Peter Tian Wins $100,000 Siemens Award

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Peter Tian Wins $100,000 Siemens Award

These stories originally appeared in the spring/summer 2015 issue of the Wellington Magazine.


Peter Tian ’15 earned the $100,000 Grand Prize at the 15th annual Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation’s premier research competition for high school students. Tian’s project, Extremal Functions of Forbidden Multidimensional Matrices, was the result of a summer collaboration with the Mathematics Department at M.I.T. and made significant advancements in the theory of pattern avoidance for higher dimensional matrices, with potential applications in wire routing, robot motion planning, and even self-driving cars.

While still a student at Wellington, Tian took math classes at The Ohio State University where he also worked with a research group studying graph theory. President of the Wellington Math Club, saxophone player, COSI volunteer, and cross- country runner, Tian also has a deep interest in the humanities. He plans to attend Harvard University in the fall where he will study mathematics and possibly pursue a career in research and academia.

“Peter’s research significantly advances the knowledge of this topic and opens a new area for exploration,” said James Haglund, Professor of Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania. “His work forms a wonderful basis for future graduate research, and he hasn’t even studied at the undergraduate level yet!”