Washington | Indian-American students have dominated the USD 1 million Intel Talent Search contest with two of them emerging winners in innovation and research category while four other young scholars bagging second or third positions in the prestigious competition.
Of the first three-place awards, Indian-American students won two of them — Amol Punjabi won the First Place Medal of Distinction for Basic Research, while Maya Varma won the First Place Medal of Distinction for Innovation. Same was the case with the second and third spots in all the three categories, as per the list of winners released by Intel Science last night. Paige Brown from Maine won the First Place Medal of Distinction for Global Good.
They and the rest of the top winners of Intel STS 2016 are using science and technology to help address the problems they see in the world and will be at the forefront of creating the solutions we need for the future, said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of Society for Science & the Public and alumna of the Science Talent Search. Punjabi, 17, from Massachusetts, developed software that could help drug makers develop new therapies for cancer and heart disease.
He is the lead author of a paper on nanoparticles published in ACS Nano and co-author of a paper on a related topic in Nanoscale. Varma, 17, from California, used USD 35 worth of hobbyist electronics and free computer-aided design tools to create a low-cost, smartphone-based lung function analyser that diagnoses lung disease as accurately as expensive devices currently used in medical laboratories.
Meena Jagadeesan, 17, from Illinois, won the Second Place Medal of Distinction for Basic Research. Milind Jagota, 18, from Pennsylvania, won the Second Place Medal of Distinction for Innovation. Kunal Shroff, 17, from Virginia, won the Third Place Medal of Distinction for Basic Research. Kavya Ravichandran, 17, from Ohio, won the Third Place Medal of Distinction for Innovation.
Although Indian-Americans have formed one of the largest ethnic contingents at the contest and won several prizes, none had won the first prize since 2012 when Nithin Reddy Tumma received the prestigious award for cancer research. Building on the top award prizes of USD 150,000, three second-place winners received awards of USD 75,000, and three third-place winners received awards of USD 35,000.
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