Two seniors named as Regeneron scholars


Erica Cai

Seniors Cynthia Chen and Joshua Zhou, the 2020 Regeneron scholars.

by Varsha Rammohan and Arushi Saxena

Seniors Cynthia Chen and Joshua Zhou were selected as top scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) from a pool of 1,993 applicants from 659 schools in 49 states. The 300 scholars chosen and their respective schools will be awarded 2,000 dollars each.  

Cynthia’s research focused on using computational methods to uncover patterns that predict cancer types. Her project was titled “Decoding Neural Networks: Discovery of Anti-Tumor B Cell Receptor Motifs Using a Novel Sequence-Based Computational Framework.”

“It’s gratifying to be recognized by Regeneron, and it’s especially nice because it takes into consideration all the years of science research, so it’s been a long-term goal of mine,” Cynthia said.

Joshua’s project, titled “Physical Analysis and Optimization of Electromagnetic Coilgun Launch Systems,” implements mathematical programs to optimize coilgun design to achieve a maximum velocity of power efficiency.

Regeneron STS began 78 years ago as a science competition that allows high school students to submit individual research from any year of high school. Scholars are chosen based on their research skills and academic achievements. This year continues a strong trend of Harker students making it to the finalist round of the contest, with three finalists in 2019, two in 2018 and three in 2017. 

“I spent so much time working on the project and also my paper that I had to submit for the project, and it’s a really competitive program, so I’m really proud of myself,” said Joshua.

Additional reporting by Erica Cai.