RSI Alumni Take Top Prizes in Regeneron STS

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Thu | March 18, 2021 | 5:16 PM

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$250,000 top award goes to Yunseo Choi (RSI 20) in STEM competition

McLean, VA (March 18, 2021) — The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) is pleased to announce that two Research Science Institute (RSI) alumni are among the top 10 winners in the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition for high school seniors.

“This is an outstanding accomplishment for Research Science Institute alumni and CEE,” said Joann DiGennaro, CEE President. “I am so very proud of these students who represent the future of U.S. global leadership in science and technology.”

The RSI 2020 alumni named as 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search winners are:


    Yunseo Choi, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH, was awarded first place and $250,000 for her project where she played theoretical “match maker” for an infinite number of things or people. She studied matching algorithms that work for a finite number of couples and determined which important properties would still work for an infinite number of pairs. Matching theory has numerous real-life applications, including matching organ donors to recipients, assigning medical school applicants to rotations and pairing potential couples in dating apps.


    Vivian Yee, 17, International Academy, Bloomfield Hills, MI was awarded ninth place and received a $50,000 award for research on inequalities in COVID-19 incidence and outcomes in the counties of New York City. By modelling rates of transmission, recovery and death alongside housing, education and employment status, she found higher rates of transmission and death in more socially vulnerable communities. Her findings, which are included in a Consensus Memorandum accepted by the Congressional Coronavirus Task Force, can help guide future policies and initiatives for public health.

    The students were selected from 1,760 highly qualified entrants, all of whom completed an original research project and an extensive application process. Twenty-one RSI alumni and a USA Biolympiad alumnus were among the top 300 scholars. See the full list of CEE alumni here. Six RSI alumni were among the top 40 finalists.

    The top 10 Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021 winners were announced during a live-streamed virtual awards ceremony on March 17. Regeneron awarded $3.1 million in total prizes through the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021, including $2,000 to each of the top scholars and their schools.

    About Research Science Institute

    RSI is a summer science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program collaboratively sponsored with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that combines on-campus course work in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research. Students conduct original, cutting edge research in state-of-the-art university laboratories, hospitals, and corporate research facilities. Students make oral and written presentations based on their research during the last week of the program. RSI is offered at no cost to all students competitively selected to attend. More information is at

    About the Center for Excellence in Education 

    CEE was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover and Joann P. DiGennaro, President of the Center. The Center's mission is to nurture high school and university scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to encourage collaboration between and among science and technology leaders in the global community. CEE’s programs include the Research Science Institute (RSI), the USA Biolympiad (USABO), and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP). For more information, visit

    Media Contact:
    Tom Flavell, (703) 448-9062 ext. 237



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