Advanced Math/Science Research Update
by Dr. April Burch, Director of the AMSR program
January 15, 2013
Since our last update, Berkshire School hosted student researchers from Belmont Hill, and all-boys prep school outside of Boston, for a 1-day mini-symposium on Student Biomedical Research. The goal was to foster collaboration, communication and community outreach with our students. AMSR students Liza Bernstein '13, Sissi Wang '13, Lars Robinson '13, Elsie Guevara '13, Ernest Yue '13, and Nate MacKenzie '14, gave short talks about their work in the new Bellas/Dixon Math and Science lecture hall. The talks were followed up by break-out sessions where Belmont Hill students described their research projects and students discussed commonalities between the projects and future goals.
The second semester of AMSR started with some terrific news. The AMSR program was awarded a grant from The Chinchester Dupont Foundation for the purchase of an EVOS fluorescence microscope. This piece of equipment will expand the types of experiments and analyses that can be done by AMSR students this and future years. The microscope should arrive shortly, and Dr. Burch has invited everyone to stop in for a look next time they are on campus.
One new, exciting project that is underway in the winter season of AMSR in the afternoons is being spearheaded by Elif Kesaf '14. Elif is from Turkey and seeks to identify novel viruses of non-pathogenic strains of Legionella bacterium from travertines in Pamukkale. In collaboration with Dr. Sunny Shin at the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, she will be working to isolate viruses of this bacterium with the hope of identifying new agents to combat Legionnaires' disease caused by a pathogenic form of Legionella.
Look for more news from Dr. Burch in the next issue!
Math Team and AMC Results
Recently, the top math students at Berkshire participated in the American Mathematics Competition. There are two contests, the AMC10, which is open to students in 10th grade and below, and the AMC12, which is open to students in all grade levels.
Students who score in the top 5% of test takers on the AMC12 or the top 2% of test takers on the AMC10 are then invited to participate in the American Invitational Mathematics Exam. This is a tremendous honor and this year we have three students who participated in the AIME. Ji Won Ryoo, Ernest Yue, and Kevin Kim.
Ji Won Ryoo’s score of 120 was the second highest score for a female out of 31,000 participants.
Finally, Berkshire's Math Team retains its title as the top boarding school in New England with under 500 students, the third year in a row the school has claimed that honor. For the 5th year in a row, the team finished in the top ten in the New England Math League overall.