Honoring high school seniors with exceptional promise in math and science, Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) today announced the winners of America's most elite and demanding high school research competition, the Intel Science Talent Search.
Danville resident and Venture student Evan O'Dorney, 17, won the top award of $100,000 from the Intel Foundation for his mathematical project in which he compared two ways to estimate the square root of an integer.
Evan discovered precisely when the faster way would work. As a byproduct of Evan's research he solved other equations useful for encrypting data. This furthered an interest he developed as early as age 2, when he was checking math textbooks out of the library.
"After mulling the problem over in my head for nearly a year," Evan wrote in his application. "I began generating and studying large amounts of computer data that ultimately led to a solution."
Evan was one of 11 California finalists to make it to the national level and competed against 39 students from across the country.
"The creativity and leadership of these 40 Intel Science Talent Search mathematicians and scientists hold tremendous potential to move our country forward," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. "They are already addressing real-world problems like cancer treatment, disease prevention and national security. We need to identify the common characteristics that inspired these high school seniors to successfully revitalize math and science education nationwide."
Evan said he hopes to attend Harvard University where he will study to become a mathematics professor.
"I'm a mathematician," he said when asked what he hopes his research will accomplish. "I do mathematics for purely mathematical reasons."