The Bay-area of California once again dominated the top positions in the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search. The annual science and technology competition (offering large cash prizes) is sponsored by chip maker Intel, and draws the brightest young science minds from all across the country.

17-year-old senior Andrew Jin, of San Jose, California, won one of three top prizes and $150,000 at the renowned Intel Science Talent Search on Tuesday. His project was an algorithm that assists in deciphering the human genetic code.

San Francisco Bay-Area Dominates 2015 Intel Science Talent Search

Jin was awarded the first place Medal of Distinction for Global Good. He found a method to identify human genome mutations and discovered more than 100 adaptive mutations in DNA sequences that relate to immune response, metabolism, brain development and schizophrenia.

The other two $150,000 awards at the competition went to Noah Golowich (17) of Lexington, Massachusetts, who was awarded the first place Medal of Distinction for Basic Research, and Michael Hofmann Winer (18) of North Bethesda, Maryland, who received first place for innovation.

San Francisco Bay-area teens own 2015 Intel Science Talent Search (again)

Another Bay Area student, Saranesh (Saran) Thanika Prembabu (17) of San Ramon, California was awarded one of the three second-place $75,000 awards.

The two wins in this years competition enhance the Bay Area’s reputation as a powerhouse in high school science education. Of note, nine of the 40 finalists this year came from the Bay Area, the most ever. In 2011, Evan O’Dorne, who was home-schooled in Danville, California, took first place, becoming the first Californian to be awarded the top prize.

Statement from Intel Talent Search winner Andrew Jin

“I’m like so shocked now,” Jin said, noting that he didn’t think he would win. “Everyone here was so brilliant.

He commented that his curiosity about evolution had led him to undertake the project. “Which genetic mutations enable us to do algebra or speak languages or be uniquely human?” he said. “I was really curious to discover how we became who we are.”