Science Talent

At the 2016 Science Talent Search program last year, Amol Punjabi (center, left) and Maya Varma (center, right) were among the big winners, earning $150,000 each for first place finishes in their respective categories. In this year's program, at least one-quarter of the 300 semifinalists are of Indian or South Asian origin. (Linda Doane/Intel photo)

The Society for Science and the Public Jan. 4 announced the scholars (renamed from semifinalists) for its Regeneron Science Talent Search program this year, formerly known as the Intel Science Talent Search program.

Now in its 76th year, the program honored 300 high school seniors, of whom at least 75 — or 25 percent — were Indian American or South Asian American students.

The program, considered one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competitions, recognizes and empowers the most promising young scientists in the U.S. who are creating the ideas and solutions that solve our most urgent challenges.

Regeneron is the new sponsor, taking over for Intel, which has sponsored the event in years past. Regeneron, which is committed to 10 years of the program, is only the third sponsor in the program's history.

Among the Indian American and South Asian American scholars named are 17-year-olds Aakshi Agarwal of Hamden, Conn.; Bhaargavi Ashok of Denton, Texas; Anagha Ashokan of Nashville, Tenn.; Naveena Aishwarya Bontha of Richland, Wash.; Sambuddha Chattopadhyay of Silver Spring, Md.; Rohan Dalvi of Silver Spring, Md.; Indrani Das of Hackensack, N.J., and Nikhil Devraj of Bronx, N.Y.

Californians Aurnov Chattopadhyay, 18; Nikhil Cheerla, 17; Sandip Nirmel, 17; Srivatsav Pyda, 17; Evani Radiya-Dixit, 17; Pravin Ravishanker, 17; Sajeev Saluja, 17; Venkat Sankar, 17; Shanmurugan Selvamurugan, 17; Manan Ajay Shah, 17; Shalin Vipul Shah, 17; Arvind Sridhar, 18; Arjun Subramaniam, 17; and Suresh Talapaneni, 17, were named scholars.

Other scholars included Shaoni Dasgupta of South Carolina, Arjun K. Dhawan of Indiana, Vineet Edupuganti of Oregon, Anurudh Ramanan Ganesan of Maryland, Riya Gilja of New York, Vivek Gopalakrishnan of Massachusetts, Anand G. Iyer of Texas, Dhruv Iyer of Arizona, Krithika Iyer of Texas, Shantanu Jakhete of Florida and Prateek Rao Kalakuntla of Texas.

Additional Indian American and South Asian origin scholars named were Gokul Ramanujam Kannan of Maryland, Suganth Kannan of Florida, Chaitanya Dasharathi Karamchedu of Oregon, Apoorv Khandelwal of Washington, Vishrath Kumar of New York, Vrinda Madan of Florida, Sagar Maheshwari of Pennsylvania, Ajitha Mallidi of Oregon, Nikhil Raj Marda of Minnesota, Rushabh Mehta of New York, Setu Mehta of New York, Jay Mandar Mudholkar of Connecticut, Merusha Mukherjee of Texas, Surabhi Gopal Mundada of Washington, Ishan Satish Mundra of Maryland and Veda Murthy of Massachusetts.

Also, Prathik Naidu of Virginia, Anjeli Vashi Nandwani of Florida, Adam Arash Pahlavan of New York, Praharshasai Paladugo of Kentucky, Shivani S.R. Pandey of Maryland, Sai Sameer Pusapaty of Texas, Neil Nabil Rabb of Maryland, Geetanjali Rajamani of Minnesota, Arjun Srinivasan Ramani of Indiana, Dhruv Warke Rohatgi of Nevada, Neeraj Sakhrani of New York, Rajath Dinesh Salegame of Illinois, Yash Samantaray of New York, Sanjeev-Kumar Mamallapuram Sathish of Connecticut, Aakanksha Saxena of Arizona and Nirja N. Shah of Florida were named scholars.

Other scholars making the cut were Nishita Sinha of New Jersey, Pranav Sivakumar of Illinois, Varsha Sridhar of Alabama, Swathi Ravi Srinivasan of Ohio, Varun Ramanan Subramaniam of New Jersey, Kavya Lakshmi Tangella of New York, Pranav Aadithya Upadhyayula of Illinois, Mukund Venkatakrishnan of Kentucky, Archana Verma of New York and Neha Verma of Illinois.

In addition to all the U.S.-based students, Shoumik Chowdhury, of the Aditya Birla World Academy in Mumbai was named a scholar.

Each scholar receives a $2,000 award from Regeneron with an additional $2,000 going to his or her school, resulting in $1.2 million in total scholar awards aimed at inspiring more young people to engage in science, the joint statement said in a news release.

Overall, the competition awards $3.1 million to provide the opportunities and resources that students need to become the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs and STEM leaders.

From the 300 scholars, 40 finalists will be announced on Jan. 24.

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