Sat, Feb 11, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Three Taiwanese, one Singaporean win science awards

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Three Taiwanese and one Singaporean student yesterday received the Youth Science Award, the top prize at the Taiwan International Science Fair.

Taipei First Girls’ High School students Chen Yi-jen (陳怡臻), Wu Yun-ching (吳允晴) and Lin Jui-ying (林芮吟) claimed the top prizes for domestic contestants, while research conducted by Poon Wynne Hsing (方雯欣) of Singapore’s Hwa Chong Institution was selected among entries submitted by international participants.

Lin, whose entry “The coloring of a four-choosable plane graph” topped the mathematics category, was selected by an evaluation panel because it shed new light on the mechanism behind the four-color theorem.

The theorum says that no more than four colors are required to render regions on a map so that no adjacent regions are the same color.

Lin’s findings were valuable, as few other mathematicians have provided an explanation for why the theorem holds, the panel said.

The findings can be used in factories to determine when to turn machines on or off, saving power, preventing power surges and avoiding accidents, Lin said.

The “Organic light-emitting diode transparent module,” created by Chen and Wu in the chemistry category is environmentally friendly, highly luminous and has a wide range of applications, the panel said.

Poon’s research, chosen from the medicine and health sciences category, found that ferric ions in human brain cells aid the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

By suppressing the mammalian siderophore 2,5-DHBA in neurons, ferric ions are reduced in brain cells, pushing back the age at which people are prone to develop neurodegenerative diseases, Poon said.

The four students received trophies from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who encouraged all young scientists at the fair to “keep exploring the wonders of science” and change the world for the better.

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