Last week, junior Kaitlyn Wang received the George D. Yancopoulos Award in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Science Fair, the largest STEM competition in the world for pre-college students. The award, which includes a $75,000 prize, is one of the top honors in the competition.
Wang’s project was to develop a method for identifying exoplanets that are in close orbit to their stars. She created an algorithm that can run on much more cost-efficient equipment that is both much more accurate and far more cost-efficient than previous techniques. She used her algorithm to discover the smallest of these planets that is currently known.