Top 10 winners in top science contest.It's the other March Madness: the week-long judging of the annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search, the Super Bowl of high school science competitions. So it was only fitting when the smart and smartly dressed students huddled in embrace--or butted chests--after the winners were announced at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., this week.
The first-place winner shot his arms up in triumph and hugged the nearest judge. Adam Ezra Cohen cohen
(Hebrew: “priest”) Jewish priest descended from Zadok (a descendant of Aaron), priest at the First Temple of Jerusalem. The biblical priesthood was hereditary and male. , 17, of Hunter College H.S. in New York, received a $40,000 scholarship for developing a new method of photolithography, the means by which information-packed patterns are electrochemically etched onto microchips.
His high technology was homegrown. Working in his bedroom, the prospective physicist started experimenting on his mother's gold jewelry with parts from a $1.49 speaker. He used Legos to build the housing for his "electrochemical electrochemical /elec·tro·chem·i·cal/ (-kem´i-k'l) pertaining to interaction or interconversion of chemical and electrical energies.
adj. paintbrush," a modified scanning tunneling microscope scanning tunneling microscope, device for studying and imaging individual atoms on the surfaces of materials. The instrument was invented in the early 1980s by Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, who were awarded the 1986 Nobel prize in physics for their work. .
In contrast, second-place winner Carrie Shilyansky, 15, of San Marino (Calif.) H.S., worked in a university laboratory on her neurobiology Neurobiology
Study of the development and function of the nervous system, with emphasis on how nerve cells generate and control behavior. The major goal of neurobiology is to explain at the molecular level how nerve cells differentiate and develop their project. She received a $30,000 scholarship for her study of a neuronal pathway controlling habituation habituation
Reduction of an animal's behavioral response to a stimulus, as a result of a lack of reinforcement during continual exposure to the stimulus. Habituation is usually considered a form of learning in which behaviours not needed are eliminated. , a simple form of learning, in the sea hare Aplysia.
Third-place winner Nicholas Karl Eriksson, 18, of Sentinel H.S. in Missoula, Mont., used algebra and number theory to explore the partition function, which counts the ways a whole number can be split into other integers. He received a $20,000 scholarship.
Davesh Maulik, 17, of Roslyn (N.Y.) H.S., also wrote a mathematics paper. His delved into symmetries of polynomial equations and took fourth place. Maulik received a $15,000 award, as did Emily Beth Levy, 17, of North Miami Beach North Miami Beach, residential and resort city (1990 pop. 35,359), Dade co., SE Fla., on the Atlantic coast; inc. 1931. It is a major office and retail area. (Fla.) Senior H.S., and Dev Edward Kumar, 17, of the Texas Academy of Math & Science in Denton. For her fifth-place project, Levy devised a method to improve reading comprehension in dyslexic dys·lex·ic or dys·lec·tic
Of or relating to dyslexia.
A person affected by dyslexia. children. In sixth place, Kumar invented an electronic monitor to measure the power efficiency of pagers and similar devices.
Ann Clair Seiferle-Valencia, 17, of Farmington (N.M.) H.S. and Dylan Micah Schwindt, 18, of Montezuma-Cortez H.S. in Cortez, Colo., took inspiration from their artifact-rich surroundings. Seiferle-Valencia reconstructed population trends of the Chacoan Anasazi. Schwindt analyzed trace elements in trees for a study of 13th-century Pueblo construction. They earned seventh and eighth places, respectively, and $10,000 awards.
Also winning $10,000 were Rose J. Payyapilli, 18, of Midwood H.S. at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Whitney Paige Bowe, 18, of Lawrence H.S. in Cedarhurst, N.Y. Payyapilli reached ninth place by identifying a factor affecting blood platelet aggregation. Bowe took tenth place with a study using jellyfish and algae algae (ăl`jē) [plural of Lat. alga=seaweed], a large and diverse group of primarily aquatic plantlike organisms. These organisms were previously classified as a primitive subkingdom of the plant kingdom, the thallophytes (plants that to examine how symbiosis can be established.
The remaining 30 finalists of the original 1,652 entrants (SN: 2/1/97, p. 69) received $1,000 each and this reminder from Princeton University astrophysicist J. Richard Gott John Richard Gott III is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. He is especially well known for developing and advocating two cosmological theories with the flavor of science fiction: Time travel, and the Doomsday argument. , head of the judges' panel: Only one of the competition's five Nobel laureates also ranked in the top 10. "Not winning one of the top scholarships increases your chances of winning a Nobel," he quipped.
"To be in it is to win it," commented finalist Long Cai, 16, of Ward Melville H.S. in Setauket, N.Y. Many of the student projects will be turned into patent applications or publications. An article by Erikkson on the partition function has been accepted by the International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences (IJMMS) is a biweekly refereed mathematics journal. It was founded in 1978 by Lokenath Debnath. External links
The competition, now in its 56th year, is administered by Science Service, which publishes Science News.