Baruch Students Named 2012 CUNY Nobel Science Challenge Winners
Christopher Cosgriff Samson Peng
At a ceremony held on February 27, 2013, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research honored the winners of the 2012 CUNY Nobel Science Challenge. CUNY undergraduates in four essay categories: chemistry, economics, physics, and physiology/medicine, received awards. Essays addressed the science behind the Nobel prizes awarded in each category in 2012
In the Chemistry category, Christopher Cosgriff, a senior biochemistry major at Baruch, won first place. His essay focused on the 2012 Nobel Prize winners Dr. Robert Lefkowitz and Dr. Brian Kobilka and their research of the G-protein.
“The G-protein-coupled receptor class contains more than half of the receptors in our body and for over fifty years they worked to understand them,” Christopher said. “Dr. Lefkowitz was the first to clone the gene for receptor, a crucial step in our understanding of its structure, and Dr. Kobilka was the first to successfully ascertain an X-ray crystal structure of a G-protein-coupled receptor with a hormone bound to it. They have made immense progress for the fields of biochemistry and structural biology, and their work will not only advance fundamental science, but also support drug design endeavors that will help countless people.”
Christopher, who is from Staten Island, said he had been unsure about what he wanted to do after he graduated high school, and says Baruch College gave him the opportunity to explore his options. “I discovered science after having major surgery that spurred me to pursue a career in medicine. Baruch has become a second home and I'm very lucky that I ended up here,” he said.
In the category of Economics, Samson Peng, a senior finance major at Baruch College, won second place honors. His essay focused on the research performed by economists Lloyd Shapley & Alvin Roth on the pioneering research and application of cooperative game theory to improve outcomes in matching scenarios involving multiple agents.
“In my essay I described their theoretical frameworks and the design of practical algorithms leading to greater matching optimization in challenging real world scenarios - from improving the matching of vital organs and patients to middle school students and high schools of their choice,” he said. “It also explains the underlying variables and development of their theories.”
Samson, who is from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is studying abroad until mid-July, at the University of International Business & Economics in Bejing, China. He will return to Baruch College in fall 2013. Samson chose to enroll at Baruch because of the diversity of the campus and its academic offerings. “I wanted to be exposed to different perspectives and cultures within a diverse community," Samson said. "Baruch also has a share of extraordinary professors and faculty - which have been extremely knowledgeable, resourceful and compassionate in guiding my academic and personal development."
Essays for the CUNY Nobel Science Challenge were assessed by distinguished CUNY faculty representing each subject area. An external committee selected the grand prize winning essay from among the top essays in each category. Prizes included Apple iMac computers (first place), Apple iPads (second place), and Amazon Kindle devices (third place).
About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.
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