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Making India Proud

Inspiring Stories of Young Indian Innovators

Unless the real importance of pure science is recognised, and its fundamental influence in the advancement of all knowledge is realised and acted upon, India cannot make headway in any direction and attain her place among the nations of the world. There is only one solution for Indias economic problems and that is science and more science and still more science. Sir C V Raman Nobel Laureate for Physics in 930

Making India Proud


Inspiring Stories of Young Indian Innovators
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Contents
Foreword ............................................................................................................................. 9 The Story So Far ........................................................................................................ 10 Glimpses of Excellence ........................................................................................ 12 Madhurima Benakareddy It All Started With A Seed ............................................................................ 21 Sarvesh Rathore Curiosity Has Its Rewards ........................................................................... 26 Yash Vasant Joshi Simple Is Brilliant .................................................................................................. 31 Akshat Singhal The Persistent Pathbreaker ....................................................................... 35 Madhav Pathak When Passion Breeds Miracles ............................................................... 41 Bhushan Prakash Mahadik The Journey Is The Reward ........................................................................ 47 Senthalir P Seizing The Opportunity .............................................................................. 51 Sharanya S The Joy Of Discovery ........................................................................................ 56 Amruth B R All I Need Are Wings ......................................................................................... 60 Sameer Yeleswarapu A Winner From Every Angle ...................................................................... 67 Zeeshan Ali Sayyed Living For Research ........................................................................................... 71 Vrishikumar Patil Technology Addict .............................................................................................. 76 Malavika Vinod Tiwari The Summer Of Hope ..................................................................................... 80 Apurv Mishra Born To Lead ............................................................................................................ 87 Hamsa Padmanabhan Physics In The Blood ........................................................................................ 94 Varun Mittal A Happy Accident ................................................................................................ 99


Contents
Kanishka Tiwary When Inspiration Works Wonders .......................................................103 Swathi Soman Indias Pride: Twice Over! ............................................................................106


Vishnu Jayaprakash The Power Of Waste .................................................................................... 147 Hetal Kanjibhai Vaishnav A Passion For The Environment ........................................................ 152 Kaushik Srivatsan K A Very Special Flower ................................................................................. 159 Manosij Ghosh Dastidar Winning Twice? Q E D! ................................................................................ 164 Raghavendra Ramachanderan A Special Chemistry ....................................................................................... 171 Ankur Kanjibhai Vaishnav Like Sister, Like Brother .............................................................................. 177

Rishin Behl An Ignited Mind ................................................................................................. 111 Ambud Sharma A Cool Solution .................................................................................................. 117 Lavanya H Giriraj A Quest For Science ..................................................................................... 122 Pooja Dholakiya Winning The World With Science ...................................................... 127 Riddhi Dasani Crossing New Horizons .............................................................................. 131 Anish Mukherjee Finding The Better Way ............................................................................ 137 Debarghya Sarkar A Life Changing Experience .................................................................. 141

ANNEXURES On Top of the World ........................................................................................... 135 The Winning Ideas ................................................................................................ 181 Scientific Review Committee ................................................................... 211

Foreword


Dr Praveen Vishakantaiah President Intel India

Students of today are the innovators of tomorrow. Given a fertile environment, the seeds of innovation can take root and flourish. Intel is committed to the cause of igniting young minds and instilling a strong scientific temper in them. For over a decade, Intel has been passionately and relentlessly focussing on its pursuit to discover, nurture and promote many young innovators across India. The thirty one young Indians who illuminate this book are shining examples of what our young generation is capable of. Since 1999, each of them has brought honour to India as winners at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the worlds largest pre-college science fair competition, held every year in the United States of America. These young Indians have proved their mettle against the best in the world. From Thiruvananthapuram to Kanpur, and from Rajkot to Kolkata, they come from every part of the country. These students have a deep passion for science and research. For many of them, finding solutions to problems they encountered in their daily lives was the motivation; others chose to research more abstract topics that they encountered in their studies or on

the Internet. We would also like to acknowledge their teachers, guides and mentors through this effort. At Intel, we are happy to have been a part of their stellar achievements. These brilliant young minds have attained international fame by winning at the National Fairs of the Initiative for Research & Innovation in Science (IRIS), or its predecessor, the Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair. IRIS is an exemplary public-private partnership with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and the Confederation of Indian Industry. It recognises and rewards outstanding ideas, and provides a platform for these geniuses to represent India at Intel ISEF and other global science competitions. Intel believes that students everywhere deserve to have the skills necessary to become the next generation of innovators. The young geniuses whose achievements we have celebrated in this book are great examples for others to emulate. Their stories are truly inspirational and we hope that through them, we will be able to motivate other children around us, stimulate their curiosity and creativity so that they become the next generation of young Indian scientists to make the country proud.

The Story So Far


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Science competitions are catalysts for improved education in classrooms. Research shows a direct connection between participation in student research and ongoing success in science, including successful completion of a Masters or Ph D. Thats why we continue to invest in science competitionsto inspire a path to innovation. Since the Intel Education Initiative was launched in India more than a decade ago, numerous school students have been touched by Intels science initiatives. Intel has been challenging young minds to bend the rules of science to find new answers and innovative applications. To start with, this was done annually through the Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel STDF). Launched in 1998, this nationwide initiative helped infuse a spirit of discovery in school children, increase

their interest in science and technology, and build a robust scientific temper among the youth. Intel STDF gave students a platform to display their scientific aptitude, discover unique scientific solutions to everyday problems, and win public recognition and awards at the national and international level. It also encouraged students to use research as a tool for creating new knowledge about themselves and the world around them. In February 2006, Intel STDF was merged with Steer the Big Idea, a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and the Confederation of Indian Industry, to form the Initiative for Research & Innovation in Science (IRIS). This is a comprehensive initiative for popularising innovation and science among students.

