Chris Francisco, Lawrence High School senior, is a 1995 Merit Scholar, the National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced today.
Francisco will attend the University of Illinois in the fall and major in mathematics. He plans to earn a doctorate and become a professor in the field.
"I was always interested in (math) from a young age," he said. "I remember wondering what a batting average was when I was little."
He has already taken four college math courses through Kansas University: differential equations, abstract algebra, probability and statistics, and a calculus course at the high school for college credit.
"I just like the theoretical aspect," he said. "To me it's just a game, I guess."
Francisco was one of 15 National Merit Finalists from LHS. The announcement named 2,000 winners -- 21 from Kansas -- each of whom will receive a $2,000 scholarship. The Amoco Foundation sponsored Francisco's award.
Francisco is the son of Ronald and Deborah Francisco. His high school activities and awards include: debate and forensics, national qualifier two years in debate, ninth place at nationals, Scholars' Bowl, National Honor Society, Rensselaer Math and Science Award, American High School Mathematics Exam, American Invitational Mathematics Exam, Global Achievement program and German club.
The selection committee consisted of 16 higher education deans and admissions officials and high school counselors from across the country.
Criteria included academic record, including amount, difficulty, breadth and depth of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two tests; community service; the student's personal interests and goals; and principals' recommendations.
About 1.1 million students from 19,000 U.S. high schools entered the 1995 competition, the corporation estimated.
The corporation will announce 3,600 winners of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards on May 17.