University of North Texas

UNT Insider | November 2013 issue | TAMS students recognized in Siemens Competition

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TAMS students recognized in Siemens Competition

From a UNT News Service press release

Stacy Ho and William Ou

Stacy Ho and William Ou

Two students from UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science were named regional finalists in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.

Regional finalists each win $1,000 scholarships and advance to the Region Two competition Nov. 8-9 at the University of Texas at Austin. From there, regional winners receive a $3,000 scholarship and advance to the National Finals at George Washington University Dec. 6-10 to compete for the $100,000 grand prize.

Eighteen TAMS students also were named semifinalists. TAMS has more 2013 semifinalists than any other school in the nation. The Siemens Competition is the nation's leading original research competition in math, science and technology for high school students.

TAMS students Stacy Ho and William Ou were named 2013 regional finalists. For her research project, Ho studied artificial photosynthesis, a process which uses solar energy to produce hydrogen fuel from water. She created a photo sensitizer, or light-harvesting complex, that increased the efficiency of the process. By producing clean fuel without generating any harmful by-products, artificial photosynthesis can help to create a cleaner environment.

Ou's research investigated metal catalysts that can be used to convert organic compounds into hydrogen gas. Current methods for producing hydrogen gas are fairly ineffective and are energy intensive. Discovering metal catalysts that can improve the process of creating hydrogen gas will be useful in several industries, including crude oil processing.

TAM semifinalists included:

  • Hans Ajiren
  • Benjamin Chi
  • Justin Du
  • Leon Gu
  • Jaicheng Jason He
  • Valerie Huynh
  • Sunand Iyer
  • Helen Lu
  • Danyang Shan
  • Kevin Shen
  • Bobby Wang
  • Huilin Yang
  • Cindy Yu
  • Thomas Yu
  • Franklin Zhang

About TAMS

The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science is a two-year residential program at UNT that allows exceptionally talented students to complete their freshman and sophomore years of college while receiving the equivalent of high school diplomas. Students enroll in the academy following their sophomore year of high school, live in a UNT residence hall and attend UNT classes with college students. After two years, they enroll at UNT or another university to finish their bachelor's degrees.

Leslie Wimmer with UNT News Service can be reached at


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November 2013

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