IRIS is a research based science fair for students, with an objective to inspire budding scientists in India. Today, IRIS is the single largest science initiative in the country. IRIS conducts science fairs annually in India for middle and high school students, who compete in 11 subject categories: Behavioural Sciences, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Nutrition, Physics and Zoology. IRIS promotes and nurtures science and scientific research among young Indian innovators, recognises and rewards outstanding projects, and provides a platform for these geniuses to represent India at global science competitions like the Intel International

Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the International Exhibition for Young Inventors, and the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar. Intel ISEF, a program of Society for Science & the Public, is held every year in the United States of America. It is the worlds largest pre-college science fair competition. Each year, more than 6 million high school students from around the world vie for a spot among the 1,500 finalists. For those chosen, its a chance to showcase cutting-edge research and compete for more than USD 4 million in awards and scholarships. More than 1,000 science, engineering, and industry professionals volunteer at Intel ISEF to judge the student projects and award prizes. At the fair, students are encouraged to tackle challenging

scientific questions using authentic research practices to create solutions for a better tomorrow. Till 2012, a total of 69 Indian students have won 87 awards and accolades at Intel ISEFincluding 16 students who have had minor planets named after them by MITs Lincoln Laboratory under the Ceres Connection Program! 

For detailed information on IRIS and Intel ISEF, please visit: www.irissciencefair.org www.intel.com/education/in.

Glimpses of Excellence
1999
We had the privilege of sharing our table with Norman Ramsey, Nobel Prize winner for Physics. In the same function, we had a session with Jeanne Cavelos, an astrophysicist, and Dr David Stork. All these are my precious memories at Intel ISEF. Yash Vasant Joshi Intel ISEF 2001



2000

I never thought even in my dreams of going out of the country and representing such a great country at the international level. If somebody asks me to describe this fair even in a thousand words, I cant! Sarvesh Rathore Intel ISEF 2000

2001

The ISEF is surely one experience I will never forget. It taught me so much and humbled me so much, and gave me a new confidence that I shouldnt lose. I saw outside my own box of thoughts, sights, and places, and I saw that the world is wonderful and different out there. Akshat Singhal Intel ISEF 2002

2005

2002 2003
You can imagine the sense of amazement an 11th Standard kid will have while talking to a Nobel laureate: Robert F Curl, Jr! He probably came to my booth because it had Carbon Nanotubes written on it. We talked science for a bit. He was extremely kind and a very down-to-earth person, and quite appreciative of my work. That was the best part! Bhushan Mahadik Intel ISEF 2003

This six day Fair was really awesome and an opportunity which only a few lucky students experience. Thank you, Intel, for the opportunity this experience has given me a lot of exposure and confidence in my scientific goals. All of us have returned with great memories and with pride that we successfully represented the Indian team. Kanishka Raajkumar Intel ISEF 2004

2007
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2004

It was a great and proud feeling, the biggest achievement of my life. My experiences at Intel were life defining moments that completely changed my personality and installed in me, supreme confidence. Malavika Tiwari Intel ISEF 2005



Fly a fantasy, dream a dream, and what you see will be! I felt lucky, blessed and excited to be among the eight participants selected from the Indian team. It was a dream come true to be a winner twice over. Swathi Soman Intel ISEF 2006

2005

2006

2007



The competition at the IRIS National Fair was nowhere close to what I experienced at ISEF. Meeting so many people was overwhelming. We got a lot of support from Intel in the form of guidance at coaching camps, which helped in improving not only our project, but also our presentation skills. Nikhil Khosla Intel ISEF 2007

2005

This journey from IRIS to Intel ISEF has taught me to plan more systematically and do things on time. I look forward to coming up with more innovative ideas to make everybodys life better, and to be remembered for a lifetime. Winning an award was a dream come true. Divya Jain Intel ISEF 2009



2008

India has always been on the frontier of science and technology, and bagging a prize at a global science forum proved to the world our excellence in innovation in the field of science and technology. And I still feel humbled and privileged to have made my country proud. Ambud Sharma Intel ISEF 2008

2010

Intel ISEF 2010 was a dream come true for me. I was very excited to meet students of my age from different countries who had worked on different aspects of science. The sheer magnitude and grandeur of the event makes me proud that I could represent my country at this forum. Kaushik Srivatsan Intel ISEF 2010



2009

Team India with Elizabeth Marincola, President, Society for Science & the Public, at Intel ISEF 2011

I thank Intel for giving students such an amazing opportunity to showcase their talent and interest in science. Every moment spent at the Intel ISEF was memorablemingling with like-minded students from around the world, listening to industry veterans and being inspired by what inspired them!


Raghavendra Ramachanderan Intel ISEF 2011

2011

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It All Started With A Seed


Madhurima Benakareddy
St Augustines English Medium High School Anantapur Andhra Pradesh

1999
Annona squamosa, had significant antifeedant and insecticidal properties that were very useful in protecting plants and crops from persistent organic pollutants and other crop irritants, as well as in preserving food grains. She developed a pesticide by using powdered custard apple seeds and tested it on various crops and plants. That was the basis of the project, Development of Biopesticides through Chemical Technology, that made her a National Winner at the first Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel STDF) in 1998, and qualified to be part of the four member team that represented India at the 50th edition of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF)the Olympics of Science Fairs which was held in Philadelphia, USA, the following May. There, she brought laurels to India


As Madhurima Benakareddy goes about her research in neurosciences at Hoffman-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland, her thoughts sometimes go back to the humble custard apple seed that started her down the path of brilliance that has got her where she is today. Madhurima was a 14 year old girl studying in Class 10 at St Augustines English Medium High School in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, when she observed that grazing cattle always avoided custard apple saplings. Intrigued, she enquired around, and found out that extracts from the seeds had been traditionally used in villages for the treatment of dandruff and lice. The inquisitive young girl followed up with extensive research in her school, going through available journals and taking the help of local experts. She discovered that the custard apple plant,

Creating Bio-Pesticides from Custard Apple Seeds Biochemistry Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 Individual Category Honourable Mention Award Entomological Society of America

My initial reaction was one of surprise and excitement. Winning a Grand Award at the Intel ISEF opened up a lot of opportunities and strengthened my personal belief.



by earning international acclaim and a multitude of awards Philadelphia for her biochemistry project. This is the first time India had participated in the fair, and Madhurima thus carries the distinction of being the first Intel ISEF winner from the country. Madhurimas awards at Intel ISEF 1999 included the Third Prize in the Grand Awards for Biochemistry, which came with a cash award of USD 1,000; the First Prize from Worldwide Young Researchers for the Environment, which won her an all-expense-paid trip to Hanover, Germany, to participate in the Worldwide Fair in Environmental Sciences in October 2000; and an Honourable Mention and Recognition Certificate from the Entomological Society of America. Reliving the moment, Madhurima says, My initial reaction was one of surprise and excitement. Winning a Grand Award

