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CNY student chosen as one of top science and math students in the nation

Ellen Abbott
Max Du

A central New York high school student is one of 300 finalists in one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competitions for high school seniors. Max Du, a student at Fayetteville-Manlius high school, turned his love of science and fixing things into a project that could improve the connection between wind power and the power grid.

The 17-year old came up with his project after touring a wind farm.

"And they told us about this interesting problem. Renewable energy is great for the environment but it’s detrimental to power grid stability," Du said. "And I thought that was very interesting. So then I thought 'what can I do to make this problem a bit less of a problem'."

He turned to artificial intelligence to better predict wind power and how it can stabilize the power grid, and ended up with a project called “Decreasing Renewable Energy Induced Power Grid Instability Through the Improvement of LSTM Neural Networks for Better Short-Term Wind Power Predictions.”

"If we can predict this sort of power output, if we can channel power proactively from different locations, it can allow us to put more of these renewable energy sources in the power grid," he said.

Du says he loves working on this kind of stuff, something he’s been doing since he was in middle school. Now, using this project he is one of 300 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search. 40 finalists will be announced today, and those students will present their projects in Washington D.C. competing for more than $1.8 millions. Beyond this, Du figures his future will include continuing to unlock solutions to problems.

"I love working with artificial intelligence.  I love working electronics.  Whatever field I follow, whatever applications, it's just whatever comes to me," he said.