Kensen has won honors in a variety of mathematics and science competitions. As Texas American Regional Mathematics League Gold Team captain, he led his team to 13th place nationally. He placed 21st nationally in the USA Computing Olympiad Gold Division and was a US National Chemistry Olympiad finalist. A senior, he is captain of his school's Science Bowl team, which placed second regionally for two consecutive years. President of the Math Club, he presented a series of seminars on advanced topics and qualified for the USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad. He is an accomplished pianist, having won numerous awards in the Houston Forum Young Artists Piano Competition. He also loves to swim. Kensen aspires to become a professor and researcher in computer science. He was mentored by Dr. Nancy Amato, Texas A&M University.
The Winning Team
Jeremy Appelbaum, William Gil and Allen Shin will share a $100,000 college scholarship for their project, COP1 Arrests Photomorphogenesis in Dark Grown Gametophytes of Ceratopteris richardii; A Study of COP1 in Cryptogams.
"The students investigated COP1, a key protein that acts as a tumor suppressor in humans and controls light-dependent development in plants," said competition judge Dr. Hanjo Hellmann, Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University. "The team looked at a germinating fern and studied how it develops in the light and dark, showing for the first time that COP1 plays a role in its development. Understanding COP1's precise role in the cell may help in developing multiple applications in plants and animals in the future.""We were impressed by the enthusiasm of the students and by the fact that they carried out their research entirely with the resources available at their high school laboratory."