With Dr Craig R Barrett, Ex-Chairman, Intel Corporation (top); Madhurimas project (left)

The collective energy of all the participants from around the world infected me with enough scientific enthusiasm to last a long time. It gave me a good idea of what good science is.

at the Intel ISEF opened up a lot of opportunities and strengthened my personal belief. It was only much later that I realised that while that one moment of winning the award gave me a lot of impetus, what made the real difference was all the learning experiences in the years preceding that led me to that point. Now, as I look back several years later, I can clearly see how such exciting opportunities in my formative years helped me find out what Im really cut out for. And I find myself feeling lucky to have had that chance. Back home, the bouquets continued to pour in. While her school acknowledged her feat immediately by giving her a cash award of INR 10,000, Intel

felicitated her at a grand ceremony in Hyderabad. Speaking at the time, this is what Madhurima had to say: The need for developing environmentally safe bio-pesticides towards protection of crops and post-harvest produce is well recognised. The recent suicides of farmers in my state due to crop failures caused by insects and pests spurred me to explore the possibility of developing such a pesticide from naturallyoccurring agricultural wastes. Looking back now, thirteen years later, one memory stands out for Madhurima: the buzz that she got from all the scientific excitement at Fair. Meeting peers from all around the world gave her an amazing sense of perspective which evoked both self confidence and humility. The collective energy of all the participants from around the world infected me with enough scientific

enthusiasm to last a long time. It gave me a good idea of what good science is. I think having such a perspective early on in my scientific process made for a solid foundation. I remember meeting several students from around the world, and, as I travel down memory lane, I see a collage of images of me at the opening ceremony, the Philadelphia waterfront, making friends from all around the world. Im still in touch with a friend I made at Intel ISEF. Second among three sisters, Madhurimas inspiration has always been her engineer-businessman father and science-educated mother. Her parents and siblings always encouraged her to aim high, as did her mentor, Prof C Subramanyam from Osmania University. She believes that it is their unstinting support that helped her achieve what she did.

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Intel ISEF has broadened my spectrum and given me much needed perspective and confidence. It offered me focus, and, therefore, a thorough edge over other starry-eyed 16 year olds.



Life after Intel ISEF changed substantially for the teenager. There were several offers from the corporate sector for sponsoring and endorsing her project and research, within and outside her state. But the aspiring young scientist wanted to continue her studies and conduct further research on her findings. I want to take this project forward to the realm of genetic engineering, and also conduct DNA research on the seeds to develop a foolproof and effective bio-pesticide, said Madhurima. She followed up on some aspects of her project, with Prof Subramanyam as co-investigator, and obtained a grant under the Technopreneur Promotion Program (TePP) of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India. This helped her do further field studies on the feasibility of her ideas in a real world situation.

She also filed for a patent in September 1999 on Isolation and manufacture of bioactive antifeedants from Annona squamosa seeds at the offices of the Controller of Patents and Trade Marks, Chennai, along with Prof Subramanyam. She also worked on other aspects of her project with Prof Ashok Khar at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad. Even as she continued with her research, Madhurima finished her schooling, and graduated with a B Sc from Osmania University. Then she joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research for an integrated Ph D program. It was a big step for her, because the program required a long term commitment to biological research. Madhurima believes that it was only her previous research experience leading to Intel ISEF that enabled her to give such a commitment.

Madhurima at Intel ISEF 1999 (top and middle); and with her mentor, Prof C Subramanyam (left)

At TIFR, she found a new passion. Under the nurturing mentorship of Dr Vidita Vaidya, she developed a deep interest in neuroscience and behaviour. Her doctoral work in Dr Vaidyas group gave her the requisite foundations for a future in neuroscience research.

At the Intel STDF 1998 Valediction Ceremony (far left); and with her family (left)

She researched on the effects of trauma on the brain in its delicate stages of development, in children and adolescents. Her area of study focuses on serotonin receptors in the brain. Since 2004, she has many publications in her area of research to her credit. Among the various grants and honours she has received, the most recent was being selected to be one of the 570 researchers from 80 countries to meet with 26 Nobel Laureates at the 61st Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates in June 2011, where the focus was on physiology and medicine. At Basel, where she moved in early 2012, Madhurima is pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr Anirvan Ghosh, a neuroscientist at Hoffman-La Roche. After she finishes, she hopes to pursue her interest in understanding how life

experiences shape neural function and behaviour. If you think that life is all about working in the lab for this young researcher, you couldnt be more wrong. A good invigorating swim once in a while really refreshes her. She loves listening to music, and fiddling around on her guitar, trying to play her favourite songs. She also loves science fiction and detective novels. According to Madhurima, her exposure at Intel ISEF has helped her in many ways, as she has shaped her career. Among the advantages: experience and soft skills. She says, It taught me the art of effective communication and making tough, yet good, choices Madhurima feels students interested in pursuing scientific research should take advantage of the numerous opportunities and fellowships available

to get hands-on research experience early on. Being able to do parttime research during undergraduate education gives you an idea of whether you like the scientific experimental process and also enriches your undergraduate coursework. Scientific research, she believes, is a cumulative process and it is important to be able to see the meaning of every days work and also enjoy it.



Curiosity Has Its Rewards


2000
Christ Church Boys Senior Secondary School Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh 

Sarvesh Rathore
Sarvesh Rathore was vacationing at Bilaspur with his friend, Sameep Agarwal, when they came across an interesting phenomenon: they noticed that waste from a nearby shellac unit was being dumped in a fieldand the plants there were thriving! The two 16 year olds, who were students at Christ Church Boys Senior Secondary School, Jabalpur, wondered if the waste had compost like properties, and contained any elements that had provided nutrients to the plants and helped them flourish. The duo decided to explore this further. Very systematically, the boys processed the waste to a chelating agent for uptake of micronutrients by the plants. They isolated micronutrients with iron, zinc and copper which could be added to the soil to help the plants grow better. The biggest benefit of their project was that it would help poor farmers, because these micronutrients could be made available at prices much lower than those of the synthetic micronutrients currently in the market. These micronutrients would also help increase the crop yield. The two friends entered their project at a block level science exhibition organised by the Madhya Pradesh Council for Science and Technology. What followed was a winning run at a string of exhibitions and competitions at the district, division and state level. The state-level award qualified them to participate in the 1999 edition of the Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel STDF), where they won the National Award in their category. Through this whole process, they had the invaluable guidance of Mrs S Malshe, their chemistry teacher, who helped them

