Arizona Chapter Sponsors Awards
Jeffrey R. Wilson, ASA Chapter Representative
More than 1,500 high-school students from 70 countries presented science projects at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona, from May 12–17. The Arizona Chapter of the American Statistical Association sponsored the special awards for the best use of statistics and a large team of local statisticians reviewed the projects for statistical content.
During the first day, judges narrowed the field to approximately 75 projects that showed a sophisticated level of statistical analysis. From there, eight were selected for final interviews. Each finalist was interviewed by multiple teams of judges, and three winners and five honorable mentions were selected.
The first-place award of $1,500 went to Uttara Chakraborty of Chesterfield, Missouri, for “A New Stochastic Optimization Algorithm with Adaptive Penalty and Its Markov Chain Analysis.” She developed a stochastic heuristic algorithm for computational optimization in hard problems that is applicable to discrete and continuous optimization.
The second-place award of $500 went to Shreya Mathur from Oxford High School in Oxford, Mississippi, for “Identification of Biomarkers for the Early Detection of Lung Cancer Using a Novel Statistical Test.” She proposed a test with high power and a low type I error rate and is able to accurately detect biomarkers in a given data set.
A third-place award of $250 went to Andrew Jin of the Harker School in San Jose, California, for “Breast Cancer Prognosis Through Gene Expression Profiling and Tumor Morphology.” He developed a support vector machine prognostic model that accurately predicts whether a breast cancer patient is likely to experience a recurrence after treatment.
Honorable mentions were awarded to the following:
- Heeyoon Kim, Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology in Conyers, Georgia, for “Applying Matrix Theory to Model Global Social Dynamics”
- Shashwat Kishore, Unionville High School in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, for “Analysis of Novel Clustering Algorithms for Gene Expression Patterns”
- Kamran Jamil, Bishop’s School in La Jolla, California, for “Autism and Gut Microblome: Is There a Link?”
- Jessica Xu, High Technology High School in Lincoln, New Jersey, for “The Threshold of CO2 Fertilization Effect on the Growth of Triticum aestivum”
- Jordan Cadle, Paoli Junior/Senior High School in Paoli, Indiana, for “Reprocessing Components of Milk from Foliar Application to Augment Protein Synthesis in Triticum aestivum”
Chapter President Guillermo Mendez presented the awards to the winners. All winners and honorable mentions also received one-year subscriptions to Significance and CHANCE. In addition, prizes were provided by JMP SAS, John Wiley and Sons, STATA, Pearson, and Cengage Learning.
In general, chapter representatives were impressed with the quality and variety of the students’ research and their poise and intellectual maturity during the interview process. They would put a high probability on seeing some of the above names in the ASA statistics community soon.