Kevin Yao and Christopher Zhou, students from UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, have been named 2020 Goldwater Scholars. Goldwater awards are considered to be among the country's most prestigious scholarships awarded to students planning careers in mathematics, science and engineering.
Yao has a patent pending for his independent research on machine learning for cancer-prediction applications. He conducted research in the laboratory of Jose Perez, a professor in the Department of Physics, investigating the fundamental properties of novel two-dimensional materials for applications in next-generation electronics and technology.
Zhou was part of a competitive coding team that won first place in the advanced division at Lockheed Martin's CodeQuest competition. He conducted research in the lab of Thomas Cundari, Regents Professor in the Department of Chemistry, where he used computational chemistry and artificial intelligence algorithms to help design novel
transition metal catalysts, building blocks for the future of alternative energy sources.
UNT leads Texas universities in the number of Goldwater Scholars in math, science and engineering, with a total of 66 scholars named since 1996.