June 28, 2006–Nearly 60 of the world’s most talented high school scientists recently received complimentary copies of Mathematica 5.2 at the 2006 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Continuing a long-standing commitment to education-related programs and innovative research, Wolfram Research donated the copies to all first-place category winners.
Of the nearly 1500 students participating in the five-day event, many had already incorporated Mathematica into their research, winning scholarships and other notable awards on their way to earning a place in the ISEF finals.
“Pretty much anywhere computers and mathematics are used to solve problems, you will find Mathematica,” said Wolfram Research co-founder Theodore Gray in presenting the awards. “Mathematica is so often used to push the limits, to invent new techniques, and to look at problems in new ways.”
Among the winners, Michael Viscardi, a senior from San Diego, used Mathematica while solving the century-old Dirichlet Problem–a key problem in mathematical physics. His groundbreaking research also won the $100,000 Siemens Westinghouse Competition in 2005.
Other top students included Brett Harrison, a senior from New York who investigated cyclotomic polynomials in Mathematica, and Oregon senior Anarghya Vardhana for her Mathematica-based research into Mersenne numbers.
“The brightest students always seem to use Mathematica,” noted Gray, “and they are the ones who walk away with the prizes.”
While Mathematica is already prevalent at high schools and colleges around the world, these awards will give the winning students a head start on the next stage of their research. By providing the latest version of Mathematica for free, Wolfram Research hopes to make it easier for them to advance their projects outside of class.