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INNOVATING SCIENCE: Senior Karen Chung is named one of the Top 300 scholars.

Rocky Gao, Staff Writer

Senior Karen Chung won $2,000 for Northwood and another $2,000 for herself after being named one of the top 300 scholars of the Regeneron Talent Science Search.

Her project, titled “Integrating Mathematical Modeling With Machine Learning to Identify Cancer Driver Genes,” led to her success at the competition. Facilitated by The Society for Science & the Public, the Regeneron Talent Science Search is the nation’s oldest math and science competition for high school seniors.

“Regeneron Talent Science Search gives me the confidence to call myself a junior researcher,” Chung said.

Despite the strenuous demands of the competition, she found the journey just as rewarding as the award, in its own way.

“My research is in computational biology, which I love because it allows me to use mathematics—my favorite subject—in a computational context that addresses biomedical issues,” Chung said. “From machine learning to biological situations, I discovered what I enjoy the most about the process of research.”

By exceeding academic expectations, Chung took a giant leap as a budding scientist. Her award was the result of her ambition and effort in the realm of science.

“I’ve been working with Dr. Qing Nie at UCI,” Chung said. “I submitted a 20-page research paper along with essays and recommendations.”

Excited for the future, Chung is pursuing mathematics in college and hopes to continue to blend science withmathtoinspireglobalinfluence. Chung appreciates the opportunity to capture a national audience through the competition and is proud of her achievement.

“I plan to continue researching real-world problems through a mathematical and computational lens,” Chung said. “The Regeneron Science Talent Search feels like a huge milestone in this journey.”

In addition to her own accomplishments, Chung is grateful for those who have guided and supported her through this competition

“I’m grateful to so many people, like my UCI lab family, my parents and friends and NHS teachers who guided my growth in this long journey,” Chung said.

The $2,000 awarded to Northwood will be distributed among the many STEM-related activities that are offered to the students.