Student Spends Summer at MIT

Student Spends Summer at MIT

Jeff Chen to attend 24th annual Research Science Institute.

Centreville resident Jeff Chen, 17, a rising senior at Thomas Jefferson High School, is one of 51 of the nation's brightest high school students and 28 international students who will begin an intensive six-week program at MIT from June 24 to Aug. 4.

THE SON OF Ning Chen and Lan Ge of Sully Station II will be taking part in the 24th annual Research Science Institute, a selective program offered tuition-free to 90 high school juniors every summer. Held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, RSI is sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education, a nonprofit in McLean, that nurtures young scholars to careers of excellence in science and technology. It includes college-level classes and graduate-level research led by top scientists.

From June 24 to Aug. 4, RSI students — dubbed "Rickoids" after the late Admiral H.G. Rickover, father of the nuclear Navy and co-founder of the Center — will take one week of courses at MIT and then spend four weeks in internships under the mentorship of scientists and mathematicians at Boston-area universities, hospitals and research facilities.

"I was pretty excited," said Jeff upon hearing he was selected. "It's an important opportunity. In my school we have a senior research project, so generally our research projects tend to be of high quality."

At Thomas Jefferson, Jeff maintains a 4.02 GPA, takes part in the Varsity Math Team, Senior Computer Team, Civics Team and National Honor Society. He also ran track for TJ in his sophomore year and he hopes to double-major in math and engineering at MIT.

"The Research Science Institute provides a unique opportunity for the nation's best students to engage in high-caliber research and connect with like-minded peers," says Joann DiGennaro, president and co-founder of the Center for Excellence in Education. "For many of our students, RSI is a jump start to venerable futures in science."

Students are selected for RSI based on their PSAT scores, high school records, essay submissions, teacher recommendations, research experience and math and science honors. For more information about the Center and its programs, visit