Central Texas Teen Wins $100K Science Prize In National Competition

A 17-year-old Central Texas high school student won a $100,000 scholarship Tuesday for scientific work that could help driverless cars and robots navigate around obstacles in their paths.

Kensen Shi

WASHINGTON (December 4, 2012)—Kensen Shi, 17, a senior at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, won top individual honors Tuesday in Washington in the Siemens Foundation’s annual science competition for high school students for combining two previous algorithms into a new and more efficient algorithm for navigation.

His project, titled “Lazy Toggle PRM: A Single-Query Approach to Motion Planning,” could help driverless cars and robots navigate around obstacles in their paths.

Shi, who hopes to become a computer science professor and researcher, has also placed 21st nationally in the US National Chemistry Olympiad and as captain led the Texas American Regional Mathematics League Gold Team to 13th place nationally.
He’s also an accomplished pianist.

Six individuals and six teams were competing for the awards.

Top team honors went to a trio of students from Hewlett, N.Y., for their research on a protein involved in tumor formation.

Seniors Jeremy Appelbaum, William Gil and Allen Shin will share a $100,000 scholarship.


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