Intel has announced the winners of the pre-college Intel Science Talent Search 2009.
The winner, Eric Larson, 17, of Eugene, Ore., was awarded a $100,000 Intel Scholarship. Larson won for his research project "classifying mathematical objects called fusion categories. Eric's work describes these in certain dimensions for the first time," Intel said in a statement.
Larson's background is described on this Siemens Foundation site, which discussed his project and his background last year. The Siemens post states that Larson, in addition to his mathematics prowess, is a piano player and a four-time winner of the Oregon Junior Bach Festival.
He is the son of Steven Larson and Winifred Kerner of Eugene, both members of the music faculty at the University of Oregon, according to the The Oregonian newspaper.
Other winners, as listed by Intel, are as follows:
- Second place: William Sun, 17, of Chesterfield, Mo., received a $75,000 scholarship for his biochemistry project that studied the effects of a recently discovered molecule that could potentially help efforts to treat bacterial infections or prevent neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
- Third place: Philip Streich, 18, of Platteville, Wis., received a $50,000 scholarship for his chemistry project on carbon nanotubes that may lead to the development of ultra-strong materials and ultra-fast nano-electronics. Streich's work has resulted in five provisional patent filings.
- Fourth place: Narendra Tallapragada, 17, of Burke, Va., received a $25,000 scholarship for his project to find ways to simplify complex models of atomic and molecular interactions. His goal is to one day create "mini-computers" that can be used, for instance, to create automatic insulin pumps inside diabetic patients or intelligent clothing that responds to temperature.
- Fifth place: Chelsea Jurman, 17, of Roslyn, N.Y., received a $25,000 scholarship for studying underage drinking behavior and how it is tied to teen perceptions of parental drinking and parenting behaviors.
- Sixth place: Noah Arbesfeld, 17, of Lexington, Mass., received a $25,000 scholarship for his work seeking to understand a fundamental structure underlying all of algebra, with potential impact for string theory.
- Seventh place: Alexander Kim, 17, of Fairfax, Va., received a $20,000 scholarship for researching the variation and diversification in populations of the Giant American River Prawn, the largest freshwater invertebrate in North America. His research furthers understanding of how species evolve and has implications for the future of ecosystems.
- Eighth place: Preya Shah, 17, of Setauket, N.Y., received a $20,000 scholarship for designing and synthesizing a tumor-targeting drug for cancer treatment that represents a new approach to delivery of chemotherapy agents and possibly treatment of multi-drug resistant cancer without causing significant side effects.
- Ninth place: Nilesh Tripuraneni, 18, of Fresno, Calif., received a $20,000 scholarship for formulating a set of hydrodynamic equations that may provide a potential method to better understand the first movements of the universe and could aid in the development of a quantum theory of gravity.
- Tenth place: Gabriela Farfan, 18, of Madison, Wis., received a $20,000 scholarship for her project investigating Oregon Sunstones, which contain one of the most common rock forming minerals in the world. She determined that these sunstones have unique micro-inclusions that allow them to look one color from one angle and another from a different angle.