IN RECOGNITION OF VIVIANA RISCA; Congressional Record Vol. 146, No. 29
(Extensions of Remarks - March 15, 2000)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E323]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                         HON. GARY L. ACKERMAN

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, March 15, 2000

  Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Viviana 
Risca in honor of her reception of the first-place prize in this year's 
prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, America's oldest and most 
highly regarded pre-college science contest.
  Viviana is first in her senior class of 292 students at Paul D. 
Schreiber High School, in Port Washington, NY. Her award-winning 
computer science project was chosen from over 1,500 submitted entries, 
reviewed by a board of ten distinguished scientists who judged the 
entries for their research ability, scientific originality and creative 
  Using DNA as the medium, Viviana studied steganography, a data 
encryption technique that embeds secret computer messages within large 
amounts of seemingly innocent information. For her molecular computing 
project, Viviana encrypted the secret message ``JUNE 6__INVASION: 
NORMANDY,'' and then inserted it in the gene sequence of a DNA strand.
  Over the years, more than 115,000 students from American high schools 
in all 50 states and overseas have completed independent research 
projects and submitted entries. More than 100 of the world's most 
coveted science and math honors have been won by alumni of this 
program. Five finalists of this contest have gone on to win the Nobel 
Prize, and thirty have been elected to the National Academy of 
  I had the pleasure of meeting Viviana while she was in Washington, 
D.C. for the final phase of this year's competition. Viviana is a 
talented young woman and she is a fine example of the amazing potential 
of our nation's youth.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues in the House of Representatives to 
join me today in congratulating Viviana Risca upon receiving the first 
place-prize for her outstanding scientific capabilities and tremendous