Teen scientists already changing the world


Source: Science News

Forty finalists took home more than $1.8 million in awards at the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search.

Indrani Das, 17, of Oradell, N.J., won the top award of $250,000 for conducting a three-year study of brain injury that identified a potential major mechanism of neuron death and a possible treatment method.

Aaron Yeiser, 18, of Schwenksville, Pa., received the second place honor and $175,000. Yeiser developed a new numerical method for solving partial differential equations on complicated geometries. His method could lead to better airplanes and possibly better artificial heart pumps.

Arjun Ramani, 18, of West Lafayette, Ind., won the third place award of $150,000. Ramani developed a new mathematical method that could potentially accelerate the process of network evaluation.

Fourth Place: Byron Xu, 17, of Sugar Land, Texas, received a $100,000 award. Xu examined marine seismic data — the reflections of sound waves — with the goal of calculating water temperature over wider areas than current techniques allow.

Fifth Place: Archana Verma, 17, of Jericho, N.Y., received a $90,000 award for her study of the molecular orbital energy dynamics of dyes, which may someday result in windows that produce solar energy.

Sixth Place: Laura Pierson, 17, of Oakland, Calif., received an $80,000 award for her use of theoretical algebra to study the representation theory of mathematically symmetric groups.

Seventh Place: Prathik Naidu, 18, of Potomac Falls, Va., received a $70,000 award for his creation of a new machine learning software to study 3-D interactions of the human genome in cancer.

Eighth Place: Ethan Novek, 18, of Greenwich, Conn., received a $60,000 award for developing a new carbon capture process powered entirely by abundant low-temperature waste heat.

Ninth Place: Vrinda Madan, 17, of Orlando, Fla., received a $50,000 award for her study of 24 potential compounds to treat malaria, in which she found two potential candidates that appear to target the disease-causing organism in a novel way and may warrant further study.

Tenth Place: Stefan Wan, 17, of Wellington, Fla., received a $40,000 award for developing a new material that removes phosphate from wastewater and storm runoff and recycles it to enrich farm soil.

The remaining 30 finalists each received $25,000.

These students join the ranks of other Science Talent Search alumni who have gone on to receive more than 100 of the world’s most esteemed science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.