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Irene Ann Chen, a senior at San Diego's La Jolla High School, has won the first-place, $40,000 college scholarship in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search.

The 17-year-old's biochemistry project, which studied two genes isolated from a lymphoma cell line and their function in the spread of cancer, won her the top prize from among 1,667 high school seniors in the annual competition. She plans to study molecular biology and chemistry in the fall at Harvard University.

The second-place, $30,000 scholarship went to 17-year-old Tracy Caroline Phillips of Long Beach, N.Y., for an electronic device she developed to help blind people distinguish different denominations of paper money. Martin Tibor Stiasnzy of Overland Park, Kan., won the third-place, $20,000 scholarship for his physical-chemistry project.

The fourth- through 10th-place winners received scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $15,000. The other 30 finalists each received $1,000. The finalists were in Washington last week for the judging.

Nine-year-old Brett Hudspeth of Beaver, Pa., has become a bona fide inventor. The U.S. Patent Office last month assigned patent number 5,379,915 to his invention: a device that dispenses sticks of chalk for classrooms. He built the dispenser two years ago for a school competition....The Council for American Private Education last week honored Ernest L. Boyer, the president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, with its Leadership Award.

Linda Peller Rosen has been appointed the executive director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She replaces James D. Gates, who is retiring after 23 years in the position. Ms. Rosen was the associate executive director and director of policy studies with the Mathematical Sciences Education Board in Washington....Brent Neiser has been chosen to head the Public Education Center, the public-policy and education arm of the National Endowment for Financial Education based in Denver. He is the former executive director of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners. The center's largest and most visible effort has been its High School Financial Planning Program, which teaches basic money management at an early age.

--Adrienne D. Coles

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