Three Indian-Americans who won medals in the Intel Science Talent Search 2015, America’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science and math competition, met President Barack Obama at the White House with other finalists.
They were among the 40 high school seniors, 13 of them of Indian origin, who were in Washington for the finals of the contest to find the most promising young US innovators creating the technologies and solutions that will make people’s lives better.
The finalists took home awards totalling more than $1 million (roughly Rs. 6 crores) with Noah Golowich, Andrew Jin and Michael Hofmann Winer each receiving first-place awards of $150,000 in the competition run by Society for Science and the Public.
In addition to the top awards, three second-place winners received awards of $75,000 (roughly Rs. 46.5 lakhs) and three third-place winners received awards of $35,000 (roughly Rs. 21.7 lakhs).
Indian-American Saranesh (Saran) Thanika Prembabu, 17, of San Ramon, California, won the Second Place Medal of Distinction for Innovation.
Saran studied how varying the layers of lead titanate and strontium ruthenate in nanocrystal superlattices can affect their electrical and magnetic properties, which could be harnessed for a variety of electrical and computing applications.
Shashwat Kishore, 18, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, won the Third Place Medal of Distinction for Basic Research.
Kishore’s math project focused on representing abstract algebras using matrices. His work developed a new relationship between these matrices and topology.
Anvita Gupta, 17, of Scottsdale, Arizona, also won the Third Place Medal of Distinction for Global Good.
Gupta used machine learning to “teach” a computer to identify potential drugs for cancer, tuberculosis and Ebola. Preclinical trials are already underway in China on the tuberculosis drugs that she identified.
“A solid foundation in science, technology, engineering and math creates the critical talent corporations and startups need to drive their business and contribute to economic development,” said Renee James, president of Intel Corporation.
“These students serve as shining examples of the incredible work being accomplished in STEM fields by young people, and we are proud to recognize and reward these stellar young researchers,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of Society for Science and the Public and alumna of the Science Talent Search.