Matthew Baker, Silver Spring, Md. Baker is a senior at St. Albans School, in Washington, D.C., where he enjoys studying religion, history and public policy. He has attended classes at Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Center for Math, Science and Technology.
He is collaborating in the Pinnacle Project with Vincent Wimbush, PhD, a religion professor at New York University's Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University's classics department and Delman Coates, a doctoral student at Columbia's department of religion. Baker will be writing a biography of his two great-grandfathers who were bishops in Chicago.
Julia Scott Carey, Wellesley, Mass. At age 5, Carey developed her own notation system to write musical compositions, and has been composing ever since. Now 15, her works have been played by more than a dozen orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops, the Indianapolis Symphony and the Boston Civic Symphony, and in France, Germany and Russia. Carey studies composition and piano at the New England Conservatory and is in 10th grade at Milton Academy.
At the summit, she studied the opera "Salome" with Pennsylvania Ballet music director Beatrice Affron. In the future, she will work with Affron to learn how to conduct one of her own works at a public performance.
Rachel Emery, Cleona, Pa. Emery dictated her first story when she was 4. She has won numerous poetry and fiction awards and has participated in the Johns Hopkins University Young Writers Tutorial program the past five years. Recently, Emery finished her first novel.
Academically, Emery has a keen interest in what she calls "the three Ps": psychology, philosophy and physics. This fall, she will be dually enrolled at Simon's Rock College as a high school junior and college freshman.
Faye and Jonathan Kellerman, widely published fiction writers, as well as up-and-coming short fiction writer Sarah Sonner, discussed Emery's writing with her. In the future, Emery will send her work to Sonner and the Kellermans to be critiqued.
Po-Ru Loh, Madison, Wis. Loh is a junior at Memorial High School. Although primarily interested in mathematics, he also dabbles in physics, chemistry and computer science.
Loh earned a silver medal in the 2000 International Math Olympiad Summer Program, which he has participated in the past three summers. In 1999, he won MathCounts, a middle school math competition, as well as the prestigious Clay Mathematics Institute Elegance Award.
Loh talked about the relationship between mathematics and physics with noted mathematician Arthur Jaffe, PhD, a professor at Harvard University and president of the Clay Mathematics Institute, and Gordon Ritter, a doctoral student in theoretical physics at Harvard University. The mathematics group was also joined by Reid Barton, the first contestant in the International Mathematics Olympiads to earn four gold medals.
David Sonnenborn, Scarsdale, N.Y. Sonnenborn is a senior in the Scarsdale Public Schools, where he has reported on diverse topics for his school newspaper. His writing and page layouts have received several awards, including the Gannett High School Newspaper Award. Last year, Sonnenborn also began writing for his local newspaper. He has attended Columbia's School of Journalism Young Writers' Conference for the past three years. In February, Sonnenborn attended the Presidential Classroom Student Conference on Politics and Government.
Sonnenborn learned more about broadcast journalism from "60 Minutes" Executive Editor Phillip Scheffler and Associate Producer Kay Lim. Each evening at the summit, Sonnenborn wrote a news article about the events of the day that the "60 Minutes" staffers later critiqued.
Scott Thompson, Lincoln, Neb. Thompson is a senior at Southeast High School, where he has developed an interest in social psychology, intelligence and positive psychology. Thompson is active in the Science Olympiad and Students Against the Death Penalty, a deacon at his Presbyterian church and an avid basketball fan.
Thompson will be a featured trombone soloist at a Lincoln Youth Symphony concert this spring. He has received the Harvard Book Award for being the top academic student in his class.
Thompson brainstormed with Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD, E. Belvin Williams, PhD, and doctoral student Katherine Kampe Dahlsgaard to come up with a long-term research project on measuring social intelligence.
Zach Wissner-Gross, Great Neck, N.Y. This past summer, Wissner-Gross conducted stem cell research at the National Cancer Institute. He is the captain of both his high school and county math teams and has studied number theory at Boston University's PROMYS program and at Hampshire College.
In second grade, Wissner-Gross began performing professionally with the New York City Opera, eventually starring at Lincoln Center. He now sings baritone with his high school opera company.
Wissner-Gross learned more about symbiosis and kin recognition from Joshua Lederberg, PhD, a research geneticist. During the upcoming year, Wissner-Gross will work on a kin recognition project with Lederberg and immunology researcher Matthew Albert, PhD, MD.