Intel Science Talent Search Winners


On March 14, 2006 Intel Corporation and Science Service awarded the top 10 college scholarship awards for the Intel Science Talent Search (STS) at a black-tie banquet in Washington, D.C.

Nicholas Michael Wage from Appleton East placed fourth, winning a $25K scholarship.

Nicholas Michael Wage, 17, of Appleton, studied generalized Paley graphs, an important class of graphs, for his Intel Science Talent Search project in mathematics. Given a prime p such that 4 divides p-1, we obtain a Paley graph by taking as vertices the integers (0, 1, …, p-1), with an edge between x and y just in case x – y is a square modulo p. These, together with similarly defined graphs and directed graphs form the class called “generalized Paley.” In the case above, when p – 1 is divisible by 4, Nick found the asymptotic limit, as p increases, for the number of complete subgraphs of a fixed size. He showed that this limit equaled that which Paul Erd”s (incorrectly) conjectured for all graphs. Nick also counted the number of three cycles for members of the larger family of generalized Paley graphs. His proofs used results from number theory, including Weil’s deep theorem on the Riemann Hypothesis for finite fields. Nick, who attends Appleton East High School, earned 800s on his critical reading and math SAT scores. His paper is published in the journal Integers. Son of Drs. Michael Wage and Kathy Vogel, he plans to study math at Harvard or the University of Wisconsin.

Wage was one of only two semifinalists (out of a group of 300 chosen throughout the U.S.) from Wisconsin. The other was Michael James Pizer from Milwaukee’s University School. Martin Weill has more. David Pescovitz has photos.

One thought on “Intel Science Talent Search Winners”

  1. Congratulations to Nick! Nick was also a winner of UW’s Math Talent Science a couple of years ago. Last year Po-Ling Loh of Madison Memorial High School also placed among the top 10 students in the Intel Science Talent Search (STS) and achieved 2nd place in the Westinghouse STS.
    The MMSD has the students with the ability and drive to become Westinghouse and Intel STS semi-finalists and finalists. We also have UW-Madison right here with hundreds of professors who would be happy to mentor bright high school students in research projects. What we lack is a school district willing to spend the tiny bit of $s necessary to fund a part-time staff member to pair up these TAG students with appropriate professors and to assist them in the process of applying for these highly prestigious science awards. Winning these awards helps students gain admission to the most elite colleges as well as win very sizeable merit scholarships. These are the types of achievements that separate the truly outstanding students from the ones who “merely” have perfect GPAs and SATs.
    There are numerous public high schools that produce multiple semi-finalists in these STSs every year. My husband and I were both Westinghouse STS semi-finalists. My NYC “magnet” public high school had 16 semi-finalists the year I graduated from high school. The MMSD could also produce a dozen or more such students per year. Unfortunately, they currently restrict their Science Summer Research Program to 16-18 students, with juniors being given priority, despite having four dozen or so applicants including younger students who would have more time to develop outstanding projects 🙁 This is one of the ways in which the MMSD could put some of its limited TAG budget to great use.

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