CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago high school senior has reached the finals of a nationwide science competition in Washington.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports Rahul Mehta, a senior at the University of Chicago Lab Schools, is among the 40 finalists at the Intel Science Talent Search.

The 18-year-old developed an algorithm to solve what he calls “the maximum flow problem.”

“A simple way to put my problem is say you have an infinite supply of water on one side of a network of pipes, and you have a destination that can accept as much as its given, and the goal is to maximize the amount of water that you send through the network,” he said.

Mehta will attend Princeton in the fall, with an eye on a career in math, or computer science.

“A career path that is very appealing to me is going into academia. I think that I’d love to be able to continue doing research, and also to be able to teach,” he said.

A proud self-proclaimed science geek, Mehta said he has many other interests, including Model United Nations.

The winner of the Intel Science Talent Search will be announced on Tuesday, and will be awarded a $100,000 grand prize.