Three San Diego students win scholarships for work in applied mathematics
At the beginning of December, a team of 3 high school students from San Diego, Anlin Zhang, Rachana Madhukara and Kevin Ren received a $25k scholarship for their applied mathematical models that identify and analyze the movement of dangerous infectious disease. Out of over 2,000 applicants for the 2017 Siemens Competition, the three students made it to finals.
The Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology is the nation’s premier science research competition for high school students and seeks to promote excellence by encouraging students to undertake individual or team research projects.
The Siemens Foundation awarded over $100,000 in scholarships through the Competition this year. Over 2,000 students applied for the competition and over 1,800 projects were submitted.
Anlin, Rachana and Kevin were 3 of 21 students who competed on December 5, 2017 in Washington, D.C.,
Together as a team, Anlin, Rachana and Kevin walked away with a $25,000 prize. Before reaching the National Finals, the team also won the Competition’s regional category held at California Institute of Technology and shared a $6,000 scholarship
Their research project is entitled, “Epidemic Dynamics on Symmetric Networks.” The team applied mathematical models to better identify and analyze the movement of dangerous infectious disease. Their research mentor is Dr. Laura Schaposnik of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Recognizing the role that social interactions and social cliques, like families, groups or cities, play in the spread of disease, they created a new mathematical model to more precisely analyze the spread of infectious disease. The threat of disease epidemics continues to be a global concern, and emergency preparedness and public health experts are constantly looking for innovations in the way they assess, track and predict the spread of health crises like Ebola, SARS, cholera and other diseases