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A Future Mathematics Teacher

In the 2008 Intel Science Talent search, Katherine Rose Banks, age 17 student at Stuyvesant High school in Brooklyn, won $25000 for Fourth Place Honors.

Katie's project was a combinatorial proof of S. Rabinowitz's conjecture that a convex lattice polygon with nine vertices (i.e. have integer coordinates) cannot have exactly eight or nine interior lattice points. Not an earth shattering discovery at best...but you might want to try your hand at it on a geoboard.

Also, Katie is the only New York State finalist who did not do her research in collaboration with scientists at outside research institutions. Katie's mentor was Peter Brooks, a mathematics teacher at her high school.

Katie Banks sounds like an interesting student. Suffering at a young age from a neurological condition, she quizzed doctors about techniques used for her treatments, to the point that she was self-educated about neuroscience and collaborated with her surgeon on developing and coding an algorithm for simulation software that is used during craniofacial surgery. Now, that is impressive!

As a member of the F.I.R.S.T. Robotics team at Stuyvesant, Katie helped her team win the top programming award by creating an on-the-fly program. A student with many interests, she enjoys acting, rocketry, ham radio, photography and playing cricket. With perfect SAT scores, Katie plans to attend either MIT or Cornell and then become a teacher of mathematics. Congratulations, Katie!

Source: New York Times, January 31, 2008