Shellac Industry Waste as a Chelating Agent for Uptake of Micronutrients by Plants Environmental Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Team Category

Sarvesh at Intel ISEF 2000 (right); Getting a heros welcome on his return home (below)

in building the concept and nurturing their idea. Sarvesh says, She guided us with the right approach and provided us with expertise in the subject. Another teacher, Mr Sanjay Juda, was their project guide. It was he who initially motivated them to participate in science competitions, and supported them in their efforts as they took their winning project from one level to the next. He also gratefully acknowledges the support he received from his parents throughout this endeavour. Their victory at the Intel STDF National Fair earned Sarvesh and Sameep the right to represent India at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair* 2000 (Intel ISEF 2000). A lot of hard work and fine tuning followed in the months before they set off for Detroit, Michigan, for the prestigious Fair. Sarvesh says that Madhurima



Mr Sanjay Juda was their project guide. It was he who initially motivated them to participate in this competition and supported them in all their efforts as they took their winning project from one level to the next.



Sciences project. When they returned victorious to India, Sarvesh and Sameep received more accolades, and they were each awarded INR 51,000 by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Sarvesh treasures the long term benefits of his participation at Intel ISEF at least as much as the award he won. Describing his experience at the Fair, he says: It was simply fabulous! It was great talking to talented students from all over the worldlistening to their projects and competing with them. It made me very ambitious and strong in my convictions. Even today, he considers it one of his lifes biggest achievements, and feels that his curiosity which was nurtured by this experience has become the secret for his success today. Their project idea was taken up by some agricultural research institutes

Sarvesh at Intel STDF with his teammate, Sameep Agarwal (above); and during the judging process (right)

Benakareddy, the first Indian to have won at Intel ISEF, was a great inspiration to him as he prepared for the prestigious international event, and hopes that he himself would similarly have been an inspiration to others in later years. At Detroit, the Jabalpur kids proved their mettle against the best in the world, and were awarded the Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 in the Team Category for their Environmental

Sarvesh has big dreams and wants to do something for his country... I want to nurture some new idea into reality, and open up my own company around that.

for further research, but, unfortunately, none of them took it far. Some day, Sarvesh himself hopes to commercialise the idea and see if he can make a business out of it. In the meantime, he is making a mark at Wipro Technologies in Bangalore, where he works as a Supply Chain Management Consultant involved in implementation engagements in SAP SCM. He joined Wipro in 2008 after finishing his BE in Computer Science from Jabalpur Engineering College, and, subsequently, his MBA in Supply Chain Management Systems from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. The year he joined Wipro, he won the Best Debutante Award for the MBA Batch of 2008 at the company. He advises the new generation to dream BIG and follow your curiosity.

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Do not leave your idea in the middle, always follow through. Success will always follow those who keep their minds open to new ideas and try to get the answers to Why, What and How. He himself has big dreams, and wants to do something for his country. Sarvesh strongly feels that the answers to all environmental problems lie in scientific research, and that is where he sees his future: I want to nurture some new idea into reality, and open up my own company around that.

Sarvesh being feilcitated by Shri Digvijay Singh, then Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, on his return from Intel ISEF

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Simple Is Brilliant
Yash Vasant Joshi
St Xaviers High School Vile Parle Mumbai Maharashtra

2001
Winning at Intel ISEF? At that moment, it was a feeling of absolute elation and that of having achieved something great. Eleven years after that moment, it serves as a happy and inspiring reminder of my first steps in the field of scientific research and development. Thats what Yash Vasant Joshi, who is currently doing his PhD from the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands, has to say as he looks back at his successful trip to San Jose, California, in 2001 to participateand win!at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). A student of St Xaviers High School, Vile Parle, Mumbai, Yash was only 14 when he won the Intel Achievement Award of USD 5,000 for his project, Reprocessing of Plastic Wastes at Place of Generation. He also won the Grand Award Fourth Prize in Engineering, which was worth USD 500. The prizes apart, Yashs most memorable moment at Intel ISEF was meeting Andy Grove, co-founder of Intel. He was one of just five children invited to breakfast with the great man because Mr Grove was very impressed with their ideas. Yash recalls: I remember explaining to him my whole project at breakneck speed with trembling hands! Yash also had the privilege of sharing a table with Norman Ramsey, the 1989 Nobel Prize winner for Physics. At the same function, he had a session with Jeanne Cavelos, noted astrophysicist and science fiction writer, and Dr David Stork. All these are my precious memories of Intel ISEF, adds Yash. So what is the story behind this young Mumbai lad finding his place in the sun in distant San Jose? When Yash visited Juhu beach in Mumbai, just after the Ganesha festival, he
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Reprocessing of Plastic Wastes at Place of Generation Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Intel Achievement Award of USD 5,000 Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500, Individual Category

Intel ISEF was the first opportunity that I had to interact with students, of the same age as I, who were from countries other than my own. It was a confidence building experience, which assured me that the scientific education that I had received was at least as good as anywhere else in the world.

Yash with his father, Vasant, who has been his friend, philosopher and mentor

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was most perturbed to find the entire seashore littered with human-generated waste. Most of it, he found, was plastic scrap. The boy determined to do something about this gross violation of the environmentand from this resolve came a simple, yet remarkable invention: a bicycle pump modified for household recycling of plastic scrap! After considering various options for compacting and melting thin gauge thermoplastic scrap, he came up with a low cost, simple to operate, and efficient solution. He converted an old bicycle pump into a manual thermoplastic extruder. First, he fixed electric band heaters around the lower portion of its barrel. He then removed the piston assembly, including the leather washer, and filled the barrel with 100-150 small size plastic carry bags. He reinstalled the piston assembly, and switched on the

heaters Lo and behold! As the piston was pushed down manually, molten plastic extruded through the vent at the bottom of the barrel into a bowl filled with cold water. The plastic pellets which were formed could even be sold for recycling in the market at INR 20 per kg, at the time. The simple brilliance of his solution to the unfortunate issue of plastic pollution, which is so starkly evident especially in the urban landscape, caught the imagination of the judges when he entered his project in the Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel STDF) in 2000. As a National Winner, he was one of the four students chosen to represent India at Intel ISEF 2001, where he got all the recognition. Harking back to the moments before his awards were announced in San Jose, Yash says: At the Award Ceremony, till my name was announced,

I was keeping my fingers constantly crossed. After winning, I realised that all the hard work I had put in had not gone waste. The impact of ISEF on Yash? He says: Intel ISEF was the first opportunity that I had to interact with students, of the same age as I, who were from countries other than my own. It was a confidence building experience, which assured me that the scientific education that I had received was at least as good as anywhere else in the world. He is grateful to his father, Mr Vasant Joshi, for introducing him to the field of engineering, and for always being his guide and critic in his science projects.

