Journal Publishes Webb Student’s Study of Silicon Valley’s Evolution
Webb student Sehoon Kang ’24 explores the role of government in the explosion of tech companies that forged California’s Silicon Valley in a new research paper published in the spring 2023 edition of The Concord Review.
The Concord Review was founded in 1987 to recognize and publish exemplary history essays by high school students in the English-speaking world. The review publishes about 5% of its submissions – just 11 students each quarter. The essays average 8,500 words.
Kang, who enjoys chemistry and materials science, said he was fascinated by the partnership between academia and industry that has characterized Silicon Valley, and decided to explore the role of the U.S. government in defining the area’s transformation.
“When I read the letter and realized that my paper would be published, it was a surreal experience where I truly felt acknowledged,” Kang said.
The 8,000-plus word paper took him a year to research and write. This fall, he sought guidance as he was finishing the project from Webb Director of Experiential Learning Dr. Susanna Linsley and Humanities teacher Dr. Lauren Hartle. They helped him focus his final draft.
“Sehoon is a truly gifted researcher in both science and the humanities,” Linsley said.
Kang learned a lot during the effort that will help him as he pursues his academic and career goals.
“As an avid researcher in the field of chemistry, I deepened my understanding of the relationship between academia, industry and government in the process of writing this paper,” he said. “Just like how Silicon Valley was a result of the urgent problems of its own age, I plan to apply science in various fields in need to help solve urgent problems of our age going forward.”
As with the Silicon Valley example, he sees value in connecting his love of research with specific outcomes.
“As much as I love learning science, the best part of it is when I get to apply such scientific knowledge in practical fields through research, whether to help discover useful drugs for patients or to solve climate change,” Kang said.
Kang encouraged other Webb students to dig deeply into topics that spark their passions.
He plans to continue to pursue his passion for science research in college with a double major in chemistry and neuroscience – with the goal of applying advanced methods used in pure chemistry to the second field.