Yale Fan & Kevin Ellis named Intel Science Talent Search finalists

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Seniors Kevin Ellis and Yale Fan were just surprised with the news that they are finalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, out of 40 nationwide! It's only the second time that two students from the same Oregon school were named finalists. This morning they each received a check for $7,500 towards college tuition, and they will go on to Washington, DC, in March to compete for the top honors. More information is below. Congratulations, Yale and Kevin!

 

(photo courtesy of the Oregonian)

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                   Oregon and Washington Students Named Intel Science Talent Finalists
 
 
The Catlin Gabel students will be surprised with announcement Wednesday, Jan. 27
 
 
WHAT: Surprise announcement of Intel Science Talent Search Finalists
 
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010, 8:45 AM.
 
WHERE: The Dant House, Catlin Gabel School, 8825 S.W. Barnes Rd., Portland, OR 97225 (ph): 503-297-1894 ext. 301
 
Background
 
HILLSBORO, OR, Jan. 26, 2010 – Vancouver, WA resident, Kevin Michael Ellis, and Beaverton resident, Yale Wang Fan, both students at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, will learn Wednesday that they have been named finalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) and are on the road to becoming tomorrow’s elite scientists. As finalists, they will each be awarded scholarship checks for $7,500 and be in the running for larger scholarships They each were previously awarded a check for $1,000 when they were named semifinalists.
The Intel STS 2010, a program of Society for Science & the Public (SSP), is America’s oldest, most highly regarded pre-college science competition and heir to more than six decades of science excellence. SSP, a nonprofit organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, has owned and administered the Science Talent Search since its inception in 1942. This year marks Intel’s twelfth year sponsoring the program.
            Ellis and Fan will be Catlin Gabel’s first Intel STS finalists and this will be only the second time an Oregon school has had two Intel STS finalists . “Kevin and Yale are both so talented and so humble, and we're delighted by their success,” said Michael Heath, Catlin Gabel’s high school principal. “We are proud of them and of Catlin Gabel's amazing science, computer science, and math teachers, who encouraged these two students to excel.”
            The Catlin Gabel students are two of 40 high school seniors from across the country who will be celebrating their selection as finalists. Finalists will gather in Washington, D.C., on March 11-16, to compete for $630,000 in awards. The top winner will receive $100,000 from the Intel Foundation.
Their week-long stay in D.C. will include an in-depth judging process, visits to historic sites and cultural institutions and meetings with leading scientists and engineers. Students will also have an opportunity to exchange ideas and insights with each other and prominent members of the scientific community.
The finale of the Science Talent Institute in Washington, D.C. will be a black-tie banquet honoring the 40 finalists, which will take place March 16. The evening will conclude with the announcement of the top 10 Intel scholarship winners of the Intel Science Talent Search, with the top winner receiving a $100,000 scholarship and the others scholarships of varying amounts.
            "At Intel we believe that a healthy future fueled by innovation requires investing in math and science education now," said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group. "This year’s finalists are truly inspiring and they reaffirm our belief that programs like the Intel Science Talent Search foster a passion for math and science in today’s youth that is imperative to America’s future success as a leader in innovation."
            Ellis’ winning research project is titled, "Automatic parallelization through dynamic analysis.” Ellis explained that his research is into automatic methods of converting a computer program not designed to use more than one processor into an equivalent program that exploits multiple processors. In doing so, the program can distribute its work and run faster. His method analyzes the program as it executes to reveal parts of the program which can be distributed, while also showing when distribution programs across multiple processors would increase performance.
Fan’s winning research project is titled, "Adiabatic quantum algorithms for boolean satisfiability.” Fan explained that quantum computers are computers that rely on principles of quantum mechanics to accomplish certain tasks exponentially more efficiently than classical computers. He exhibited new numerical and theoretical results on the power of quantum computers for certain classes of NP-complete problems, which are the hardest computational problems whose solutions are easy to verify. This work implies that quantum computers could outperform classical computers for a class of hard problems and gives new insight into the capabilities of exciting prospective technology based on theoretical physics.
 “Intel is incredibly proud of these two highly accomplished students,” said Aubrey Clark, Intel’s Education Relations Manager in Oregon. “Their achievement is likely a predictor that they will one day be among America’s great scientists.”
STS alumni have received more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors including six Nobel Prizes, three National Medals of Science, 10 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, and two Fields Medals.
            Intel’s long-standing commitment to education is fueled by its mission to invest not only in its business and industry, but in the future of young people. Through education programs such as the Intel Science Talent Search, Intel works to inspire and educate children in communities around the world in the areas of science, mathematics and engineering.
      Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom. Intel is Oregon’s largest private employer and its Oregon site is a global center for semiconductor research and manufacturing. Additional information about Intel in Oregon is available at www.intel.com/community/oregon.
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