Two, 17 years old, Indian-Americans have won the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search contest held in Washington as announced by the Society for Science and Public (SSP), in separate categories. The USD 1 million Intel Science Talent Search contest is a prestigious US competition for young innovators.
Maya Varma and Amol Punjabi will be succeeding Nithin Reddy Tumma from Indian Diaspora who won the award for cancer research in the year 2012.
Two of the $75,000 second prizes and two of the $35,000 third place prizes this year were also bagged by Indian Diaspora teenagers.
The prizes were given in three categories: Basic research, innovation and global good. All the Indian winners were in the research and innovation categories.
Amol Punjabi, from Marlborough in Massachusetts, won the First Place Medal of Distinction for basic research for developing software that can help pharmacy companies in developing new therapies for cancer and heart disease. Maya Varma developed lung function analyzer which can be installed on the Smartphone which won her the First Place Medal of Distinction for innovation.
According to Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science & the Public and alumna of the Science Talent Search, “They, and the rest of the top winners of Intel STS 2016 are using science and technology to help address the problems they see in the world and will be at the forefront of creating the solutions we need for the future”.
Total Fourteen Indian Diaspora students were among the 40 students chosen to be finalists from among 1,750 students who entered the contest. The finals were held in Washington.
This is the 75th year of the Science Talent Search competition, whose alumni have gone on to win 12 Nobel prizes, two Fields Medals, 11 National Medals of Science, 18 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowships.