MMI Preparatory School seniors Anirban Chowdhury, the son of Bhaskar and Saumitri Chowdhury of Hazle Township, and Ali Aijaz, the son of Fakhruddin and Dr. Naghma Aijaz of Mountaintop, attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University this summer. The pair joined high school students from across the state to complete research and problem-solving projects.
The Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences is an annual summer enrichment program for rising high school seniors. The program hosts some of the state’s brightest students for five weeks and provides them with course work and lab work in biology, chemistry, physics, computer science and mathematics.
Anirban Chowdhury was among a group of nine students who matched eight world records for problem solving that were set by the Brown University researchers who created the program. Chowdhury and his fellow group members were tasked with solving a version of the Traveling Salesman Problem called the Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows. The students had to determine the most efficient way to deliver packages to a set number of customers during a given time window, as well as how to minimize the number of trucks needed and the distance traveled.
Barry Luokkala, Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences (PGSS) program director and Carnegie Mellon physics professor, said, “There is no doubt about it, this is one of the most impressive results we’ve seen from a PGSS group project.”
Ali Aijaz worked on a research project entitled, “Classification of Two Dimensional Associative Algebras Over The Real Numbers.” Aijaz said, "Overall, I enjoyed my group. The topic was fascinating and served as a good gateway to further research."