27 January 2011

Intel Science Talent Search Picks Finalists

The Intel Science Talent Search is the science fair on steroids. The 40 finalists are routinely doing work of graduate student caliber. The high school kids that reach that point, regardless of the final prize award, can go to any college they want, have a feather in their cap that will look good even in graduate school applications in the sciences, and are basically designated geniuses.

The 40 students selected were winnowed from 300 semifinalists, who were chosen from a pool of 1,744 entrants. . . . Physicist and Nobel laureate Sheldon Glashow was a finalist in 1950; in 1980 Harvard University string theorist Lisa Randall was selected. Actress Natalie Portman was a semi-finalist in 1999.

Scientists and a science fiction actress. Pretty similar jobs, I guess.

What prestigious awards have they won?

7 Finalists have won the Nobel Prize.

2 have earned the Fields Medal.

4 have been awarded National Medals of Science.

2 have been awarded National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

11 have won MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.

2 have been awarded Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award.

5 have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

30 have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

56 have been named Sloan Research Fellows.

This year's finalists hail from 15 states (Colorado was not among them, alas). Who were they?

2011 Intel STS Finalists (listed by state, name, hometown and high school)

ARIZONA Scott Boisvert, Chandler, Basha High School

CALIFORNIA Amol Aggarwal, Saratoga, Saratoga High School; Xiaoyu Cao, San Diego, Torrey Pines High School; Bonnie Lei, Walnut, Walnut High School; Jonathan Li, Laguna Niguel, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School; Selena Li, Fair Oaks, Mira Loma High School; Andrew Liu, Palo Alto, Henry M. Gunn Senior High School; Rohan Mahajan, Cupertino, The Harker School; Evan O’Dorney, Danville,Venture School; Nikhil Parthasarathy, Mountain View, The Harker School; David Tang-Quan, Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School; Chelsea Voss, Santa Clara, Cupertino High School

CONNECTICUT Jenny Liu, Orange, Amity Regional High School; Shubhro Saha, Avon, Choate Rosemary Hall

FLORIDA Eta Atolia, Tallahassee, Rickards High School; Elaine Zhou, Winter Park, Lake Highland Preparatory School

ILLINOIS Krystle Leung, Naperville, Naperville Central High School

MASSACHUSETTS Sung Won Cho, Lexington, Groton School

MICHIGAN Shubhangi Arora, Novi, Novi High School

MINNESOTA Prithwis Mukhopadhyay, Woodbury, Woodbury High School

NORTH CAROLINA Si-Yi Lee, Charlotte, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics; Matthew Miller, Elon, Western Alamance High School

NEBRASKA Emily Chen, Omaha, Brownell-Talbot School

NEW JERSEY Alison Bick, Short Hills, Millburn High School; Joshua Bocarsly, Plainsboro, The Lawrenceville School; Wenyu Cao, Belle Mead, Phillips Academy

NEW YORK Jonathan Aaron Goldman, Plainview, Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School; Jan Gong, Garden City, Garden City High School; Michelle Hackman, Great Neck, John L. Miller Great Neck North High School; Bryan He, Williamsville, Williamsville East High School; Matthew Lam, Old Westbury, Jericho High School; Grace Phillips, Larchmont, Mamaroneck High School; Alydaar Rangwala, Loudonville, The Albany Academies

OREGON Laurie Rumker, Portland, Oregon Episcopal School; Yushi Wang, Portland, Sunset High School

PENNSYLVANIA Benjamin Clark, Lancaster, Penn Manor High School; Keenan Monks, Hazleton, Hazleton Area High School

TEXAS Madeleine Ball, Dallas, Ursuline Academy of Dallas; Rounok Joardar, Plano, Plano West Senior High School; Sunil Pai, Houston, The Kinkaid School

The list is also a measure of the immense benefits our nation receives in the long run from encouraging immigration, and of the impressive extent to which private eductation continues to capture much of the nation's top talent.

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