Nine Indian-origin students among 40 finalists of top science talent contest

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Thumbnail pics of the40 Finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition, announced Jan. 22, 2020. (Photo courtesy Societyforscience.org)

Indian-origin students performed extraordinarily well in science as well as math, spelling and geography contests over the years, They did the same in this year’s top science talent search competition in the nation for high school seniors.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) and Society for Science & the Public (the Society) today (Jan. 22, 2020) announced 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2020, previously known as the Intel Science Talent Search.

Alumni have gone on to have world-changing careers in STEM fields and earn some of the most esteemed academic honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes, the Fields Medal, the National Medal of Science, the MacArthur Fellowship and even an Academy Award, noted the press release from the Society for Science & the Public.

The 2020 finalists were selected from 1,993 entrants, all of whom completed an original research project and extensive application process. Earlier this month, the Society and Regeneron named the top 300 scholars. The finalists were selected based on their projects’ scientific rigor and their potential to become world-changing scientists and leaders.

List of 2020 Finalists of Indian origin:

Jagdeep Bhatia, Age: 17
Watchung Hills Regional High School, Warren, NJ
Project Title: Simple and Fast Algorithms for Interactive Machine Learning with Random Counter-Examples

Amogh Bhatnagar, Age: 18
University School of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Project Title: Methodology Demonstration of a Cost Effective Comparison of Procedures Using Open and Laparoscopic Appendectomy: Total Charges vs Hospital Stay

Ankush Dhawan, Age: 18
Signature School, Evansville, IN
Project Title: An Improved Method for Trace Level Arsenic Quantification in Water

Ankit Gupta, Age: 17
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA
Project Title: StrokeSave: A Novel, High-Performance Mobile Application for Stroke Diagnosis using Deep Learning and Computer Vision

Raina Jain, Age: 17
Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT
Project Title: Control of Varroa destructor Infestation with a Dual-Function Thymol-Emitting Honey Bee Hive Entranceway

Anushka Jetly, Age: 17
Friendswood High School, Friendswood, TX
Project Title: An Affordable, Machine Learning-Aided Otologic Diagnostic Suite for Automatic Detection of Middle Ear Abnormalities

Nithin Kavi, Age: 18
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Acton, MA
Project Title: Cutting and Gluing Surfaces

Anaiah Thomas, Age: 18
Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, NJ
Project Title: The Manipulation of Natural Killer Cell Phenotype and Function using Sacromal Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes in vitro.

Rohan Wagh, Age: 17
Sunset High School, Portland, OR
Project Title: Designing a Microbial Fuel Cell Based In-Situ Soil Conductivity Monitoring System for Precision Agriculture and Water Management

The finalists will travel to Washington, D.C. from March 5-11, 2020, where they will undergo a rigorous judging process and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards. They will also have an opportunity to interact with leading scientists, meet with Members of Congress and display their projects to the public on March 8.

“The Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists are the stewards of our future,” Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of Society for Science & the Public, is quoted saying in the press release. Ajmera is also the publisher of Science News and 1985 Science Talent Search alumna. “These finalists are the top young scientists of our country today and they give me great hope for what lies ahead,” Ajmera added.

The finalists are each awarded at least $25,000, and the top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000. The top 10 Regeneron Science Talent Search 2020 winners will be announced at a black-tie gala awards ceremony at the National Building Museum on March 10.

In total, more than $3 million in awards will be distributed throughout the Regeneron Science Talent Search, which includes the awards to finalists as well as the $2,000 provided to each of the top 300 scholars and their schools.

“This year’s finalists are part of the next generation of brilliant minds who – through the pursuit of science and innovation – can address many of society’s most urgent challenges and help improve our world,” said Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, co-founder, president and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron and a Science Talent Search top winner (1976). “These students are joining a community of highly talented STS alumni who have gone on to make incredible contributions to their chosen fields and our society. If one, two or even a handful of these impressive young scholars make discoveries that impact our world, that could make all the difference.”

The Regeneron Science Talent Search 2020 finalists are from 35 schools in 21 states.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search, a program of Society for Science & the Public since 1942, is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Each year, around 2,000 student entrants submit original research in critically important scientific fields of study and are judged by leading experts in their fields. Unique among high school competitions in the U.S. and around the world, the Regeneron Science Talent Search focuses on identifying, inspiring and engaging the nation’s most promising young scientists who are creating the ideas that could solve society’s most urgent challenges.

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