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OIT Awards Two Scholarships at International Science Fair

Jul 16, 2010
Talented Oregon high school students turn heads at prestigious fair.
Talented Oregon high school students turn heads at prestigious fair

Two Portland area high school students were each offered a $5,000 scholarship from Oregon Institute of Technology.

Laurie Ann Rumker, 17, of the Oregon Episcopal School and Vighnesh Shiv, 16, of the Catlin Gabel School were the two winners. They were chosen from among many who exhibited projects at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in San Jose, Calif., May 9 through 14, 2010.

Rumker’s project was titled “Toxicity of Surrogate Organoclay Surfactant to Straight-Chain-Hydrocarbon-Degraders and Potential for Organoclay Biodegradation” This project uses organic compounds to mitigate the effects of toxins. Her project won a first place award in the Environmental Management category.

“We are incredibly proud of the exceptional science research Laurie has done to earn this prestigious award. Her ability to conduct university level work has been evident for much of the six years she has participated in the OES science research program. We share her family's appreciation for OIT's acknowledgement of her talents,” said Kathy Layendecker, OES's Interim Head of School.

Bill Lamb, who is science department head at OES, said “Laurie has done an exceptional piece of science for a high school student. Her ability to generate alternative hypotheses for her observations, and then set all but one explanation aside with additional experiments is more typical of advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate students in the sciences.”

Shiv’s project was titled “BeatHoven: Identifying and Inventing Solutions to Obstacles Hindering Automatic Transcription of Polyphonic Music of a Single Instrument.” This computer science project uses software to translate a musical passage, as it’s performed, into the written form of sheet music. His project earned a fourth place award in the Computer Science category.

“Vighnesh has a wonderful talent for both mathematics and music. We’re proud of him and grateful to OIT for acknowledging his great potential with this scholarship,” said Lark Palma, head of Catlin Gabel.

Both Rumker and Shiv have some time to decide whether or not to accept their scholarships. Should either (or both) of them decide to pursue an education elsewhere, the scholarships can be transferred to another student at their respective schools, as long as the alternate student is able to meet certain criteria.

OIT and the Oregon Tech Foundation awarded the tuition scholarships to
Oregonians with the most meritorious projects in the research area of interest and expertise at OIT. OIT administrators making the selections were: Brad Burda, provost; Charlie Jones, dean for the school of Engineering, Technology and Management; and Larry Powers, dean for the school of Health, Arts and Sciences.

Project criteria include multidisciplinary approach, an aptitude to solve unique engineering problems and an overall ability to succeed at OIT. The scholarships are a one-time award and as such are nonrenewable.
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