Intel Science Talent Search 2010 Finalists


Katherine Rebecca Rudolph

Katherine Rebecca Rudolph Illinois

Katherine Rebecca Rudolph, 18, of Naperville, asks "How closely can we pack identical spheres?" for her Intel Science Talent Search project in mathematics. Kate studies packing of spheres of uniform size in n-dimensional space; for n= 2, 3 the most dense packings are orderly lattice packings, but for higher dimensions the situation is more complicated. Assuming a conjecture of Torquato and Stillinger holds, she improves a lower bound on the maximal density of sphere packing in high dimensions. Dense packings are of interest to chemists studying supercooled matter and cryptologists in search of error-correcting computer code. At Naperville Central High School, Kate is a captain of the math team, a member of the drama club and has been a member of the JETS science team for the past four years. Winner of numerous awards, Kate has perfect ACT scores and strives to connect her knowledge of network dynamics with various scientific applications. She also says she enjoys waterskiing whenever she can. The daughter of Michael and Rebecca Rudolph, she plans to major in math at MIT or Caltech and one day work as a research mathematician.


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