Dec. 4, 2012
/PRNewswire/ -- Research projects on robot navigation and on a tumor-suppressing protein today earned four remarkable students entree into the prestigious
winners' circle of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation's premier research competition for high school students. The students join a highly selective group of just 13 individual competitors and 13 teams who have previously been awarded Grand Prizes in the Siemens Competition.
, a senior at A&M Consolidated High School in
College Station, Texas
, won the
Grand Prize in the Individual category for developing a new method to improve robot motion planning.
, seniors at George W. Hewlett High School in
Hewlett, New York
, will share the
Grand Prize in the Team category for investigating
, a key protein in plants and animals.
The Siemens Competition is a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, a leading supporter of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States. The Competition is administered by the College Board. The fourteenth annual awards were presented this morning at The
George Washington University
, host of the 2012 Siemens Competition National Finals.
Video, photos and bios at http://inr.synapticdigital.com/siemens/competition2012/
on the outstanding ingenuity and commitment they have shown in their research," said
, president of the Siemens Foundation. "This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a lifelong journey for them in science, technology and mathematics. We wish them every success on the journey and look forward to seeing their innovations to come."
Six individuals and six teams competed at the National Finals this weekend after winning one of six regional competitions in November. They presented their research to a panel of judges comprised of nationally renowned scientists and mathematicians headed by lead judge
, PhD, Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The
George Washington University
, and co-director of the university's W.M. Keck Institute for Proteomics Technology and Applications.
The Winning Individual
college scholarship for his project, Lazy Toggle PRM: A Single-Query Approach to Motion Planning.
designed a faster algorithm for robot motion planning, a very challenging problem in robotics," said competition judge Dr.
, McKnight Distinguished University Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota. "Imagine a robot from Transformers choosing a path and appropriate shape such as a dog or a snake to navigate a collapsed building to reach survivors after an earthquake. Finding a solution quickly matters. A critical component is computation time to figure out a path and shape sequence. In many cases, Kensen's algorithm is two to four times faster than previous algorithms in terms of computation time."
"For a high school student, it is very impressive work. His results are comparable to those of a PhD student beginning their thesis. He connected the dots between two algorithmic ideas called 'Toggle' and 'Lazy' to bring them together in an effective way."