Narendra Tallapragada Comes in 4th in Intel Talent Competition

Indian-American kid Narendra Tallapragada came in fourth in the just concluded Intel Science Talent Search 2009 competition in the U.S. (Eric Larson of Eugene, Ore., won the first prize, a $100,000 scholarship, for his research project classifying mathematical objects called fusion categories).

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.

Narendra Pundarik Tallapragada of Burke, Virginia, received a $25,000 scholarship for his project: Determining the Dielectric Function for Crystalline Solids from the “Bottom Up”, Using Atomic, Ionic, and Molecular Properties.

Tallapragada’s goal is to one day create “mini-computers” that can be used, for instance, to create automatic insulin pumps inside diabetic patients or intelligent clothing that responds to temperature.

Narendra Tallapragada
Narendra Tallapragada
(Photo: STS)

Son of Ravi and Jyotsna Tallapragada, 17-year-old Narendra Tallapragada hopes to study electrical engineering at MIT or Harvard.

Last year, an Indian-American girl Shivani Sud won the top prize.

Other desis in the Top 10 this year are:

Eighth PlacePreya Shah of Setauket (NY) worked on Combating Cancer: Design and Synthesis of Dual-Warhead Tumor-Targeting Drug Conjugates

Ninth Place: Nilesh Truipuraneni of Fresno (CA) worked on A Relativistic Generalization of the Navier-Stokes Equations to Quark-Gluon Plasmas

Preya and Nilesh received a $20,000 scholarship each for their projects.

This year, in all there were eight desis among the 40 finalists.

The other desi contenders among the 40 finalists and their projects were:

* 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

* 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

* 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.

Related Stories
Eight Indian-Americans Vie for ‘Junior Nobel Prize’
Shivani Sud Wins Intel Talent Prize

5 Responses to "Narendra Tallapragada Comes in 4th in Intel Talent Competition"

  1. Amy آصف Dala   March 10, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    my claim to fame.. i was about 25 feet away from Shivani Sud at a local Diwali festival last year. Responds:

    Did you ask her for a date. 😉 She must be around 18 now.

    This year there was no one from NC in the top 40. Maybe, when your kids grow up we’ll have the second Desi NC winner.

  2. Amy آصف Dala   March 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    1) aiyo aiyo.. siva siva!
    2) hope so! Responds:

    Why, what’s wrong with Shivani. Nattu Thakkali Madari Irruka (like a tomato).

  3. Amy آصف Dala   March 10, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Forbidden Thakkali Responds:

    Oru vati kadichu sapta thaan, Thakkali rusi theriyum (you’ll know the taste of a ripe tomato only when you take a bite) 😉

  4. Amy آصف Dala   March 10, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    more like sour grapes ..
    won another 50k when she was 16
    very intimidating resume Responds:

    Volunteers in her temple too….Well, we’re regaining our faith in God. Jai Bajrang Bali 😉

  5. Stitha   March 13, 2009 at 5:20 am

    Even I laughed a lot too, when my class topper told that he prefers going to church on Sundays.

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