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Student a finalist in national science talent search

MIDVALE — Brandon Cui, a Hillcrest High School senior, is one of 40 students in the nation to qualify for the final level of competition with the Intel Science Talent Search.

“When I went to competitions, I was able to see what everyone else was researching, and I found it so incredible that everyone in the scientific community — we work to better the world,” Cui said.

His project, “Demonstration and Characterization of Split-ring Resonators as Terahertz Wave Guides,” was chosen out of 1,800 entries to be a finalist in the talent search.

Cui is the only student from Utah to be selected to participate in the finals of the March 5 competition and receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. He will compete for more than $1 million in awards from the Intel Foundation.

Cui’s project allows information to be transferred optically, through light rather than electronically. The technology, for example, would allow someone to transfer a high-definition movie through a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection in seconds rather than hours.

Cui helped found the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair Student Advisory Board in 2012. He helps tutor refugees, and mentors and judges elementary and middle school science fairs.