Yashs involvement with his environment-friendly project was not with the intent of reward. Before he set off to San Jose, he had said, Whether my project wins at Intel ISEF or not, I would like to mass produce this device and make sure that plastic pollution is controlled.
A victorious Yash with his teammates at Intel ISEF

A good, hardworking kid, very good in academics and obedient, is how his fatherand mentordescribes Yash. He shares an interesting insight about Yashs character. At Intel ISEF, Yash could unfortunately not show a live demo of his machine, due to emission rules at the event, which were known to him only after he arrived at the Fair. But the young boy did not get fazed by this turn of events, and confidently explained the working of his invention verbally to the judges. On his experience of mentoring Yash, Mr Joshi says, Yash saw through all issues and did not need any inspiration and follow up. He was very dedicated and hardworking. Yashs project also won him, in 2002, the St Andrews Prize for the Environment, a joint initiative by the University of St Andrews in Scotland and the international integrated energy company, ConocoPhillips. But Yashs involvement with his environment friendly project was not with the intent of reward. Before he set off to San Jose, he had said, Whether my project wins at Intel ISEF or not, I would like to mass produce this device and make sure that plastic pollution is controlled. A noble thought indeed. Yash applied for a patent for his low cost plastic extruder, which can reprocess various types of household plastic waste into saleable pellets. He carried on with the project for some time after he returned from Intel ISEF, but he had

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Studying a scientific discipline which you really like... is the only way that you can maintain your interest in science and technology in the years to come and ultimately contribute to the world around you.
Recent pictures of Yash with his friends (top and left)

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to set it aside because of complications that arose in the scaling up of the original prototype. He realised that it was not viable to commercialise it because of factors like the quality of raw materials. Yash completed his BE in Mechanical Engineering in 2008, and went on to do his MSc in Sustainable Energy Technology at TU Delft. During this time, he worked for a year as a Trainee Researcher at Tata Steel, IJmuiden, in the Netherlands, and as a Research Assistant at the Reactor Instituut Delft at TU Delft. He received the Nuffic Huygens Scholarship in 2009-2010 for his Masters. For his PhD, which he is pursuing at the Process and Energy Department of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, his subject of study is combustion in large thermal power plants,. He is working

with processing technology for biomassbased fuels to partially replace coal as the heat source in power plant furnaces. He advises young students to choose to study a scientific discipline which they really like, and not base their choice on what job markets dictate. This is the only way that you can maintain your interest in science and technology in the years to comeand ultimately contribute to the world around you. An Indophile, Yash aspires to work as an engineer in India, developing technologies for the betterment of society, with a focus on renewable energy projects. I plan to be actively involved in research for the largest part of my working life, says this music lover, who is adept at playing the guitar and the mandolin. His interests dont end there: he is currently practicing long distance running!

And whenever Yash misses home, he watches an episode of the long running TV serial CID, with good old ACP Pradyuman!

The Persistent Pathbreaker


Akshat Singhal
St Anselms Pink City Senior Secondary School Jaipur Rajasthan

2002
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IDMS: Intelligent Document Management System Computer Science Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (12599) Singhal Paid Summer Internship at Agilent Technologies

Akshat became the youngest Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer at the age of 14; he was the worlds youngest Certified Lotus Professional (CLP) and a Certified Lotus Specialist (CLS)... and one of the first two Indian students to have had the distinction of having a minor planet named after him!

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At the age of 14, he was the youngest Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), as the Limca Book of Records attests. He also became the worlds youngest Certified Lotus Professional (CLP) and Certified Lotus Specialist (CLS). He is also one of the youngest to have won a paid 8-week summer internship at Agilent Technologies. Whats more, he was declared the Face of the Millennium by MTV! Youd think that thats more than enough to make any teenager happy for the rest of his life. But, for Jaipur boy Akshat Singhal, there was more: he is one of the first two Indian students to have minor planets named after them! Every year, the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) names minor planets after selected students and teachers

who have excelled at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), as part of its Ceres Connection programme. In 2002, at the Intel ISEF held in Louisville, Kentucky, Akshat was chosen as one of the recipients of this honour on the basis of his Computer Science project, and an essay he wrote on Why the Ceres Connection Minor Planet Honour is Important to Me (see page 136). So, now, in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter orbits minor planet (12599) Singhal! Keeping him company, among others, are (8749) Beatles, (2001) Einstein and (7000) Curie. Its the biggest gift God has given me, says Akshat, as he rejoices at having a personal space in the cosmos. Imagine, creatures from my planetSinghalites! was his first response when he learnt about the minor planet being named after him.

For Intel ISEF 2002, Akshat had developed the Intelligent Document Management System (IDMS), that helps in organising documents in standard word processing software for easy accessibility and better storage in a small office environment. He developed the system when he found that the My Documents folder on most computers was full of hundreds of documents with no known file name convention, making the act of finding a desired document tedious. His system indexes all documents

The Intel ISEF experience: with Dr Craig R Barrett (above); and at the Fair (below)

Akshat found that the My Documents folder on most computers was full of hundreds of documents with no known file name convention, making the act of finding a desired document tedious.So he developed a system that indexes all documents created and stored on a computer so as to allow better organisation and retrieval.

created and stored on a computer so as to allow better organisation and retrieval. One feature of the system is to automatically categorise documents based on their contents so that the user doesnt have to. His tryst with computers began way back in 1993, when a small computer institute opened in his residential colony. The then 8 year old Akshat attended LOGO and Basic programming classes. He was amazed by the infinite capabilities of the machine and had a whale of a time making designs in LOGO. His growing interest in computers prompted his father to buy a PC for him when he was just 12. I was thrilled, he says. I went overboard conducting my little experiments with it. Its really a coincidence that I got into computers as a career, because its more of a hobby than a profession.

