8 Indians Vie for ‘Junior Nobel Prize’

Of the 40 finalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search 2009 competition, eight are desis (many seem to be South Indians).

Often referred to as the Junior Nobel Prize, the Science Talent Search is America’s oldest and most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors. Seven former finalists have won the Nobel Prize.

Numbering 2.57 million, Indian-Americans constitute less than 1% of the U.S. population (306 million) but account for 20% of the Intel Science Talent Search 2009 finalists. Go figure.

The 40 finalists will travel to Washington, D.C. in March to compete for $530,000 in scholarships. The top winner will receive a $100,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation. Each Finalist will receive at least $5,000 in scholarships and a laptop powered by an Intel Core2 Duo processor.

The top winners will be announced at a black-tie gala award ceremony at the Mellon Auditorium on March 10.

The eight Indians among the finalists and their projects are:

* Smitha Ramakrishna – Chandler (AZ)
Analysis of the Chemical and Biological Degradation of Sucralose in Synthetic Wastewater

* Aniruddha Sandeep Deshmukh – Cupertino (CA)
Revitalizing the Coastal Sage Scrub Ecosystem in Response to Cyanide Accumulation from High Intensity Wildfires

* Nilesh Truipuraneni – Fresno (CA)
A Relativistic Generalization of the Navier-Stokes Equations to Quark-Gluon Plasmas

* Nitish Lakhanpal – Irvine (CA)
An Investigation into the Folding of Beta Structures in a Class of Pathologically-Relevant Proteins: Computational Prediction of Secondary and Super-Secondary Structure from Primary Amino Acid Sequence

* Aditya Rajagopalan – Glastonbury (CT)
Modeling Synergistic Cellulolytic-Hemicellulolytic Enzyme Complexes for Lignocellulosic Hydrolysis

* Preya Shah – Setauket (NY)
Combating Cancer: Design and Synthesis of Dual-Warhead Tumor-Targeting Drug Conjugates

* Narendra Pundarik Tallapragada – Burke (VA)
Determining the Dielectric Function for Crystalline Solids from the “Bottom Up”, Using Atomic, Ionic, and Molecular Properties

* Suvai Gunasekaran – Madison (WI)
A New Approach to Biofilm Inhibition: Incorporation and Controlled Release of Synthetic N-Acylated Homoserine Lactone Compounds from Surfaces

Since 1998, Intel has sponsored the competition, which provides a national forum for America’s brightest young scientists to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists.

The winner of the 2008 Intel Science Talent Competition was Shivani Sud, the first time an Indian-American student won the top prize.

Shivani Sud, a 17-year-old girl from Durham (North Carolina), submitted a bioinformatics and genomics project to Intel Science Talent Search that focused on identifying stage II colon cancer patients at high risk for recurrence and the best therapeutic agents for treating their tumors.

Wonder if any of these smart desi kids watch our Bollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood movies?

Related Links:
Desi Girl Shivani Sud Wins Intel Science Talent Prize
Intel Science Talent Awards on March 11, 2008
8 Desi Geniuses Shine in Intel Science Talent Contest

7 Responses to "8 Indians Vie for ‘Junior Nobel Prize’"

  1. Harry Butt   January 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    How many of these kids can speak Tamil/Hindi.. “Suvai” probably will speak Tamil.. her (his?) parents seem to have a lot of Tamil Pattru (mild fanaticism)

    no NC kids this year.. alas!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Aditya Rajagopalan may also speak Tamil.

    BTW, Suvai is a she.

  2. Harry Butt   January 28, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    yeah, “may”.. many desi kids I know can’t/won’t speak any Indian languagues..

  3. shadofax   January 28, 2009 at 10:51 pm


  4. aditya_k   January 29, 2009 at 2:50 am

    what a world of difference between education systems in india and U.S. ….while 17 yr olds slog for iit-jee here, there they indulge in original, sponsored research there…..

  5. What_if   January 29, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Bhagyashree (Incredible India 4) wants to specialise in oncology.
    Preya Shah & Shivani Sud mentioned above have done projects on the same subject.

    With so many interested souls, We might one day see an Indian getting a Noble Prize for making a break through in Cancer Research / Cure.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: We might one day see an Indian getting a Noble Prize for making a break through in Cancer Research / Cure

    From your lips to God’s ears.

  6. Noble   January 30, 2009 at 3:31 am

    Congrats to all the winners!

    Check out this kid too..


    Search India:Wonder if any of these smart desi kids watch our Bollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood movies?

    Whether they see all these Bollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood movies or not I dont know, but I know for sure that they are not as useless/funny/crappy/mindless like YOU(searchindia team)

    Writing sarcastic, arrogant,pathetic, senseless reviews/comments/blog and earning a living by those Cheap airline ads!

    Please change your(search india) attitude by seeing these kids! then praying GOD for help.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: Please change your… attitude by seeing these kids! then praying GOD for help.

    Which God? This one or that one?

    Sir, we have one small doubt that we’d like you to clarify – Is it only your GODS that have tails…or do ordinary folks like you also have tails? We suspect your tail is longer than that of your God’s.

  7. Noble   February 2, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Pray Jesus, He is the only GOD.

    I think you can also go to some rehabilitation centers for your treatment.Is’t not neccessary that you have to be booked under any criminal cases for your treatment, you can go by yourself for counseling and get treated first.Man you are Sick!You need immediate treatment.You can take your parents too…

    Belive in JESUS!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Not even your Jesus can help you.

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