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RIMS Science Fair Propels Student to International Stage

Science  

Tri-County Science Fair Set For April 6-7 in San Bernardino

Sweepstakes Award Winner from 2014, Jared Tramontano, parlayed his project to international recognition in Switzerland and Germany

SAN BERNARDINO – About 750 projects representing 862 students at schools and districts in Riverside, Mono and San Bernardino counties will be on display at the 33rd Annual RIMS Inland Area Science and Engineering Fair on April 6-7 at the National Orange Show Events Center (689 South E St, San Bernardino, CA).

The public is invited to view the exhibits on April 6, from 6 to 7 p.m., and on April 7, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Approximately 70 winners in the junior and senior divisions from the three-county region will advance to the California State Science Fair in May.

Awards will be presented at 6 p.m. on April 7 for the 486 students competing from Riverside County at the Riverside Convention Center (3637 Fifth Street, Riverside, CA 92501). The ceremony for San Bernardino and Mono counties will be held at the National Orange Show’s Valencia Room on April 7.

Individual and group projects fall into 22 categories of science – from microbiology to zoology, math and physics to electronics, and consumer science to earth science. Each project is judged by a team of representatives from education, industry and science communities, as well as other members of the public. Criteria include research knowledge, use of the scientific method, knowledge of the subject, writing strategies and the creation of original data.

The fair is sponsored by the county offices of education in the four regions in RIMS – Riverside, Inyo, Mono and San Bernardino counties (there are no entries from Inyo County in 2015).

The Inland Science and Engineering Fair provides a springboard for students from the Inland Empire to showcase their scientific minds at statewide and national competitions. For some students, like 16-year old Centennial High School student, Jared Tramontano, success at the event is a gateway to exclusive, intellectual opportunities in international locales.

INLAND AREA SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FAIR

At last year’s Inland Science and Engineering Fair, Jared Tramontano, then a sophomore from the Corona-Norco Unified School District, was awarded top honors for his project “Dimensional Quasi-Attractors with Dynamical Action on Topological Manifolds.” Jared’s research led to a year of impressive honors and research opportunities. Now a junior at Centennial, Jared is taking undergraduate courses at Harvey Mudd College and participating in two professional research groups in mathematics at the University of California, Riverside. As hundreds of local students prepare for the upcoming Inland Science and Engineering Fair, Jared’s 2014 project continues to bring him recognition.

Jared’s 2014 Inland Science and Engineering Fair sweepstakes award won him a spot on the RIMS Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) delegation in Los Angeles where he was also selected as one of only 12 high school students from around the world invited on an all-expense paid trip to Geneva, Switzerland, to study at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. As an extension of this trip, Jared was accepted to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related activities in Germany. Most recently, Jared has been accepted as a 2015 Research Science Institute (RSI) scholar which includes research opportunities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an off-campus research internship. Given to only 3-4 applicants from California and only 51 nationwide, this prestigious honor will provide Jared the opportunity to conduct research on the MIT campus over six weeks this summer.

At only 16 years of age, Jared appreciates the amazing experiences his travels and research overseas have provided him, but he values the academic environment here at home: “. . . the academic prowess of the United States is truly the zenith of the intellectual world. Colleges in the United States are microcosms of the world; one may interact with global cultures each day.”

Numbers fascinated Jared from an early age. “My interest in mathematics began at the age of three, suddenly, and out of nowhere. I began working with numbers, adding them, and working my way up to multiplication.” After completing AP Calculus in his freshman year, Jared was introduced to what he calls “real” math, or complex analysis, and his love for math grew exponentially.

Jared’s 2015 entry for the Inland Science and Engineering Fair is entitled “Fuzzy Structures in Differential Topology and Analysis”. The project is a generalization of existing structures in mathematics for application to algorithms in machine learning.

When asked what advice he would give to aspiring young scientists, Jared encourages all students “ . . . to spend time trying to discover what you’re passionate about. Once you find this passion, roll with it. Email those with expertise and try to find a mentor.” Jared encourages students not to give up. He received over a hundred “no’s” in search of a mentor.

Jared is planning on majoring in mathematics, and continuing with graduate studies in pure mathematics or theoretical computer science. For a profession, Jared says he would enjoy teaching mathematics at the university level. And, perhaps, one day, he will be the professor who finally says “yes” to mentor the next great scientific mind from the Inland Science and Engineering Fair.

(By: RCOE Craig Petinak)

RCOE Craig Petinak