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Williamsville East senior a finalist

A Williamsville East senior is a finalist for the Intel Science Talent Search 2011, a national precollege science competition with a $100,000 top prize.

Bryan Dawei He, 16, is the only student in Western New York named one of the 40 finalists, and he is one of seven finalists in New York State.

The title of his project is the Compact Binary Code of Mosaic Floorplans. In layman's terms, Bryan's project enables a computer to design chips more efficiently.

Forty finalists were selected from 300 semifinalists culled from 1,744 applicants nationwide. They come from 15 states and represent 39 schools.

Bryan, with other finalists, will compete for a total of $630,000 in awards in final judging in Washington, D.C., next month.

"My project was a computer science project with applications in electrical engineering," he said. "A floor plan is a rectangle, subdivided into smaller rectangles."

Bryan found a way to convert the floor plan into a binary string easier for computers to read. He worked on the project over the past year when he was an intern with a computer science professor at the University at Buffalo. The professor gave Bryan background into research already conducted and some ideas on what he might look into, he said.

Then it was up to Bryan to come up with the solution.

"It was more just working continuously until something worked," he said.

Bryan is the son of Xin He and Hwa Liu and has a sister, Megan, 14. He is a member of the Science Olympiad at Williamsville East and practices Tae Kwon Do. Bryan said he is considering attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology or California Institute of Technology for computer science and possibly mathematics.

Another Western New Yorker, Miriam Kate Freudenheim Frisch, of City Honors, was one of the semifinalists in the competition.

The competition, first sponsored by Westinghouse, started in 1942.

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