Several Indian American science whiz kids won major awards at the Intel ISEF 2017 competition, The Society for Science and the Public and Intel announced May 19.
Though none of the grand awards — one $75,000 award and two $50,000 prizes — went to Indian Americans, several high school students were recognized with major honors by the society and Intel.
Prathik Naidu, a student at Virginia-based Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, was among the winners of the Dudley R. Herschbach SIYSS Award. The SIYSS is a multi-disciplinary seminar highlighting some of the most remarkable achievements by young scientists from around the world. Naidu was selected for "DNALoopR: A Novel High-Performance Machine Learning Predictor to Identify Genome-Wide 3D DNA Interactions in Cancer."
Karthik Yegneth, of Methacton High School in Pennsylvania, for "The Homotopy Theory of Parametrized Objects," took one of the Intel Foundation Cultural and Scientific Visit to China awards. This year, for the first time, the Intel Foundation partnered with the China Adolescents for Science and Technology Organization to award an 11-day trip to the Chinese cities of Beijing, Chengdu and Hong Kong. The winners will attend the China Adolescent Science and Technology Innovation Contest.
Connecticut-based Greenwich High School student Rahul Subramaniam was among the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Visit to India Award winners. Subramaniam was selected for his project, "An Early Warning System for Zika Virus in Mosquito Populations Based on Real-Time Field Detection of Viral RNA in Mosquito Saliva."
As part of the awards, several categories were given "Best of Category" honors, which netted the winners a $5,000 prize. Subsequent winners of the First, Second, Third and Fourth awards were gifted $3,000, $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively.
Naidu, for his project that won him the Dudley R. Herschbach SIYSS Award, was the Best of Category and First Award winner in the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics category.
Yegnesh, for his project that won him the Intel Foundation Cultural and Scientific Visit to China Award, was named Best of Category and First Award in the Mathematics category.
Subramaniam, for his project that won him the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Visit to India Award, was named the Best of Category and First Award winner in Microbiology.
A slew of Indian American and South Asian high school students took first through fourth award prizes in various categories as well.
Among the First Award winners were Shantanu Jakhete in Animal Sciences, Kashfia Rahman in Behavioral and Social Sciences, Suraj Srinivasan in Biomedical Engineering, Arnob Das in Chemistry, Anushka Nair in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Manashree Padiyath in Environmental Engineering and Apoorv Khandelwal in Materials Science.
Second Award winners included Suhani Jain, Divya Kranthi and Vishaal Balamurugan in Biochemistry, Isani Singh in Biomedical and Health Sciences, Chaianya in Biomedical Engineering, Marissa Sumathipala and Kshitij Sachan in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Suganth Kannan and Archana Verma in Chemistry, Pranav Neyveli, Manan Shah and Mythri Ambatipudi in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics; Neeraj Sakhrani, Sahithi Pingali and Siona Prasad in Earth and Environmental Sciences; Syamantak Payra and Sachin Konan in Embedded Systems, Chaitanya Karamchedu in Environmental Engineering, Suryaprakash Vengadesan in Materials Science, Vivek Gopalakrishnan and Stuti Garg in Microbiology, Sahil Hegde in Physics and Astronomy, Nikhil Cheerla and Anika Cheerla in Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Ritik Patnaik and Neil Deshmukh in Systems Software, and Devina Thapa and Hemant Srivastava in Translational Medical Science.
Others taking a Third Award prize were J.J. Kapur, Sapna Patel, Sunjay Letchuman, Brindha Rathinasabapathi, Neil Khurana, Paritosh Suri, Soham Dessai, Surabhi Mundada, Vaishnavi Phadnis, Hari Sowrirajan, Anusha Zaman, Raul Vimal Kumar, Shrikant Chand, Sagar Maheshwari, Neha Hulkund, Aditya Jain, Meghana Bollimpalli, Arya Goutam, Malini Mukherji, Jaskaran Sethi, Aparimeya Taneja, Sairandri Sathyanarayanan, Aditi Bawa, Arjun Ramani, Pranav Chhaliyil, Arjun Jain, Rushabh Mehta, Sambuddha Chattopadhyay, Pranav Sriram, Jay Maturi, Abhinav Gundrala, Eshika Saxena, Shinjini Ghosh, Nikhil Gopal, Kavya Kopparapu and Neeyanth Kopparapu.
Taking a Fourth Award prize were Aakash Arora, Nitya Parthasarathy, Pushkar Shinde, Sachin Jaishankar, Somil Jain, Vivek Kamarshi, Akshat Singh, Neha Seshadri, Arsh Banerjee, Rishik Reddy, Parth Saxena, Shiladitya Dutta, Meghana Iyer, Swathi Srinivasan, Aparna Paul, Kairav Kukkala, Padmavathi Reddy, Govind Krishna, Kunal Upadya, Suraj Modi, Shobhita Sundaram, Krishna Patel, Anjali Chadha, Aditi Kumar, Jay Chandra, Sai Sameer Pusapaty, Arundhati Pillai, Tanisha Martheswaran, Sachin Subramanian, Sathwik Karnik, Neehal Tumma, Sedra Khan, Kunj Dedhia, Shalin Shah, Divya Amirtharaj and Neelay Trivedi.
Also winning an award was India-based Prashaant Ranganathan of Carmel Junior College in Jharkhand, India, for "Biodegradation of Chlorpyrifos and Soil Remediation Using Native Soil Bacteria and Triton X-A Novel Approach," in the Philip V. Streich Memorial Award to the London International Youth Science Forum.
Ranganathan was also awarded Best of Category and First Award in the Environmental Engineering category for the same project.