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National honors from USA Today Roommates named to academic teams

Two roommates and recent graduates of the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science have more in common than their Plano hometown and their room number at McConnell Hall. Their shared talent for research earned them each national recognition this spring from USA Today.


Amelia Lin, left, and Monica Lu earned national recognition from USA Today for their talent in research.

Amelia Lin was one of 20 students in the nation selected to the newspaper's All-USA First High School Academic Team, and Monica Lu was chosen for the 20-member Second High School Academic Team.

Lin, who received $2,500, was featured with a photo spread in the May 17 issue. Lu received a certificate and an announcement in the newspaper.

The academic teams, open to graduates from U.S. high schools, U.S. territories or Department of Defense schools overseas, are made up of students nominated by a teacher or counselor from their school.

Students are selected for the teams primarily based on a 50-word essay that describes a specific outstanding achievement. The nominees' grades, high school curriculum and leadership activities, as well as letters of recommendation, are also considered.

Lin was selected for the first academic team for research she conducted in the laboratory of Zhibing Hu, UNT professor of physics. She investigated the properties of carbon nanotubes, hollow cylinders of carbon atoms that are only a few nanometers — billionths of a meter — in diameter. Nanotubes may be used in the future for drug delivery into individual human cells, targeted cancer treatment and other applications.

Lin, who plans to pursue a teaching and research career, will attend Harvard University this fall to finish her bachelor's degree, majoring in physics or education.

Lu was chosen for the second academic team for her research project on human brain activity during suppression of automatic
eye movement responses, work that may contribute to a better understanding of schizophrenia. She conducted the research last
summer at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School through Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Research Science Institute.

Lu will attend Yale University this fall to complete her bachelor's degree in biology. She would like to eventually earn a medical and a doctoral degree to combine a medical career with research.

Both Lin and Lu were awarded Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships this year. In addition, Lin was named a regional finalist and Lu
a semifinalist in the 2006 Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology. In the 2007 Intel Science Talent Search, both students placed as semifinalists.

Lin, a National Merit finalist, also received a Micron Science and Technology Scholars Program scholarship and a Phi Delta Kappa Prospective Edu-cators Scholarship. She was honored in Washington, D.C., in June as one of 141 high school students chosen as 2007 Presidential Scholars.

Lu was one of two Texas students chosen by the Texas Education Agency to attend the 2007 National Youth Science Camp this summer in West Virginia.

Lin and Lu graduated in May from TAMS. The two-year residential program at UNT allows talented students to complete their freshman and sophomore years of college while earning their high school diplomas.



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