Vivek Sreejithkumar as Finalist in Nation-Wide Science and Math Competition
by Bethany Alex | Friday, Jan 21, 2022
Vivek Sreejithkumar, a senior at FAU High School – Jupiter Campus in Partnership with Max Planck Academy, was recognized as a top 300 finalist in the 81 Regeneron Science Talent Search – a nation-wide science and mathematics competition focusing on high school seniors’ research in critically important fields of study.
As a top scholar, Sreejithkumar and FAU will be awarded $2,000 each from the Society of Science (the Society).
Sreejithkumar’s research project for the competition, titled “The Evolution of the Identifiable Analysis of the COVID-19 Virus,” focused on using a mathematical model to analyze the spread of COVID-19 in Florida and quantify the effectiveness of social distancing using incidence and disease-induced death data from the Florida Department of Health (FDOH).
Sreejithkumar’s research began with guidance from the FAU High School Research Program and the research staff of the Owls Imaging Lab, a program that provides access to cutting-edge equipment and open-access research hub. He continued to develop his research project working under the mentorship of Necibe Tuncer, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.
Sreejithkumar intends to graduate with a Bachelor of Science with a double concentration in Biochemistry and Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences from FAU’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College (WHC) in Spring 2022, with hopes of continuing his education by pursuing a master’s degree in the field of computational biology or bioinformatics. His long-term aspirations include graduating medical school to become a practicing physician and using his background in mathematical biology and epidemiology to make an impact in the field of public health.
“After witnessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world, I was inspired to apply my passion for the intersection between biology and mathematics to study how COVID-19 was being spread in Florida and how effective social distancing is as a control measure for COVID-19,” said Vivek.
Additionally, Sreejithkumar was awarded the 2021 Rising Scientist Award from the Child Mind Institute, being recognized for showing research excellence in the fields of psychology, neuroscience or biomedical engineering.