Academic Star from Fox Chapel High School Has Wide-Ranging Orbit

Article excerpt

Elise Liu is one of the top female math and science students in Pennsylvania, and that poses a problem of sorts.

She doesn't give a hoot about science.

"In my list of possible careers, science is at the very bottom," said Liu, a senior at Fox Chapel Area High School.

Liu, 17, of O'Hara, had the most top scores on math and science Advanced Placement tests of any girl in Pennsylvania, earning her a $2,000 college scholarship from the Siemens Foundation.

The Iselin, N.J., foundation awards annual prizes to the boy and girl in each state with the best performance on the math and science college placement exams. A West Chester boy won the other award from Pennsylvania this year.

"We celebrate athletic achievements," said Jim Whaley, president of the foundation. "We need to celebrate academic achievement."

Liu has had her share. In addition to getting 5s -- the top AP score -- in calculus, statistics, computer science and chemistry, she earned 5s in English language, United States history and world history. She received a 4 -- the second highest grade -- on the Spanish exam.

Liu ranks at the top of her class of 407 seniors, Fox Chapel Area guidance counselor Linda Morton said.

"She has so many awards and recognitions, we don't have enough paper here," Morton said. …