Sammamish High Schooler Wins National Science Competition

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SAMMAMISH, WA — An Eastlake High School senior took home top honors at a national science contest, leading the pack of winners awarded in this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search. Christine Ye, 17, of Sammamish, was awarded $250,000 for first place, securing the highest reward in a field of 40 finalists from across the nation.

According to the Society for Science, Ye’s award-winning project analyzed gravitational waves emitted from neutron star collisions and black holes.

“By analyzing data gathered at the Laster Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), where scientists use data from these waves to measure astronomical objects, she set a novel precedent for modeling rapidly-rotating neutron stars; showing that a quickly spinning neutron star could be extra massive, but still smaller than a black hole,” the society wrote.

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At this year’s awards, winners took home more than $1.8 million combined and were honored at a ceremony hosted by Saturday Night Live’s Melissa Villaseñor. The top 10 list of winners included another Eastside student, with fifth place going to Neil Chowdhury, 18, of Bellevue, who was awarded $90,000.

“The Regeneron Science Talent Search winners give me hope for the future, and I congratulate them on their tremendous success,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of the Society for Science. “For the first time in two years, we have been able to gather in person to celebrate the next generation of scientific leaders who are motivated by curiosity and inspired to solve the world’s most intractable problems. I am impressed by their scientific research and strength of character.”

Find out what’s happening in Sammamish-Issaquahwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Read more about Ye and Chowdhury’s award-winning projects on the society’s website.

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