By the age of 12, he had started building web sites, and, by 2002, he had about 25 of them up and running. One of them was set up by him in 2001 for Jaipurs Traffic Department. It addressed all types of vehicular problems, and had a whole lot of other information, including the organisational set up of the department, all aspects of the work of the traffic police, an online interactive city map in which each and every city lane could be seen, and various charges relating to city transport. There was even a vintage car gallery, which had details of all the vintage cars in the Pink City! So, from where did this whiz kid draw his inspiration? It comes from somewhere within me, said a 17 year old Akshat, when he had won at Intel ISEF 2002. A decade later, an older, wiser Akshat says, Some of my inspirations are Sawai Jai Singh IIs ambition and opulence,

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More memories from Akshats Intel ISEF album

Some of my inspirations are Sawai Jai Singh IIs ambition and opulence, Mahatma Gandhis courage and frugality, President A P J Abdul Kalams wisdom, and the Beatles imagination!
Akshat at his project stall at Intel ISEF

utility, and helped me shape the ideas behind my project. His Intel ISEF experience was memorable as he made his first journey by plane, and visited a foreign country for the first timeand that, too, without his parents! The memory of his first Starbucks coffee at the Washington airport costing almost INR 200 is unforgettable. On a more serious note, he says, The Fair did make me happy about whatever Ive done. It set me in the category of young geniuses from around the world, and that was my honour. It was a humbling, yet encouraging, experience. When he started, the student of Jaipurs St Anselms Pink City Senior Secondary School didnt have much hope of his project winning any award, and was expecting an E for effort. But his project made it through various levels of science fairs till it brought him to Intel

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ISEF. Along this journey, he had a lot of fun meeting young and old scientists from across India and the world. He learnt about scientific discourse, and got to see places like the Indian Institute of Technology and the Nehru Science Centre in Mumbai, where he took part in the Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair. At Intel ISEF, he was surprised that the Nobel laureates he met were the most modest people in the whole gathering. He was impressed by their good sense of humour, too! One of the senior scientists from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) commented that he had a fundamentally new idea, and the judges from NASA were also quite impressed by his project. His unforgettable experience taught him so much, even as it humbled him, giving him a new confidence that he would never lose.

Mahatma Gandhis courage and frugality, President A P J Abdul Kalams wisdom, and the Beatles imagination! His mother, Sunita Singhal, played a crucial part in his success at Intel ISEF. He calls her his guide for his project, though shes not a computer professional per se, but over the years has endured many long and sometimes boring stories that I often tell about computers. She was also a good judge of process and

He developed a system that not only automatically categorises documents, but finds relations between them, using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence.
On his return home!

Akshat sharing an unforgettable moment with a Nobel Laureate

After completing Class 12, Akshat went to Oberlin College, a private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio, noted for having been the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit female and black students. He was on a scholarship to study Computer Science. During his college days, he won the Denison University Programming Contest in 2008, and competed in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Competition in 2006, 2007 and 2008. It was during his senior Honors project at Oberlin College that he revisited his Intel ISEF project, addressing the same

problem he was trying to solve earlier, but now in a more complex and researchoriented avatar. This time, he developed a system that not only automatically categorises documents, but finds relationships between them, using state of the art artificial intelligence. He read many computer science research papers in order to develop this project, and, as a result, got interested in two fields of computer science related to machine learning and artificial intelligence: automatic text categorisation, which is a complex mathematical and theoretical problem that falls under the research area of Information Retrieval; and Natural Language Programming, a study of programs that read and interpret text written in human languages such as Hindi and English. Akshat says that he is not planning to make a commercial product out of his

Intel ISEF project in the near future, but working on his project introduced him to some fascinating research ideas which he might pursue at some point in the future, and maybe even create a product. After he graduated from Oberlin with a BA (Hons) in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Akshat came back to Jaipur and engaged in independent software and web development work locally for a while. But then he went back to the US, and has been working since 2010 as a software dispute analyst at Disputesoft in Washington, DC. Here, he works on major software-related legal disputes in the International Trade Commission, and in US and foreign courts, as a technical expert. His job is an interesting mix of being a computer detective and the reasonable voice of a practitioner of the industry.

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Education is the process of learning from ones environment, so as to become capable of exerting precise control on the environment. Apart from good grades in school, try and seek good grades in life by building valuable partnerships, earning street smarts, and learning to work on scientific projects and scientific inquiries.
A proud winner at Intel STDF 2001

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Today, he is content working in the computer industry, and is reaping the rewards of computer science research for practical use and value creation. But, for Akshat, computers remain a hobby as well, as he finds them extremely fascinating. He lives in the vibrant DuPont Circle neighbourhood of Washington, DC, takes public transportation to work, and enjoys the recreational opportunities available in the city. He likes to go bowling, and to shooting ranges, race tracks, dance halls, restaurants and tourist spots in the area. Listening to music, playing video games, photography, and visiting wide open spaces are among his interests, along with debating about philosophy, politics, economics and racial identity. He advises young students to keep their schooling and education completely separate. Education is the process of

learning from ones environment, so as to become capable of exerting precise control on the environment. Apart from good grades in school, try and seek good grades in life by building valuable partnerships, earning street smarts, and learning to work on scientific projects and scientific inquiries. As a student, try to find subjects that you enjoy, problems that you want to solve, and ask good questions. Following your curiosity in one favourite subject can sometimes open up time that you can use on a more difficult subject. Be persistent about your inquiries: always keep a little notebook handy, and write down ideas and questions. (This was suggested to me by a judge at an ISEF event!). Someday he hopes to settle down and become a tenured professor, as he is good at teaching, thanks to his research-related experience.

And, of course, he looks forward to telling his grandchild, Yes, little one, that is grandpas planet right there!

