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On March 15, 2005 Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public awarded the top 10 college scholarship awards for the Intel Science Talent Search (STS) at a black-tie banquet in Washington, D.C.
David Lawrence Vigliarolo Bauer, New York
First Place: $100,000
David Lawrence Vigliarolo Bauer, 17, of the Bronx, entered the Intel Science Talent Search with a materials science project that he believes has the potential to save thousands of lives by rapidly detecting and evaluating individual exposure to biochemical agents. Based on an understanding of the fundamental properties of fluorescent nanocrystals, known as quantum dots (QDs), David designed a new type of universal sensor for neurotoxins that recreates their actual effect in the body. His detection assembly uses QDs as a kind of "battery," while AChE or acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that nearly all neurotoxins inhibit, functions like a "dimmer switch." The amount of energy transferred to an AChE-dye conjugate is used to determine if a neurotoxin is present. David is president of the science club at Hunter College High School in New York and twice a recipient of the Coach's Award in varsity fencing. He is co-author of a paper submitted to the Physical Review B, of the American Physical Society, and founder of a nonprofit organization that works for social justice in Liberia. He is the son of Lawrence Bauer and Diane Vigliarolo and hopes to continue his studies at the CUNY Honors College.
Timothy Frank Credo, Illinois
Second Place: $75,000
Timothy Frank Credo, 17, of Highland Park, studied the speed of secondary particles of light and particle detectors for his Intel Science Talent Search engineering project. Tim sought to develop a more precise method to measure the time in picoseconds (10-12 seconds) that it takes charged secondary particles of light (such as, pions, kaons, and protons) to travel. To do so, he designed the anode for a particle detector's multi-channel plate. His research proposes a new time-of-flight (TOF) system whereby an energetic secondary particle traversing a microchannel plate window produces Cherenkov light. (Cherenkov light is caused when charged particles move faster than the speed of light.) Tim, as primary author, made a poster presentation of his project at the 2004 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium in Rome. At the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Tim is a varsity swimmer and participates in the junior academy of science. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, guitar, piano and economics. He reads French fluently and earned a perfect score of 1600 on his SATs. The son of Dr. Robert and Margaret Credo, Tim hopes to major in physics at Stanford.
Kelley Harris, California
Third Place: $50,000
Kelley Harris, 17, of Sacramento, researched double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-dependent protein kinases (PKRs) and inhibitory viral proteins that bind to Z-DNA for her Intel Science Talent Search project in biochemistry. PKRs combat viral pathogenesis by deactivating the self-replicating cellular equipment of the virus. E3L, an inhibitory protein expressed by the poxvirus, binds exclusively to Z-DNA where it disables the antiviral mechanism of PKRs. Abolition of the E3L protein would inactivate the poxvirus, making it unable to infect the host organism. Additionally, Kelley's research of the molecular structure can contribute to the relatively unknown evolution of Z-DNA binding proteins. Kelley, who has perfect SAT scores, is a senior at C. K. McClatchy High School where she is first in her class of 533. The daughter of Glenn Harris and Anne Katten, she toured Brazil with the Sacramento Youth Orchestra as a violinist and earned regional awards for her Scottish Highland dancing. She also enjoys backpacking, white water rafting, and sewing. A bronze medalist in the 2003 International Biology Olympiad, she plans to attend Harvard, study biophysics and pursue a doctorate.
Robert Thomas Cordwell, New Mexico
Fourth Place: $25,000
Robert Thomas Cordwell, 17, of Albuquerque, submitted his mathematics project for the Intel Science Talent Search in graph theory. Bob's project considers ways to partition the complete graph Kn on n vertices into subgraphs; he considers edge partitions, one in which each edge of Kn lies in exactly one subgraph. To describe this, he represents Kn as the vertices of a regular polygon with n sides, joining all the vertices with straight lines. He requires all subgraphs to be cycles, which is only possible when n is odd. A cycle which does not intersect itself is called inclusive if it goes around the center of the n-gon; otherwise it is exclusive. Bob proves that Kn can be partitioned into inclusive cycles of lengths 3 and 4 for any odd n. If n + 1 or n - 1 is divisible by 8, he shows that Kn can be partitioned into exclusive 3-cycles as well. Bob, who has perfect SAT scores, is first in his class of 343 at Manzano High School. A second generation Eagle Scout, he has won numerous awards, including the Rensselaer Medal. The son of Dr. William and Rosemary Cordwell, Bob plans to double major in mathematics and computer science at the University of Chicago.
Ryan Marques Harrison, Maryland
Fifth Place: $25,000
Ryan Marques Harrison, 17, of Baltimore, submitted a bioinformatics and genomics project to the Intel Science Talent Search, which he believes will open new possibilities in the field of computational proteomics, the study of proteins expressed by the genome of a cell. He developed and implemented pH-sensitive protein region modeling in Rosetta, an algorithm that predicts the structure of proteins. Of the nearly one million proteins encoded in the genes recently sequenced by the Human Genome Project, the structure and function of over 95 percent of them are unknown. Many are believed to have pH-sensitive regions that are fundamental to their structure and function. Ryan's work extends Rosetta's modeling capabilities and could play a role in applications of proteomics ranging from biomolecular engineering to drug delivery systems. A published poet and a trumpet player, Ryan attends Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. He is a volunteer at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and, in addition to awards for science and poetry, he earned the Outward Bound Youth Leadership award. The son of Robert and Sharon Harrison, he hopes to study engineering and economics at Johns Hopkins.
