Announcing The Pioneer Academics 2019 Research Journal

Pioneer Academics > News > Announcing The Pioneer Academics 2019 Research Journal

Note: due to unforeseen circumstances caused by Covid-19, the evaluation and selection process for the 2019 Pioneer Research Journal was delayed. We thank all of the parents, teachers, and – most importantly – students, for your patience during this process. 

Pioneer Academics’ Research Program is the world’s only online research program providing US college credit for exceptional secondary students. Today, the program officially announces the 23 original research papers that will be featured in the 2019 Pioneer Academics Research Journal. Each paper was nominated by a mentoring professor and underwent a rigorous faculty peer review evaluation process. The Pioneer Research Journal is a collection of outstanding research that depicts the extraordinary scholarship that high school students across the world can achieve. 

Each nominated paper was considered by the Pioneer Research Journal Committee, a panel of 41 esteemed professors from top American undergraduate and graduate institutions. This panel determined which papers were selected for the Journal. The selected papers constitute the top 4% of papers in the 2019 academic year of the Pioneer Research Program.  

This nomination represents not only an academic achievement but also a personal one for many of these Pioneer Scholars. Their research papers underwent Pioneer’s academic oversight and the Journal’s thorough review process, and emerged as remarkable scholarly works. This major accomplishment highlights the research skills mastered by these Pioneer Scholars. Through Pioneer, today’s high school students now have access to the academic resources needed to reach their true potential, breaking political, geographic, socioeconomic, and personal barriers while doing so. Justine Kum, a Pioneer scholar from Dulwich College in Seoul, South Korea who is now attending University College London, testifies that Pioneer helped her “discover new areas of interests that I never considered before, and most importantly, more about myself and my capabilities as an individual.”

Annalise Selden, a student from Pine Crest School in Florida, USA who is now studying at the University of Chicago, also notes that the multifaceted nature of Pioneer’s Research Program helped her develop a variety of important skills: “In the process of writing, I not only learned interesting content in one of my favorite subject areas but also learned better time management, organization, and research methodologies.” She added that publication in the journal serves as an important first step toward her future professional goals, and that the Pioneer Research Program reinforced that research is a meaningful future direction for her: “My dream is to be a professor and to have my research published at this stage will help establish my track towards this profession. Through Pioneer, I have learned how much I love to research and discover more about the world.”

For many of these students, Pioneer Academics is only the first step in a lifelong journey of scholarship and research. According to Yixuan Zhao, an incoming first year student at Cornell University who graduated from the Shenzhen College of International Education in Shenzhen, China,  “It was definitely thrilling to hear that my paper was selected to be published in the Pioneer Journal, which is the first time I am able to share my thoughts and findings with aspiring scholars around the world.” 

The nominated research papers include research across academic disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields. Research papers by students from six different countries were published: United States, China, India, Bangladesh, Estonia, and South Korea.  Two students are still attending high school, and the remaining 21 have enrolled in universities in the US, the UK, Canada, and China. The following is a list of the students whose work was selected for publication in this year’s journal along with their high schools, titles of their research papers, and their research concentration: 

Aditya Waddodagi

High School: Greenwood High International School, India

University: Washington University in St. Louis, U.S.

Pioneer research area: International Relations

Pioneer research concentration: Political Risk and Prediction

Pioneer research topic: Sri Lanka Risk Analysis


Annalise Selden

High School: Pine Crest School, U.S.

University: University of Chicago, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Art history

Pioneer research concentration: The Medieval Mediterranean: Confluence of Cultures

Pioneer research topic: The Ceiling of the Cappella Palatina: Norman Sicily’s Diversity and Artistic Style Under Roger II


Cheng Qian

High School: TsingHua University High School, China

University: TsingHua University, China

Pioneer research area: Mathematics

Pioneer research concentration: Introduction to Combinatorics and Graph Theory

Pioneer research topic: An investigation in Tournaments with Bidirectional Arcs


Dihan Mashroor Niloy

High School: DPS STS School Dhaka, Bangladesh

University: University of Toronto, Canada

Pioneer research area: Philosophy

Pioneer research concentration: Descartes’ Meditations

Pioneer research topic: The Impossibility of Certainty: A Critique of Rene Descartes’ ‘Meditations on First Philosophy’


Elis Soord

High School: Pearson College UWC, Canada

University: Brown University, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Chemistry

Pioneer research concentration: Food Science

Pioneer research topic: Would Limiting Animal Product Consumption Be an Effective Public Health Strategy? The Role of Industrial Farming in the European Union as a Catalyst for Foodborne Disease Resulting from Antimicrobial-resistant Bacteria.


