Intel Science Talent Search Finalist

January 30, 2003
Montgomery Blair High School senior Anatoly Preygel has been named a finalist in the 62nd annual Intel Science Talent Search. He is the only finalist in Maryland.

He is among 40 national finalists in the talent search, in which high school seniors entered papers on their independent research projects in science, engineering, mathematics and computer science. The finalists will compete for college scholarships totaling more than $500,000, with a top prize of a $100,000 scholarship.

The finalists were selected from a group of 300 semifinalists who, in turn, were chosen from among 1,581 applicants representing 47 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. MCPS had 14 of Maryland's 18 semifinalists -- 12 of them from Montgomery Blair, which houses the county's science/mathematics/computer science magnet program, and one each from Walt Whitman and Thomas S. Wootton high schools.

Preygel was named a finalist for his mathematics project, "Computation of Quandle Cocyle Knot Invariants.” The project reported on his study of knot theory, which examines closed curves in three dimensions. The study of mathematical knot theory is the subject of increasing academic interest because of possible applications in physics, chemistry and genetics.

At Blair High School, Preygel is active in science and math clubs, helps maintain the school website, and works as a system administrator. He has received many math and computer programming awards as well as the Rensselaer Science and Math Medal. Born in Moldova, he reads Russian and French fluently. He plans to study math and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to prepare for a career as a professor of mathematics.

The 40 finalists will travel to Washington, D.C., March 6-11 to attend the Science Talent Institute, where they will participate in final judging and other activities.

The Science Talent Search, American's oldest and most prestigious precollege science competition, is sponsored by the Intel Corporation, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in partnership with Science Service, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization.

Participation in the competition often has served as precursor to impressive accomplishments in science. Past finalists hold more than 100 of the world's most coveted science and math honors, including five Nobel Prizes and three National Medals of Science. Statistics show that 95 percent of former finalists have pursued a branch of science as their major field of study.

The complete list of 40 finalists and their biographies are online at the link below.

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