Somali teen takes top Euro award
Source: The Voice, Sept 24-30, 2007
Sixteen-year-old Somalia-born schoolboy Abdul Abubakar took first prize at the finals
of the 19th European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Valencia last week.
As reported in The Voice last January, Abdul, who attends the Christian Brothers
school on Synge Street Dublin was hailed Ireland’s ‘Young Scientist Of The Year’
when he won the BT sponsored competition.
His entry was a system to crack what had previously been the world’s most secure
computer encryption in the world, the RSA system.
Entitled ‘An Extension of Weiner’s Attack on RSA Encryption’, Abdul’s system used
complex mathematics to challenge the security of keys associated with encryption.
Using cutting edge mathematical research, he succeeded in decreasing the security
of the safe keys, used to decode mathematical messages. Experts say that Abdul’s
discoveries have many practical applications in the areas of IT and internet safety.
Abdul, beat 120 other talented young scientists from 32 countries to scoop the trophy
and €5,000. (£3,492 approx).
Interviewed at the award ceremony he said, “I am completely blown away by the news
and can’t believe it. To win at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition
in January was an amazing moment.
‘But to come here and win again is incredible. I saw some really interesting projects
from across Europe so I am so excited that mine was chosen by the judges.”
Chief Executive Officer of BT Ireland, Chris Clark, adds “We’re delighted to hear
the result from Valencia and wish Abdul continued success with his area of research.
‘In January, Abdul’s project struck the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition
judges as being innovative and advanced while having many practical applications
in our technology driven world.
‘Abdul is a fantastic ambassador for the sciences and for Ireland and his success
will hopefully inspire other young Irish people to enter the 2008 BT Young Scientist
which closes for entries on 5th October.’