Wilson Huang and Logan Rumbaugh were recognized on Tuesday October 18th as semi-finalists for the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation’s premier research competition for high school students. The Siemens Competition selected only 300 projects from over 1600 submissions this year.

As part of the Mathematics, Science, and Computer Science Thesis course at Oak Ridge High School, students spend the summer developing and conducting their research that continues throughout the school year. The final product by the end of the year is a professional quality research paper.

Huang and Rumbaugh developed a project titled “Modeling Microscale Collective Motion.” The goal of their project was to model flocking motion with obstacles. The team was also able to 3D print a complex microscale model that would exhibit flocking behaviors. Wilson says of his math thesis course, “I think the most important thing I’ve gained from thesis is first-hand experience conducting and presenting research. It’s definitely something eye opening that wouldn’t be the same by word of mouth.” Their project results could be used in a variety of applications ranging from describing the movement of self-propelled cells to predicting highway traffic. Huang and Rumbaugh worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Bradley Lokitz, Dr. Miguel Fuentes-Cabrera, and Dr. Nickolay Lavrik all of the Center for Nanophase Materials Science. Logan adds, “I was very fortunate in my experience at the lab in that I was given the opportunity to work with Wilson on a project that was not only unique, but that was also within an exciting field of scientific interest that is still new and developing. My introduction to research work with Dr. Fuentes-Cabrera was an incredible opportunity to learn and one for which I am truly grateful.”