Silicon Valley News

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Editor's Choice: Intel scholarships help young scientists

Eric Larson, 17, of Eugene, Oregon, won the $100,000 top prize at this year's Intel Science Talent Search for classifying mathematical  objects called fusion categories, a discipline of group theory. William Sun, 17, from the St. Louis, Missouri suburb of Chesterfield took second place for a 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," according to Intel. Third place went to Philip Streich, 18, of Platteville, Wisconsin, whose project investigated carbon nanotubes. 

Among the 40 finalists was as student at Menlo Atherton High School in Menlo Park, California. Julia Ransohoff, 17, tested the effectiveness of adult bone marrow stem cells in treating damaged heart tissue following a heart attack. She conducted her research while working as an intern at a lab at Stanford University. Ransohoff got to meet President Obama the same day that he announced changes in federal policy that would stimulate embryonic stem cell research.