8 Desi Geniuses Shine in Intel Science Talent Contest

(UpdateShivani Sud wins Intel Science Talent Search Competition.)

Eight Desi students have made it to the finals of the Intel Science Talent contest.

Of the eight students, five are girls and they submitted projects in diverse areas including Bioinformatics, Biochemistry, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics, Zoology, Earth and Planetary Science and Chemistry.

The students are in the age group of 17-18.

The eight Desi students will compete with 32 others for the $100,000 grand prize in scholarships. Each finalist will receive at least $5,000 in scholarships and a new laptop.

Here is the list of Indian Americans selected for Intel Science Talent Search Finalists:

1. Avanthi Raghavan, Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando Florida

Project Name – Characterization of Novel Protein Trafficking Pathways in Plasmodium falciparum.

Project Area – Biochemistry

Daughter of Chakravarthy and Vasanthy Raghavan, Avanti hopes her work will help researchers find new drug therapies to attack malaria parasites with a resistance to existing anti-malarial drugs like quinine, chloroquine and amodiaquine.

Avanti is 17 years old; is vice president of the pre-med club and has interest in Carnatic Music. Avanti intends to pursue study of biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania or Johns Hopkins.

2. Shravani Mikkilineni, Detroit Country Day School Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Project Name – Continued Fractions and Orbits of a Linear Fractional Transformation

Project Area – Mathematics Â

Shravani is captain of the varsity tennis team and senior editor of the yearbook. Her other interests include playing the violin and classical Indian dance.

Daughter of Prasad and Jhansi Mikkilineni, 17-year-old Shravani intends to continue her math and biology research at Harvard, MIT or Stanford.

3. Hamsa Sridhar, Kings Park High School, Kings Park, New York

Project Name – A Novel Astigmatic Laser Mode Converter for Optical Vortex Tweezers

Project Area – Physics

Born in India, 18-year-old Hamsa is first in her class of 328 and has published in the National Anthology of Poetry.

Daughter of Sridhar Vijayaraghavan and Gayathri Sridhar, Hamsa hopes to study in MIT or Harvard.

4. Ashok Chandran, Smithtown High School, Nesconset, New York

Project Name – Distinctive Molecular Signature of Nicotine in Breast Cancer Cells.

Project Area – Medicine and Health

Son of Prem and Latha Chandran, 17-year-old Ashok is interested in varsity tennis and hopes to attend Princeton or Columbia University.

5. Shivani Sud, Charles E. Jordan High School, Durham, North Carolina

Project Name – A Genomic Strategy to Refine Prognosis and Treatment of Early Stage Colon Cancer

Project Area – Bioinformatics and Genomics

Daughter of Ish and Anu Sud, 17-year-old Shivani is first in her class of 358 and represents the students at school board meetings. She is a Teen Court student attorney, a Durham Rescue Mission volunteer and performs classical and modern Indian dance.

Shivani plans to have a career in research and looks forward to attending Princeton or Harvard.

6. Isha Jain, Freedom High School, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Project Name – Bone Growth in Zebrafish Occurs via Multiple Pulses of Cell Proliferation

Project Area – Zoology

Isha is co-author of five published scientific articles including a report of her zebrafish research in the Journal of Developmental Dynamics.

Isha’s other activities include membership in the ski club, student council and the school district’s student advisory board.

Daughter of Himanshu and Sweety Jain, the 17-year-old Isha is trained in classical Indian dance.

Isha plans to pursue a career in genetic disorders research and wants to attend Harvard or Yale.

7. Ayon Sen, Westwood High School, Austin, Texas

Project Name – Dissipation of Geostrophic Oceanic Flows by Quadratic Bottom Boundary Layer Drag

Project Area – Earth and Planetary Science

Ayon developed a MATLAB software interface for deep water ocean current velocity data and integrated it with surface water velocity data from satellite altimeters.

Ayon is a pianist, a member of the school orchestra and a staff writer for its publication.

Son of Mrinal and Alo Sen, 17-year-old Ayon Sen hopes to study applied mathematics at Caltech or Harvard.

8. Vinay Venkatesh Ramasesh, Texas Academy of Mathematics & Science, Fort Worth, Texas

Project Name – Impact of Orbital Localization on One-Electron Basis Set Convergence

Project Area – Chemistry

Vinay’s earlier projects include exploring the links between math and music – specifically, parallels between music and fractals (complex mathematical constructs) – and building several robots, one designed to pick up laundry!

At the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science in Denton, he plays leadership roles in the math and engineering clubs and academic competitions.

Vinay is also active in community service, an accomplished pianist and interested in tennis and ping pong.

Son of Ranga and Nalini Ramasesh, 18-year-old Vinay intends to study math and physics at MIT or Caltech.

Related Links:
8 Indians among Intel Science Talent 2009 Finalists
Desi Girl Shivani Sud Wins Intel Science Talent Prize
Intel Science Talent Awards on March 11, 2008

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