Senior advances to regional finals in prestigious science competition

November 1, 2017 — by Jeffrey Xu and Michael Zhang

Senior Sohini Kar’s project related to number theory impressed judges enough that she was named a Siemens Science Competition regional finalist on Oct. 18.

As a regional finalist, Kar was asked to submit a presentation electronically by Oct. 30. She will also give an oral presentation over the, a video conference website, on Nov. 11. The judges will then evaluate her presentation and conduct a Q&A session to determine if she qualifies for nationals.

Siemens is a research competition, in which students send in projects in a variety of STEM fields. About 2,500 competitors sent in papers to be judged this year, and out of those, 491 were chosen as semifinalists and 101 were regional finalists. Seniors Chengzi Guo and Andrew Zheng also made semifinals individually, but did not advance.

According to the Siemens Competition website, scholarships from $1,000 to $100,000 can be awarded to winning projects, and a cash prize of $25,000 is awarded to all national finalists, with first place receiving $100,000 and second place $50,000.

Out of the 101 regional finalists, there were five teams and five individuals for each of six regions. Kar worked on her project individually, which was in the domain of discrete mathematics.

Kar project was about creating a new integer sequence that followed a pattern, along with a mathematical rule that helped define the sequence.

Kar said that she has been working on the project for two years, having started in the summer of her sophomore year.

In addition, Kar credits her high school math teachers and the various summer programs she attended that piqued her interest in number theory, such as the Ross mathematics program held at Ohio State University.

“Having participated in a number of number theory summer programs, my interest in the topic drove me in my research,” Kar said.


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