When Passion Breeds Miracles


Madhav Pathak

2002
Joy Higher Secondary School Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh 

Modification in Braille Slate to Make Writing Easy for Blind Life Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (12509) Pathak

Madhav set out to improve the conventional Braille slate to make writing easier for the visually handicappedand ended up being one of the first two students from India to have minor planets named after them!
Madhav with his family



What does it take to have your name up in the heavens? For Madhav Pathak, a Class 10 student of Joy Higher Secondary School, Jabalpur, it was an improved Braille slate that he invented. For the visually impaired, Braille is the gateway to the world. The six dots, which, in various combinations, make up different characters, provide them access to information that they would otherwise not have had. But 15 year old Madhav found that there was a fly in the ointment. He found that his visually impaired uncle could read the Braille script without a problem, but when it came to writing, it was a different story altogether; it was a very tedious procedure. So he set out to improve the conventional Braille slate to make writing easier for the visually handicappedand ended up being one of the first two

students from India to have minor planets named after them! To understand what Madhav did, lets look at how Braille works. Reading Braille is the same as what we dofrom left to right, explains Madhav. But writing is just the opposite: its written in a mirror image form, from right to left. It takes a lot of time. Traditionally, Braille is imprinted right to left on the

reverse of a sheet of paper, so that the raised dots on the other side can be read left to right. Try doing this with any normal written script, and you will realise how impossibly difficult it is. Blind children have to memorise more than 300 combinations of dots, since they need one set of combinations for reading, and another set for writing!

Madhav with his award and certificate at Intel STDF 2001

With Madhavs improvement on the traditional slate, Braille can now be both read and written left to right. He took his invention to the 2001 edition of the Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel STDF). Visitors at the National Fair saw the young Jabalpur boy sitting at his stall looking vulnerable, yet happy. To quote one, There was wonder in his eyes, but confidence too! The confidence was well founded: he won, and was selected to represent India at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair* (Intel ISEF) which was held in Louisville, Kentucky, in May 2002. Participants at Intel ISEF were asked to write about why they would like a minor planet named after them. The best of these efforts were accorded a special honour: the Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology would name a minor planet after them!

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Madhavs proud father

My father has always been an inspiration for me in every phase of my life. He has always been a backbone for my success, has shown keen interest in what I do and has always motivated me to come up with new ideas.

Among the winners was Madhav. Some months later, he received the certificate that officially declared that he now had a namesake in the sky: (12509) Pathak.


sharing new ideas. He made many good friends there, the experience has furnished some of the best memories of his life. Since 2002, its been an interesting journey for Madhav. His invention won the first Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Diamond Jubilee Award in 2002, and a host of international prizes. This included the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) award for the Outstanding Student Inventor of India in 2003. CSIR also supported Madhav by applying for a patent in his name, and assisted him in improving upon his project at their laboratory at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation in Chandigarh. The new prototype he developed there was an improved pocket sized, handy version that supported both the conventional way

Even today, Madhav feels on top of the world. He avers, This was my first thought when I got felicitated at Intel ISEF 2002. It boosted my confidence and encouraged me to move ahead in life. About the impact that Intel ISEF had on him, he says, Being an Intel ISEF winner, you get tremendous exposure and learn a lot within a short span of time. Intel ISEF is a platform not only for nurturing talent in the scientific field, but also one where personality is developed. It was my first exposure to the competitive world, and had a huge impact upon me. His memorable moments include interacting with innumerable international students, learning about their cultures, and

of writing Braille, as well as Madhavs new type of stylus, while providing more space to read and write. He is now waiting for the Indian government to start its manufacture on a large scale, as it has agreed to do. Two years later, when he was in Class 12, Madhav also invented a simple, costeffective device to prevent soiling of railway tracks near the platform. With this project, he represented India at the Japan International Science and Educational Fair held in Tokyo in 2004, which was organised by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation. This device could save water and electricity that was wasted in cleaning the tracks near platforms, and has been appreciated by Indian Railways. It also won him the Fourth prize in the Second CSIR School Invention Awards in 2004.

Enjoy science. Once you start enjoying the field of science, you will end up doing miracles with excellent results.

The patents for both his inventions are under process, but once Madhav started his college education, he has not found the time to pursue these further. However, he kept on gaining momentum in the field of science. While he was doing his BS in Engineering, Electronics and Communication from the Hitkarini College of Engineering and Technology, Jabalpur, he became a National Engineering Stream Scholar under the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) from 2006 to 2010, which opened up a path for him in research. Behind Madhavs success has been his father. A surgeon by profession, he always discussed facts and challenges in science with the young Madhav. He has always been an inspiration for me in every phase of my life, says Madhav. He has always been a backbone for my success, has shown keen interest in



what I do, and has always motivated me to come up with new ideas. After he graduated from HCET in June 2010, Madhav joined the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he is currently doing his Masters in Electrical Engineering. Madhav loves to explore new places, and to sit down with a good book. He also likes to strum on his guitar. In the future, Madhav would like to start a semiconductor company. He is aware that it would need both a research background and immense talent to succeed in his dream, but,

Madhav (extreme right) with his friends

given his passion for research, he is prepared for the challenge. He would like young students to share his passion: Enjoy science. Once you start enjoying the field of science, you will end up doing miracles with excellent results.



The Journey Is The Reward


Bhushan Prakash Mahadik
Fr Agnel Junior College Navi Mumbai Maharashtra

2003
the brightness of flame would change if the fuel changed. So he started experimenting at home, burning lamps with different types of oils, derived out of til, coconut, mustard, linseed, and some others. But Bhushan found that he could not measure their luminosity. So he tried studying the soot produced instead, and started research on the Internet on the analysis of oils and their soot. He then explored information about the C60 molecule of carbon, buckyballs, and, finally, carbon nanotubes (CNT). CNTs are produced by burning fossil fuels. Bhushan thought of producing them by burning vegetable oils. This was the genesis of his project idea. Getting his project ready for Intel ISEF was a great challenge for Bhushan, as his chosen topic was very complex. Bhushan contacted Prof Maheshwar


Back in 2003, when he worked on his project on the synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), as a Class 11student at Fr Agnel Junior College in Navi Mumbai, little did Bhushan Mahadik foresee where his efforts would take him. Bhushan was always enthusiastic about participating in the science competitions held at the Nehru Science Centre or the Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai. He was unsuccessful in his first attempt to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) when he was in Class 10. But that did not deter him from trying again the next year. The first big challenge was to find a unique topic to research into. One day, Bhushan noticed that the flame of a lamp was unusually bright. When he learnt from his mother that she had used pure ghee, he wondered whether

Carbon Nanotubes (CNT)A New Frontier in Nanotechnology: Their Production from Vegetable Oils and Studying Their Applications Chemistry Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (17095) Mahadik Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Individual Category DuPonts Center for Collaborative Research and Education, Office of Education Primary Award of USD 1, 000 National Aeronautics & Space Administration Honourable Mention Award American Chemical Society

Intel ISEF was a fantastic learning experience. I saw plenty of amazing projects from students from all over the world. I think its an experience every student should aim for. Even if you dont reach the end, the journey in itself will be worth it all!

