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Jan. 31, 2007

Two seniors selected as Intel finalists

by Nitin Sukumar, Online News Editor and Copy Editor
Seniors Matt McCutchen and Brian Lawrence were named finalists in the annual Intel Science Talent Search (STS). They were among 40 students from high schools across the nation to advance from the semi-finalist level in the research competition.

The competition is an optional part of the Research Project class, a two-semester Magnet elective beginning the second semester of junior year and ending with the first semester of senior year. The students take part in a research internship over the summer between the two semesters and write a final paper that they may choose to submit to different competitions.
McCutchen (left) and Lawrence (right) stand proudly with their winning projects. Alex Lutz
McCutchen (left) and Lawrence (right) stand proudly with their winning projects.


In addition to the $1,000 received for reaching the semi-finalist level, McCutchen and Lawrence will receive checks for $5,000, an Intel laptop and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. in March for the final judging of the projects. The judging session will lead to the rankings of the top ten projects, with a grand prize of $100,000 in scholarship money.

The announcement of the winners was a pleasant surprise for McCutchen. "I was happy to be a semi-finalist, and being a finalist is nice," said McCutchen, shortly after learning of his advancement in the competition.

This year's 12 semi-finalists all spent numerous hours over their summer break to produce professional-quality research papers. The selection of finalists was probably one of the closest in years, said Mccutchen. "They probably all deserved it as much as me," he said. "And who is to say whether a math project is better than a science project?"

Lawrence declined to comment.

Blair students have been successful on the Intel scene ever since the competition was introduced in the Research Project class. The school has never witnessed a year with fewer than two finalists, many of whom placed in the final March judging. Last year, Chelsea Zhang, a 2006 alumna, placed third in the nation with her project in 2006.

For the Intel press release, click here.



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  • Will on January 31, 2007 at 9:22 PM
    Congrats!
  • nifty on February 1, 2007 at 7:31 AM
    w00t matt and brian!

    math and theoretical compsci projects pwn.
  • jealous on February 1, 2007 at 3:59 PM
    Honestly...we all saw this coming. Matt and Brian, you two are the pride of the Magnet program. Your unbounded intelligence makes the rest of the Magnet look like little kids adding numbers on their fingers. God only knows what Walstein will do after you leave - probably cry, because nobody like you two will ever exist in the same generation, much less the same school/class.

    ...Anyway, congrats. Your awards are well-deserved.
  • confused on February 1, 2007 at 5:01 PM
    why did brian decline to comment? hmm
  • LA on February 1, 2007 at 5:06 PM
    you guys deserved it,,,,,,,good luck for the rest
  • Ethan on February 1, 2007 at 8:22 PM
    Way to go Matt & Brian! You guys did an amazing job and are definetly the best to represent Blair! Now's the easy part: sweep that competition in DC!
  • Rachel on February 1, 2007 at 11:37 PM
    Awesome job, Matt and Brian! Wishing you the best of luck for the next round, although everyone knows you two won't need it! :)
  • intel semi on February 1, 2007 at 11:50 PM
    :) Congrats, Brian and Matt! There are no others more deserving. We wish you all the best in D.C.!
  • mag06 on February 2, 2007 at 9:48 PM
    what were their projects?

    congratulations guys.
  • blazer on February 3, 2007 at 4:43 PM
    ditto to what "jealous" said. Matt and Brian, you two are just too amazing. Congratulations to another award under your belts. I would be surprised if you didn't end up in the top 10. Good luck!
  • so... on February 4, 2007 at 2:50 PM
    when do we know if they've placed?????
  • varun on February 6, 2007 at 3:38 PM
    NICE! way to go, you two.
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