Fengyi Ou

High School: Branksome Hall, Canada

Pioneer research area: Economics

Pioneer research concentration: The Politics of the Gig Economy: Entrepreneurship, Technological Innovation, and Politics

Pioneer research topic: Adverse Selection in the Chinese Healthcare System: Reducing Information Asymmetry to Optimize the Utilization of Hospital Capacity


Guankai Zhai

High School: Jining Confucius International School/YK Pao School, China

University: Cornell University, U.S.

Pioneer research area: STS

Pioneer research concentration: The History of Information

Pioneer research topic: Cockpit Instruments: a Historical Study of the Ergonomic Considerations in Aircraft


Hui Lan

High School: International School of Beijing, China

University: Barnard College, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Biology

Pioneer research concentration: The Gut Microbiome

Pioneer research topic: Research Proposal: The relationship between gut microbiome, hormones, and acne vulgaris disease presentation


Irene Chen

High School: Leland High School, U.S.

University: Cornell University, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Engineering

Pioneer research concentration: Nanotechnology

Pioneer research topic: A Monte Carlo Simulation of the Single-Electron Transistor


Justine Kum

High School: Dulwich College Seoul, South Korea

University: University College London, UK

Pioneer research area: Education

Pioneer research concentration: Foundations of American Education

Pioneer research topic: Social Media and its effects on the Foreign Language Curriculum for Undergraduate University Students


Ruochen Jin

High School: The Woodlands High School, U.S.

University: The University of Texas at Austin, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Culture Studies/ Ethnomusicology

Pioneer research concentration: Mapping Culture Through Music

Pioneer research topic: A Blended Culture: Greater Houston Area’s Native American Children’s Contest Powwow


Sahana Prasanna

High School: Monta Vista High School, U.S.

University: Rice University, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Music Theory

Pioneer research concentration: Analysis of Musical Rhythm 

Pioneer research topic: Human Intuition, Perception, and Execution of a Five-Beat Versus a Seven-Beat Rhythmic Cycle


Sarah Liu

High School: Kent School, U.S.

University: Brown University, U.S.

Pioneer research area: History

Pioneer research concentration: The Scientific Revolution in Early Modern Europe

Pioneer research topic: Science in Women’s Cosmetics of 17th Century Europe


Shuyu Chen

High School: WHBC of Wuhan Foreign Languages School, China

University: Washington University in St. Louis, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Art History

Pioneer research concentration: Leonardo Da Vinci

Pioneer research topic: Comparative Analysis of Leonardo da Vinci’s Santa Maria Della Neve and Huang Gongwang’s The Remaining Mountain


Sumin Yoon

High School: School for the Talented and Gifted, U.S.

University: Rice University, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Anthropology

Pioneer research concentration: Anthropology of STS

Pioneer research topic: The Invisible Culture of Pain and The Opioid Crisis


Tianhao Li

High School: Beijing National Day School, China

University: Northwestern University, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Business

Pioneer research concentration: Making a Difference in Entrepreneurship: Thinking outside the barrel to create integration experiences for global entrepreneurial community development

Pioneer research topic: Comparison of Determinants of Entrepreneurial Intentions in China and the USA


Vikhyath Mondreti

High School: The International School Bangalore (TISB), India

University: UC Berkeley, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Computer Science

Pioneer research concentration: Networks: from Searching the World Wide Web to Slowing the Spread of Infectious Diseases

Pioneer research topic: A Complex Networks Approach to Analysing the Erdos-Straus Conjecture and Related Problems


Xinshi Ma

High School: BASIS International School Shenzhen, China

University: Duke University, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Economics

Pioneer research concentration: The Political Economy of International Development

Pioneer research topic: An Institutional Analysis of the Military’s Role in the Egyptian Economy


Yixuan(Skye) Zhao

High School: Shenzhen College of International Education, China

University: Cornell University, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Biology

Pioneer research concentration: Modeling Blood Flow to Fight Cardiovascular Disease

Pioneer research topic: Computational Modeling and Simulation of Vulnerable Plaque in the Femoral Artery


Yuting Huang

High School: Culver Academies, U.S.

University: UCLA, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Biology

Pioneer research concentration: Cell Biology

Pioneer research topic: Macrophage migration inhibition factor: A cancer promoter, potential prognosticator and chemotherapeutic target


Zhanhao Zhang

High School: Shen Wai International School, China

Pioneer research area: Business

Pioneer research concentration: Making a Difference in Entrepreneurship: Thinking outside the barrel to create integration experiences for global entrepreneurial community development

Pioneer research topic: The Impact of Entrepreneurial Activities and Innovation on the United States’ Economy from 2011 to 2018: Drawing Statistics from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and Other Organizations


Ziqian (Alexa) Jin

High School: The Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University, China

University: The University of Chicago, U.S.

