Allen Liu and his teammate weren't even sure they were going to make it past the first round of the prestigious national competition that they entered earlier this year.
In fact, Allen said, the pair screamed every time they received the results that they had progressed - to the regional competition, and now to the national finals.
That disbelief might be attributed more to the McCallie School senior's character than to the ambition of his project, which merges artificial intelligence and computer machine learning. His former chemistry teacher, Nancy Olenchek, described Allen as "one of the most humble people you will ever know."
Today, Allen and his teammate, Gabrielle Liu of Nashville, who is not related to Allen, will travel to Washington, D.C., to compete as one of just 12 finalists in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.