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Dozier selected as finalist in Intel Science Talent Search

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By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos High School senior Benjamin Edward Dozier is a finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search 2008 (Intel STS). Dozier, 18, receives $5,000, a new laptop and the chance to compete for more than $1 million in scholarships in what’s considered the oldest and most prestigious high school science competition in the nation.Dozier described his reaction to the big news during an interview this morning. “It was completely unexpected,” he said. “I thought I had some chance at being a semifinalist, but no chance at being a finalist. It’s a surprise and it makes me really happy.”Dozier just returned home from playing tennis when the call came in from Intel. “My mom was there and she gave me a hug,” he said laughing. “My dad was excited that I get to go to Washington, D.C. He said he thinks I’ll really like it there.”LAHS Principal Grace Brown was delighted to hear Dozier is a finalist.“We’re so proud of Ben,” Brown said this morning. “He’s absolutely an outstanding student and a fine young man.”Superintendent James Anderson agreed. Upon hearing the news this morning he said, “That’s awesome. Ben is a great representative of our school and we wish him the best in Washington, D.C.”Intel announced Wednesday that Dozier is one of 40 finalists who will travel to Washington, D.C., in March to compete for scholarships, with the top winner receiving a $100,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation. During the week long trip, Dozier and the other finalists will undergo a rigorous judging process, meet with national leaders, interact with leading scientists and display their research at the National Academy of Sciences.Top winners will be announced at a black-tie gala held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on March 11.In his science project, Dozier studied the logical complexity of describing random bit strings for his Intel STS project in mathematics. Any finite string of 0’s and 1’s can be completely described by a sentence of first order logic. He investigated the complexity of this description for random bit strings of length n, which are equipped with a function p(n), giving the likelihood that any entry in the string has value 1.Dozier found asymptotic bounds in the case of very sparse strings (few 1’s) and also in the case where p(n) does not vary with n.Dozier has said he has plans to continue his research at MIT or Harvard. He was named a semifinalist on Jan. 18 in the nationwide competition, often called the “junior Nobel Prize.” At that time he received $1,000, as did his school during a surprise visit to his classroom from the Intel prize patrol.Over the past 67 years, STS alumni have received more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors including six Nobel Prizes, three National Medals of Science, 10 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships and two Fields Medals.Intel Chairman Craig Barrett noted in a statement, “2008 not only marks the 10th anniversary of Intel’s sponsorship of the STS, but falling in a presidential election year this competition highlights more than ever the importance of supporting math and science education in the United States. Intel STS showcases the incredible advancements made by students across the nation when we get the system right and demonstrates the capabilities of the next generation.”Dozier is the son of Miguel Dozier and Esther Kovari. He is first in his class of 278 at LAHS, serves as the Math Club president and enjoys playing tennis. He is the winner of numerous math and science awards, and was the first-ever qualifier from LAHS and the only student from New Mexico in the 2006 USA Mathematical Olympiad. Dozier also earned an Honorable Mention in the National Peace Essay contest, was a semifinalist in the Ayn Rand Anthem Essay contest, and traveled to Croatia, Hungary and the UK in 2006.This year’s Intel STS finalists represent 35 schools in 19 states. Their independent research projects include further understanding of the relationship of nicotine to breast cancer and chemotherapy efficacy, an economics study of the cross-influence of public and private funding for Iowa’s public libraries, and the design and construction of affordable microbial fuel cells that could generate clean water and clean energy anywhere.On the web:www.intel.com/education