Interactions Between the Amyloid Precursor Protein and the NMDA Receptor: A Possible Biophysical Basis for Alzheimer's Disease
§ Aditi Seth Bhaskar, The Relationship Between Outer Radiation Belt Psi Database Variables
§ Elena Yin-yin Chung, A Novel Prebiotic Route to Pyrimidine Synthesis: A Hydrothermal Threshold to the RNA World
§ Lauren Joyce Cohen, Novel Algorithms for Surface Plasmon Resonance Data Processing in a ParallelMultitask Environment
§ Han Hu, Cross-Country Empirical Analysis of Scarcity of Long-Term Credit in Developing Countries and Factors Affecting Countries' Access to Such Credit
§ John Edward McManigle, Using Immunocytochemistry to Study the Effect of Estrogen on Amyloid Protein in Brain Cells
§ Jessica K. Shang, Element Partitioning Between Olivine and Melt at 1400-1450oC
§ Joshua Gallant Stern, Water Indicators in Sirenum Terra and Around the Argyre Impact Basin, Mars
§ Gordon L. Su, The Effects of Economic Globalization on Income Inequality in Post-Mao China
§ Xinlei Wang, Development of a Siderophore-based Optical Array Biosensor for Detection of Pathogenic Bacteria
§ Elliott Wolf, The Use of Racial Profiling by the Maryland State Police in Drug Interdiction, 1995-2002
§ Kenneth Yan, Identification of New Targets for HIV-1 Antivirals Using a Model Retrovirus in Yeast

Rockville High School:

§ Shaleen Naren Vira, A Novel Mechanism to Compare Protein Binding vs. Folding to Aid in Mitigating the Effects of Autoimmune Diseases via Development of a Biotinylated Mutant BETA2microglobulin

Walt Whitman High School:

§ Eric Paul Marberg, Electrostatic Deflection of Highly Charged Ions Within the Beam Line of the Electron Beam Ion Trap

Each of the 300 semifinalists will receive $1,000 in recognition of their achievements. In addition, each school that placed a semifinalist in the competition will receive $1,000 per semifinalist to be used for the school's science and math education programs.

The semifinalists were selected from among a record 1,652 applicants from 36 states and the District of Columbia.

Research projects covered all disciplines of science, including chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, social science and biology. Top scientists from a variety of disciplines judged the projects.

From the semifinalists, 40 finalists will be announced on January 28. They will attend the Science Talent Institute in Washington, D.C., where they will participate in a final judging process and share in scholarships totaling more than $500,000. The winners will be announced at a black tie banquet on March 16.

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