Pioneer research area: Mathematics

Pioneer research concentration: Fibonacci Numbers and Visual Proofs

Pioneer research topic: Tetranacci Identities with Squares, Dominos, and Hexagonal Double-Strips*


Ziyang Zheng

High School: The Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University, China

University: University of Oxford, UK

Pioneer research area: Mathematics

Pioneer research concentration: Coding Theory and Cryptography

Pioneer research topic: Blockchain: Building Path to Utopia


* This paper is under consideration for publication in another journal

Quotes directly from Matthew Pohl

Pioneer’s Respected Selectivity

“There are very few selective summer programs out there that emphasize research. Pioneer is one
of very few selective summer undergraduate research opportunities, and that’s something that’s
known among college admissions officers at top universities.”

Pioneer’s Leadership mindset

“I believe Pioneer’s system really prepared students for the leadership mindset.”

Credibility through academic system

“Oberlin College is considered one of the top liberal arts colleges in the U.S. If they are
partnering with an organization that provides excellent programs to students, then there’s
credibility there. Automatically.”

Watch the video

The Pioneer Research Program is the ONLY global
program in which students conduct
research one-on-one
with a professor online in Pioneer’s rigorous

Foundational Research Seminars

Pioneer offers virtual seminars on research methodologies in addition to subject sessions.

Pioneer Writing Center

Pioneer’s writing center follows the highest ethical standards in providing academic writing support to Pioneer scholars.

Online Library

  • About 400 research databases and journals.
  • Over 100,000 e-books.

Academic Oversight

Pioneer and Oberlin College jointly administer academic oversight.

Accomplishment Endorsed by Pioneer

It is well known that Pioneer holds the highest academic standards. Research accomplishments
through Pioneer are trusted and respected.

College Credit

Pioneer scholars earn two college credits and the Pioneer Research Program is categorized as
a college course, instead of just an extracurricular activity, on college applications.


  • Pioneer’s tuition is 6,450 US dollars.
  • As part of its social mission, Pioneer Academics dedicates funds every year to
    need-based scholarships for students to participate in the Pioneer Research Program.
    These funds are very limited and their use is restricted to cases in which the need
    of the students’ family can be reliably accredited. Students are eligible for these
    scholarships in countries where need can be assessed or if they are part of a
    non-profit organization or an educational institution that can assess need.

Dear educator friend,

In the critical process of preparing students to transition to college, you are key. The
ramifications of your guidance are far-reaching.

The Pioneer Research Program believes that it, too, has a role to play in preparing students of special potential and passion for learning. This is a role we trust you will appreciate knowing about. Our mission is to offer a deep and otherwise unavailable opportunity to exceptionally motivated young scholars who want to learn and research at the college level and to explore their potential for innovation.

What makes Pioneer a unique deep-dive learning experience is not just the mentorship of distinguished professors. It is the rigorous quality controls developed conjointly by Pioneer and Oberlin College. Professors (must) adhere to rubrics for

1) setting learning goals;

2) syllabus development;

3) oversight, feedback and evaluation, and

4) grading standardization.

This rigorous academic system is supported by thorough admission process and a high-minded ethics code. The combination gives students an exceptional learning experience that is brought to fruition in a college-level research paper documenting their findings.

You can follow this link Pioneer’s concrete academic system to learn more about the academic system. Academic quality control and academic oversight assure Pioneer’s focus is on learning and learners, and therefore all of our practices were built upon the following principles:

No conflict of interests Pioneer’s academic ethical standards
Because of its high academic and ethical standards, the Pioneer program has earned the trust of college admissions departments and formed the basis for the ground-breaking collaboration with Oberlin College. Pioneer scholars get two college credits upon completing their Pioneer research.

Click to learn about Pioneer and Oberlin College's groundbreaking academic collaboration.

Pioneer has a rigorous admission process. Students who have genuine academic interests and are highly motivated are a good fit with Pioneer’s values. Pioneer’s founding board insisted that Pioneer commit to a professor-blind policy during the application process, ensuring that applicants have authentic field interest and correct priorities. Consequently, no information about professors is released before admission to the program. This policy is much appreciated and respected by universities. Professor-blind admission policy
On this page is the critical information needed to meet your needs.

If you have additional questions, feel free to let us know how we can help you by emailing or calling 855-572-8863.


Matthew Jaskol

Founder & Program Director