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White House Science Fair honors former Mathworks students

By Alec Jennings
University News Service
October 20, 2010

Mathworks

Three former participants of the Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State University-San Marcos attended the White House Science Fair Oct. 18 and met television personality Bill Nye "The Science Guy." Pictured are (L-R) Sean Karson of  Orlando, Fla., Nye, Dan Liu of Austin and Kevin Chen of Sugar Land.

Former students from the Texas State University-San Marcos Mathworks Summer Honors Math Camp were honored among the top minds nationwide in high school and middle school at the White House Science Fair Oct. 18.

Recognized for their project, Relating Missing and Decycling Edges in Directed Graphs, Kevin Chen, Sugar Land, Sean Karson, Winter Park, Fla., and Dan Liu, Austin, were present in the East Room of the White House to hear the president’s remarks on the need for improvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States and were lauded as among the top talent in their fields.

“We’re very excited about the wonderful work of these students as part of the Texas State Mathworks Summer Honors Math Camp. They are an amazing group of students and among the most talented I’ve seen,” said Max Warshauer, regents professor of mathematics and director of Mathworks. “They set an example and tone for our program. I expect in the future they’ll be able to make significant contributions in math and science and hope they’ll return as counselors in our program.”

Jian Shen, professor of mathematics at Texas State, mentored the students while they attended camp in San Marcos, has served as their sponsor and accompanied them to Washington, D.C. He said their White House honor was only one of many they have received for their research in mathematics. Other honors included first prize in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology in 2009, competing nationally against top talent, which also came with the honor of ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange along with Shen and Siemens executives Jan. 28.

“That’s a great recognition for their hard work. This is a very good program,” Shen said. “I believe that raising the education standards of the whole country is not just the responsibility of one person, one group, one organization, but for us all to work together for the students.”