Lyra Creamer Haas, Illinois
Sixth Place: $25,000
Lyra Creamer Haas, 17, of Wheaton, studied the characteristics of ancient textiles unearthed in the Norte Chico Region of Peru for her Intel Science Talent Search project in behavioral and social sciences. While working as a crew chief at an archeological site north of Lima, Lyra sought to discover a way to determine the inhabitation dates of preceramic sites (3000-1800 B.C.) without using radiocarbon dating techniques. By analyzing fabric swatches found in the area, Lyra developed a way to categorize them using the yarn's twining type, twist direction and the direction in which each warp yarn was plyed. Her resulting checklist allows researchers to identify the time period for civilizations in the region. Lyra has presented her research at the American Junior Academy session at AAAS. At the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Lyra was MVP of the JV soccer team and captain of the varsity cross-country team. She was selected as a peer counselor by her classmates and enjoys Greek, Roman and medieval philosophy. Lyra, who has perfect SATs, is the daughter of Dr. Jonathan Haas and Dr. Winifred Creamer. She hopes to attend Yale and study anthropology.
Justin Alexander Kovac, Florida
Seventh Place: $20,000
Justin Alexander Kovac, 17, of Miami, investigated the ocean's role in hurricane intensification for his Intel Science Talent Search project in earth and planetary science. He studied warm pools of water in the Gulf of Mexico, known as warm core rings (WCRs), and researched WCR-hurricane interactions. In the process, he conducted the first census of WCRs using satellite altimetry and tracked a new statistic: tropical cyclone heat potential. In matching WCR locations with the tracks of tropical cyclones traveling through the Gulf during an 11-year period, he identified an average 1.9 interactions annually. His findings also indicate that tropical cyclones passing over WCRs intensified by an average of 13.4 knots. Justin believes his work is a first step toward better predictions of hurricane strength. He reports that another benefit of his STS project was learning "that iguanas will creep up on you when you least expect it!" Justin, who has perfect SAT scores, attends Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he competes in track and field. He also enjoys snorkeling, cycling, camping and swing dancing. The son of George Kovac and Holly Davis, he plans to study engineering in college.
Karl James Plank, Washington
Eighth Place: $20,000
Karl James Plank, 17, of Bellingham, developed a method for depositing an ordered assembly of nanometer-sized particles on surfaces for his Intel Science Talent Search chemistry project. Karl attempted to create a self-assembling nanocircuit by suspending nanorods of zinc oxide (ZnO) in a liquid crystal solvent and placing the solution onto a polycarbonate membrane substrate so the solution could drain through the pores of the membrane, thereby depositing ordered ZnO nanorods onto its surface. In the course of his research, Karl examined the use of at least four types of particles and several liquid crystal solvents before arriving at the system he describes in his paper. Because there are currently few good methods for orientationally ordering semiconductor nanoparticles, Karl's work holds promise for the eventual construction of nanoscale electronics. First in his class of 297 at Squalicum High School, Karl is co-captain of the varsity swim team, three-time class vice president and a finalist in the state bridge-building competition. He enjoys model building and computers in his spare time. The son of James and Kristan Plank, Karl hopes to attend Stanford in preparation for a career in medicine.
James Andrew Cahill, Arizona
Ninth Place: $20,000
James Andrew Cahill, 18, of Flagstaff, investigated the possible existence of astronomically significant solar alignments within the Lomaki Pueblo, an eleventh century Anasazi ruin, for his earth and planetary science entry in the Intel Science Talent Search. He collected data for approximately one year, regularly observing a light portal at the Wupatki National Monument site in Northern Arizona. Through subsequent analysis of light/shadow interaction patterns, James discovered several alignments of astronomical significance, including sunset alignments on the equinoxes and alignments at the November and February cross quarter dates. He believes this could indicate that the site had served as an ancient solar calendar. His work was accepted for a poster presentation at the Oxford VII International Conference on Archaeoastronomy in June 2004, only the second time that a high school student has presented. James is co-founder of the cycling club at Flagstaff High School, where he lettered in cross country. He plays saxophone and guitar, and his hobbies include mountain bike racing and model aviation. The son of Dr. James and Nancy Cahill, he plans to continue his studies at the University of Arizona.
Po-Ling Loh, Wisconsin
Tenth Place: $20,000
Po-Ling Loh, 18, of Madison worked in finite group theory for her Intel Science Talent Search project in mathematics. The group H is said to be a closed subgroup of a finite group G provided any homomorphism of H into G extends uniquely to all of G. Po-Ling studies the group D2p of symmetries of a regular polygon with p sides, where p is an odd prime number. She shows if D2p is closed and properly contained inside a finite group G, then G must be rather complicated. In particular she proves that G cannot be solvable. She further conjectures that for any p > 3 there exist such G whose commutator subgroup is nonabelian finite simple. Ranked first in her class of 523 students at James Madison Memorial High School, Po-Ling has perfect SAT scores. She has been a gold prize winner in the USA Math Talent Search for three consecutive years, has won awards in music and forensics and is copy editor of the school newspaper. She hopes to pursue a career in teaching after receiving her degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago. The daughter of Dr. Wei-Yin Loh and Theresa Loh, she enjoys singing, cross-stitching and playing frisbee.
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