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Two Students Named Intel Science Talent Search Finalists

January 30, 2008
Richard Montgomery High School student Benjamin Lu and Montgomery Blair High School student Louis Wasserman are among 40 students nationwide and the only students in Maryland named finalists in the 67th Intel Science Talent Search—one of the most rigorous and prestigious science competitions for high school students in the United States.

A representative from Intel visited Richard Montgomery today (January 30) to congratulate Lu for being named that school’s first Intel finalist. Lu won for his project, “From the G-protein Gq to AP-1-Dependent Gene Expression: Mapping a Novel Signaling Pathway for Cancer Growth.” The project resulted in the discovery of a novel signaling mechanism by which cell surface receptors regulate gene expression and also helped identify numerous potential drug targets for cancer therapy. Lu intends to study biology in college.

A student in Blair’s Science, Mathematics, Computer Science Magnet, Wasserman became a finalist for his project, “A Monotone Characterization of P.” His work in complexity theory produced the first exact characterization of P, a class of problems that can be solved in polynomial time by a computer. His work can be applied to the determination of whether computer encryption codes are impossible to break. Wasserman hopes to study both computer science and mathematics in college. Blair has had 19 of the 22 finalists in Montgomery County Public Schools over the past nine years.

Both Lu and Wasserman will attend a weeklong institute in Washington, D.C., in March, where top award winners will be announced.

The two are among eight students from MCPS earlier named semifinalists in the competition. Semifinalists from Blair included Andrew Kung, Benjamin Lee, Timothy Peng and Jasleen Salway. Walt Whitman High School also had two semifinalists, Anushka Aqil and Paul Kominers. MCPS had eight of the nine semifinalists in Maryland.

The Intel Science Talent Search is administered by Society for Science and the Public (formerly Science Service), a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and education. For more information about the competition, visit the link below.

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