WASHINGTON: Over a dozen Indian-American students have made it to the finals of the prestigious 2016 Intel Science Talent Search that brings US’s top 40 brightest high school seniors to the competition that has a prize money of USD 150,000.
Of the 14 Indian-Americans who would be coming to Washington in March for the prestigious science competition, five are from California: Sanath Devalapurkar, Anjini Karthik, Anin Sayana, Pranav Srinivas and Maya Varma. Two of the Indian-Americans are from Massachusetts: Yashaswini Makaram and Amol Punjabi.
Other Indian American high schoolers are Vikul Gupta from Orlando, Maana Jagadeesan from New Hampshire, Milind Jagota from Pennsylvania, Shreya Menon from Michigan, Kavya Ravichandran from Ohio, Kunal Shroff from Virginia and Sreya Vemuri from Indiana.
“Finalists of the Intel Science Talent Search are the innovators of the future,” said Maya Ajmera, the president and CEO of Society for Science & the Public, publisher of Science News and alumna of the Science Talent Search. “Their research projects range from highly theoretical basic research to innovative practical applications aimed at solving the most vexing problems,” she said. “But it’s not just their research that makes them stand out – finalists are also selected based on their leadership capacity and initiative. We congratulate these talented students and look forward to learning more about their research and aspirations as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Science Talent Search this March,” Ajmera said.
Intel STS 2016 finalists are from 38 schools in 18 states. Fifty-two per cent of this year’s finalists are male, while 48 per cent are female. The 40 finalists were selected from 300 semifinalists and 1,750 entrants based on the originality and creativity of their scientific research as well as their achievement and leadership both inside and outside the classroom.
Finalist projects are distributed among 18 categories, including animal sciences, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, bioengineering, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, computational biology and bioinformatics, earth and planetary science, engineering, environmental science, genomics, materials science, mathematics, medicine and health, physics, plant science, and space science.
Finalists’ research projects include an advanced encryption system with applications in cybersecurity, a low-cost smartphone-based tool to diagnose respiratory illnesses such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and a “green” cement produced with lower greenhouse gas emissions.