Three Indian Americans among US science talent contest winners

March 11th, 2009 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 11 (IANS) Three Indian-Americans students have made it to the top 10 in what has been described as the brainy version of American Idol, introducing America’s next top scientist.
Narendra Tallapragada from Virginia was ranked fourth, Preya Shah from New York eighth and Nilesh Tripuraneni from California ninth in the Intel Science Talent Search with the top honours going to Eric Larson, 17, of Eugene, Oregon.

Larson will take home a $100,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation for his work exploring the mathematical concept of fusion categories. Fusion categories can have implications for string theory, quantum computation and knot theory.

Tallapragada, 17, won a $25,000 scholarship for developing an efficient yet sophisticated method for modelling the building of materials atom by atom.

Shah, 17, was picked up for designing and synthesizing a drug that uses a two-pronged approach to target cancer cells, while Tripuraneni, 18, formulated a set of hydrodynamic equations investigating quark-gluon plasma, a state of matter believed to have come into existence right after the Big Bang. They both get $20,000 scholarships.

Society for Science & the Public, publisher of Science News, has administered the competition since its inception in 1942.

This year’s 40 finalists, selected from more than 1,600 entrants, represented 17 states and 35 schools. Over the past 67 years, Science Talent Search finalists have gone on to win seven Nobel Prizes, Fields Medals, the National Medal of Science and MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.

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