California sends top chemistry student to International Olympiad

Joe Tung postponing fun in the sun to represent America

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2011 — As students across the country are leaving academics behind for the summer, Joe Tung is doing quite the opposite as he ramps up to represent the United States at the International Chemistry Olympiad. The annual competition for the world’s most talented chemistry students at the secondary school level will be held July 9-18, 2011 in Ankara, Turkey.

Joe has a long history of success with chemistry competitions. He was a Siemens Research Semi-Finalist; an American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) Qualifier and an Intel Science Talent Search Semi-Finalist.

Tung, 18, graduated from Gretchen Whitney High School and plans to study molecular biology and biophysics at Yale University and wants to become a doctor. He also enjoys playing the piano and tennis.

The American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, sponsors the U.S. team with support from other partners. The four members of the travel team and two alternates were chosen after a nine-day study and training camp for 20 of the nation’s top chemistry students at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. They were selected from more than 11,000 high school students across the country that initially competed for a spot on the U.S. team.

“ACS is proud to announce the U.S. team members. These young men possess outstanding scientific talent, and will lead our future in scientific discovery and innovation,” said ACS President Nancy B. Jackson, Ph.D. “In 2011, the International Year of Chemistry; the Chemistry Olympiad holds even more meaning for the scores of young chemists who will gather from around the world. Students will not only compete in graduate-level science with the best and the brightest of their peers, but they will have an opportunity to celebrate the importance of chemistry is in solving global problems.”

The U.S. team will go up against teams from more than 70 countries. In past Olympiads, the U.S. team has been a strong competitor at the international event. In 2010, the U.S. Team won two gold medals, one silver, and one bronze. In 2009, the U.S. team won a gold medal and three silver medals. In 2008, the team won one silver and three bronze medals. In 1999 and 2000, the U.S. team won gold medals.

The ACS has sponsored the American team annually since the U.S. joined the Olympiad. Principal funding is through the ACS’ Othmer Olympiad Endowment with additional support from the Air Force Academy; Advanced Chemistry Development; Carolina Biological Supply Company; Fisher Scientific; Flinn Scientific, Inc; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; McGraw-Hill Companies; Merck Publishing Group; Pearson Prentice Hall; Sigma Aldrich Co, Texas Instruments, Inc.; and University Science Books.


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