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Two Ossining Alumni Among Nation's Top Scientists

OSSINING, N.Y. – Two Ossining High School alumni, one who designed an instrument that NASA will use in its first mission to the sun, and another who works with microscopic information devices, were recently honored by President Barack Obama for being amongst the top 94 young scientists in the nation.

Jacob Taylor, the scientist who works with "quantum information devices" which are like computers that can calculate on a microscopic level, said he feels lucky to have been included amongst the top scientists nationwide. "There's wonderful research happening all over the world and throughout the United States, so I feel very fortunate that I was among those chosen," he said.

Asked about his experience at Ossining High School, Taylor recalled having a "wonderful physics teacher named Howard Myers who did a great job of engaging students in big concepts." Myers encouraged Taylor and several of his classmates to do extracurricular science activities at IBM and Columbia University.

Taylor also recalled doing other extracurricular activities at Ossining High School, including working on the school newspaper, acting in plays, playing tennis and participating on the ski team. Taylor was recognized by President Obama for his "pioneering, world-class research on quantum fault tolerance and on the dynamic properties of quantum information devices," according to the Joint Quantum Institute, where Taylor is a fellow.

Justin Kasper, an Ossining High School alumnus who is now a researcher at the Harvard-Smithosonian Center for Astrophysics, was recognized for his role in researching and designing the Solar Probe Plus, an instrument that is expected to be the first ever to directly sample the sun's outer atmosphere in 2018.

In addition to being recognized by Obama, Kasper was also recently named to Popular Science Magazine's "Brilliant Ten" list of top scientists under the age of 40. According to a National Institutes of Health website, the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers are given to scientists who not only conduct cutting-edge research, but also show exceptional potential for leadership and a commitment to community service and the advancement of science, technology, engineering and math education.

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