Have you ever thought about The String Topology BV Algebra, Hochschild Cohomology and the Goldman Bracket on Surfaces...at least recently? One person who has is Dmitry Vaintrob, a senior at South Eugene High School in Eugene, Oregon. He just won first place and a $100,000 scholarship in the 2006-07 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Also, Dmitry was the only award winner for a mathematics project, as all of the other award-winning projects were in the areas of physics and chemistry.
While investigating the subject for his project, Dmitry was mentored by Pavel Etingof, Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Siemens Competition judge Michael Hopkins (Harvard University) said of Dmitry: "This brilliant young mathematician showed amazing maturity and perspective, which would be surprising in a graduate student, let alone a high school senior." Hopkins also claimed: "His work is at the Ph.D. Level, publishable and already attracting the attention of researchers."
What is the project about...in English? According to the Siemens web site, Dmitry tried to establish a connection between two different areas of mathematics, a connection that could lead to new applications in theoretical physics pertaining to research on string theory and mirror symmetry. Plus the claim: "With a focus on topological objects in mathematics, Mr. Vaintrob’s work taps into insights which are universal and applicable in any field."
As to his career goals, Dmitry, a high school senior, wants to continue his lifelong fascination with mathematics by teaching mathematics on the college level. His parents have been pushing him to engage in mathematics problem solving since childhood. As to other aspects of his world, Dmitry does volunteer work in his high school library and the mathematics library at the University of Oregon, is the organizer of his high school's math club, is a pianist, enjoys reading classical literature, carrys opn the Russian tradition of memorizing poetry, and is fluent in Russian, French and English.
Yes, Dmitry is your ordinary high school student...and he would probably pass the WASL!