Nine Indian students win awards in this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Nathan Han of Boston wins US$75,000 top Prize at the event

May 26, 2014 4:23 IST | India Infoline News Service
Nathan Han, 15, of Boston was awarded first place for developing a machine learning software tool to study mutations of a gene linked to breast cancer at this years Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public.

Using data from publicly available databases, Han examined detailed characteristics of multiple mutations of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene in order to teach his software to differentiate between mutations that cause disease and those that do not. His tool exhibits an 81 percent accuracy rate and could be used to more accurately identify cancer threats from BRCA1 gene mutations. Han received the Gordon E. Moore Award of US$75,000, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist.

The following members of Team India won awards in the mentioned categories:
  • Abhishek Verma and Daksh Dua from Maharaja Agarsain Public School won the First Award of $3,000 in the Animal Sciences category, and the Cultural and Scientific Visit to China Award of $8000.00 for their project entitled Rubus ellipticus: An effective solution against Giardiasis.
  • Kopal Gupta and Shreya Nandy of the Amity International School won the First Award of $2,500 in the ASU Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives category, and the Fourth Award of $500 in the Chemistry category for their project A Unique Kit for Detection and Removal of Pesticides from Fruits and Vegetables.
  • Debapratim Jana, South Point High School, won the First Award of $500 in the Patent and Trademark Office Society category for his project Multi-layered Phytopigments: Promising Alternative Materials for Solar Cell Development.
  • Representing the Vivekananda English Medium School, Deeksha Hebbar won the Second Award of a $500 U.S. savings bond from the Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty Foundation, and the Fourth Award of $500 in the Animal Sciences category for her project Cashew Tree (Anacardium occidentale): An Effective Treatment for Cattle Dermatitis.
  • Jaya Sagar, Government Senior Secondary School- Manali, also won the Second Award of a $500 U.S. savings bond from the Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty Foundation, alongside the Fourth Award of $500 in the Plant Sciences category for her project Brassica juncea (Mustard) Flowers to Attract Pollinators for Better Malus domestica (Apple) Yield.
  • Animesh Tripathi, Sanskriti School, won the Google CS Connect Award of $5,000, and the Fourth Award of $500 in the Computer Science category with his project Optimizing Digital Content for Color-Blind Audiences Using Enhancement Algorithms.
  • Fourteen-year old Amrit Sahu from DAV Public School won the Fourth Award of $500 in the Engineering: Electrical and Mechanical category for his project VOICE-O-NATOR: An Aid for the Speech Impaired.
The world needs more scientists, makers and entrepreneurs to create jobs, drive economic growth and solve pressing global challenges, said Ashutosh Chadha, Director - Corporate Affairs Group, Intel South Asia. Intel believes that young people are the key to innovation, and we hope that these winners inspire more students to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math, the foundation for creativity.

This years Intel International Science and Engineering Fair featured more than 1,700 young scientists selected from 435 affiliate fairs in more than 70 countries, regions and territories. In addition to the top winners, more than 500 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research, including 17 "Best of Category" winners, who each received a US$5,000 prize. The Intel Foundation also awarded a US$1,000 grant to each winners school and to the affiliated fair they represent. Additionally, the Intel Foundation presented a select number of students with experiential awards, including the new 11-day trip to China to attend the countrys largest national science competition, speak with researchers at Intels lab in Shanghai, and visit the Panda Research Base in Chengdu.

The following lists the 17 Best of Category winners, from which the top three were chosen: 

Category First Last City State/Country
Animal Sciences Daksh Dua Delhi India
Abhishek Verma
Behavioral and Social Sciences Michelle Marquez Midlothian Virginia
Biochemistry Ken Aizawa Jericho New York
Cellular and Molecular Biology Joshua Meier Hackensack New Jersey
Chemistry Tai Hei Chan Hong Kong China
Er Hai Fang
Computer Science Yue Yao Shanghai China
Earth Science Yu-Hsin Chen Taipei City Chinese Taipei
Energy and Transportation Shannon Lee Singapore Singapore
Engineering: Electrical and Mechanical Sarah Galvin Tempe Arizona
Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering Harry Paul Port Washington New York
Environmental Management Faye Jong Kuching Malaysia
Environmental Sciences Perry Algappan Houston Texas
Mathematical Science Lennart Kleinwort Wurzburg Germany
Medicine and Health Sciences Nathan Han Boston Massachusetts
Microbiology Logan Collins Boulder Colorado
Physics and Astronomy John Caddell Pebble Beach California
Plant Sciences Yi-Hsuan Huang Taipei City Chinese Taipei

Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, has owned and administered the competition since its inception in 1950 as the National Science Fair.

In congratulating Nathan, Lennart, and Shannon, we join with Intel in seeing great hope in their research, and that of all of our Intel ISEF finalists, said Rick Bates, interim CEO and chief advancement officer of Society for Science & the Public. Not only are they working to discover solutions for societys challenges, they importantly serve as an inspiration for younger students and encourage them to become involved in the amazing world of hands-on science and engineering.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair honors the worlds most promising student entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists. Finalists are selected annually from hundreds of affiliated fairs. Their projects are then evaluated onsite by more than 1,200 judges from nearly every scientific discipline, each with a Ph.D. or the equivalent of six years of related professional experience in one of the scientific disciplines.

A full listing of finalists is available in the event program. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2014 is funded jointly by Intel and the Intel Foundation with additional awards and support from dozens of other corporate, academic, governmental and science-focused organizations. This year, more than US$5 million was awarded.

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