A Montgomery County high school student was named one of three first-place winners in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search competition Tuesday night, earning a prize of $150,000 as one of the nation’s most promising young scientists.
Michael Hofmann Winer, 18,who attends Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, took home a first-place medal for innovation for his physics research.
Winer, of North Bethesda, studied how fundamental quasi-particles of sound, called phonons, interact with electrons. His work could potentially be applied to more complex atomic structures, such as superconductors, competition organizers said.
The award was another honor for Montgomery Blair High School, which has produced more Intel finalists than any other school in the country since 1999, with 32 in that period. The school ranks third nationally for finalists since the competition began in 1942.
Winer was selected from a group of 40 finalists nationwide in the competition for high school seniors.
The other top awards went to Noah Golowich, 17, of Lexington, Mass., who won the first-place medal for basic research, and Andrew Jin, 17, of San Jose, Calif., who won the first-place medal for global good.
Golowich developed a proof in the area of Ramsey theory, a field of mathematics based on finding types of structure in large and complicated systems. Jin developed a machine learning algorithm to identify adaptive mutations across the human genome, organizers said.
The science competition, a program of Society for Science & the Public, included finalists from 36 schools in 18 states.
Three of the 40 finalists were from the Washington area. Besides Winer, they were Yizhen Zhang, from Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Md., and Anya Michaelsen, from Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Va.