Science
3:30 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Pittsburgh-Area Students Take Science Projects to Phoenix

Two high school students from the Pittsburgh region are finalists in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair this week in Phoenix, where more than 1,500 high school students from more than 70 countries will present their solutions for real-life problems. Last year's fair was here in Pittsburgh.  

Rishi Mirchandani, a sophomore at Fox Chapel Area High School, has developed a new algorithm for dividing something that is desired by multiple individuals. 

He said this “fair division,” or “cake cutting,” problem has many practical applications, so it’s very important that mathematicians look into it.  

"It could be food; it could be, maybe, an inheritance — that's a very common situation where multiple parties contest a lot of the common things," Mirchandani said. "It could be even a timeshare. It could be a contested piece of land."

Previous algorithms assumed that twice as much of the desired good equals twice as much happiness, but Mirchandani’s algorithm takes into account the possibility that this may not always be the case because of a saturation, or some other, effect.

Ryan Maurer, a senior at Frazier High School in Perryopolis, developed a wireless system for testing and analyzing solid rocket motors.

More than $4 million in awards and scholarships will be given out.