Wenyu Cao Present Research To Public As ISS Finalist

Wenyu Cao ’11 will present his research on bipartite graphs to a group of judges in Washington, D.C. this coming March as one of the finalists of the Intel Science Search (ISS) competition. Cao was chosen as a finalist this past week. The ISS competition, which is recognized as one of the most distinguished science research programs in the nation, provides high school students with the opportunity to carry out independent science research projects over the summer. Finalists of this competition are then given the chance to present their research to the public. Cao enrolled in the Research Science Institute program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this past summer, where he worked with an MIT graduate student on his bipartite graph project. Bipartite graphs are contradictory graphs that are useful in network design and error-correcting codes. For his research, Cao studied the relationship between the eigen value of the bipartite graphs and how connected the bipartite graphs are. Cao proved that the bipartite graphs are efficient expanders and introduced a new method for constructing the graphs. “The study of the bipartite graphs caught my attention because these graphs are a cross of mathematics and computer science, two subjects that I am very interested in,” said Cao. “The graduate student I worked with at MIT had previously studied bipartite graphs so he was very helpful in carrying out my research project. I essentially continued on his previous research, but tried to take his work to the next level,” Cao continued. After the six-week program at MIT, Cao returned home and continued his research at Princeton University. In addition to Cao, forty of the 1,744 applicants will display their work, meet notable scientists and compete for the ultimate final prize of $100,000. Ten of these finalists will also be chosen as winners of the ISS competition. Cao is looking forward to traveling to Washington, D.C. in March to present his research to a group of judges as well as to the public. He hopes that his research will have a positive impact on the scientific community. “As much as I would like my research to help society, I understand that all scientific research builds upon itself. Just like I built upon my partner’s original research, I am sure that other scientists will expand upon my research, which will further develop the understanding and significance of bipartite graphs,” said Cao. Cao credits a middle school math contest called Math Counts for getting him interested in math. Cao had great success in the Math Counts competition, placing at the National level. “Before Math Counts, I didn’t really do math, but this competition sparked my interest in math, and ever since I have been competing in several similar competitions,” he said. “If you are an aspiring scientist or mathematician, my advice is to put all your heart into it. I certainly didn’t know I would end up where I am right now.”