Sharon of the Chemical Engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay), and sought his guidance.


Doing the project was a lot of hard work, and took a lot of my time from school. Travelling from Navi Mumbai to the lab at IIT Bombay at Powai almost everyday was quite exhausting. However, it got me interested in research, and the experience certainly developed me as an individual. The preparation for Intel ISEF was itself a great inspiration to Bhushan, as he learnt how to engage in science related research. At Intel ISEF itself, he had a particularly unforgettable moment: among the visitors at his stall was Robert F Curl, Jr, who had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996for the same subject that Bhushan himself had researched! They had a long interaction

what better learning experience could there be for a young science enthusiast! Says Bhushan, You can imagine the sense of amazement a Class 11 kid would have while talking to a Nobel Laureate! He probably came to my booth because it had Carbon Nanotubes written on it. We talked science for a bit. He was extremely kind, and a very down to earth person, and actually quite appreciative of my work. That was the best part! Intel ISEF was a fantastic learning experience, Bhushan goes on to say. I saw plenty of amazing projects from students from all over the world. I think its an experience every student should aim for. Even if you dont reach the end, the journey in itself will be worth it all! After finishing from Fr Agnel College in 2004, Bhushan went on to graduate in chemical engineering from the

It is a cause for great happiness in our lives that our only child has a place in space permanently. The recognition given by Lincoln Laboratory should encourage youngsters in India to study space sciences and technology. With the experience at Intel ISEF, a motivated and mature Bhushan got the courage to follow his dreams.
Prakash Mahadik, Bhushans father

University of California at Berkeley, with a double major in material science. It was during his first year there that Bhushan learnt that he now had a minor planet named after him. It was obviously a very big surpriseand for the most part I didnt even know what reaction I should have. It took a while for the joy to sink in! There was part disbelief, part happiness, and part amazement. My friends and family were happy for me, and my parents were definitely proud of me. His father, Prakash Mahadik, says, It is a cause for great happiness in our lives that our only child has a place in space permanently. The recognition given by the Lincoln Laboratory should encourage youngsters in India to study space sciences and technology. With the experience at Intel ISEF, a

motivated and mature Bhushan got the courage to follow his dreams. I believe the biggest contributors to my success are my father and Dr Maheshwar Sharon, my mentor, acknowledges Bhushan. My father has constantly backed me up for every project, and supported me throughout. He has been the one who has encouraged me to participate in such competitions. Similarly, without Dr Sharon, I would not have been able to complete this project at all. His guidance has been critical to my success. He continues to be in contact with the now-retired professor, and meets him whenever he comes to Mumbai. Having a minor planet named after him is not the only extra-terrestrial real estate that Bhushan can lay claim to. In 2002, when he was in Class 9, Bhushan was

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Bhushan with a visitor at his stall at Intel STDF 2002

selected by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to participate in the Red Rover Goes to Mars program. Apart from being trained to operate the Martian Rover in a simulated environment at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Bhushan was allotted an acre of land on the Red Planet by the Mars Society!

In 2002, when he was in Class 9, Bhushan was selected by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to participate in the Red Rover Goes to Mars program, and was allotted an acre of land on the Red Planet by the Mars Society!

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Today, Bhushan is doing his PhD in Chemical and Bio Molecular Engineering at the University of Illinois in UrbanaChampaign. He says, I am working on tissue engineering and regeneration, and would like to continue working in this field. I hope to direct my efforts towards more clinically feasible applications of tissue engineering. Bhushan expects to complete his doctorate in 2013. Bhushan reads a lot! He is currently on a science fiction/fantasy spree, but his reading also includes works of satire and philosophy, among others. Having found his passion, Bhushan says, I am quite happy being in the field I am currently in (tissue engineering), and I find myself veering towards the biomedical field, as I believe it has great potential in the coming years. The science

is still in its nascent stage, but breakthroughs in this field have made a significant impact upon human life and health. Even in the future, I will always do something that I really love, the way I have always done so far, be it research or anything else!

Seizing The Opportunity


Senthalir P

2003
Avila Convent Matriculation Higher Secondary School Coimbatore Tamil Nadu 

Suppression of Branches in Eucalyptus Trees Botany Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (17091) Senthalir Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Team Category Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond AVASC Foundation

My win did not end with me, says Senthalir. Over the next few years, she transferred her Intel ISEF experience and inspired students, not only in her own school but also in other schools, to participate in various science fairs conducted across the country. She had become an evangelist for science!
Senthalir and Sharanya at Intel ISEF 2003: at their stall (top), and with other participants (left)



She was a shy girl from Coimbatore, quiet and reserved, and scared of speaking in public. So when 16-year-old Senthalir was told that she and her team mate and childhood friend, Sharanyaboth of them students at the Avila Convent Matriculation Higher Secondary School had been selected to represent India at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in 2003, her boundless joy was tempered with quite a bit of apprehension. In the weeks before they left for Cleveland, Ohio, she worked to convince herself that she would focus on her project, and shed all her unnecessary fears. She knew she had to express herself clearly and effectively, and present her work passionately, so that she could realise her dreams. Then the day arrived, and she had to present her project to the judges and participants in Cleveland. Thats when

the miracle happened! In her own words, I metamorphosed into a confident young scientist! Gone was her shyness as her awareness about the scientific world grew by leaps and bounds, and a new world opened up in front of her. Winning a team prize in Botany at Intel ISEF 2003 was a memorable experience for Senthalir. But what she learnt at the Fair went far beyond the duration of the event. Being one of the finalists and representing India in an international arena was thrilling all right, but it also put pressure on her to perform up to the mark. She says, I was on cloud nine when we bagged the Grand Award Fourth Prize under the Team Category, and a Special Second Prize in Botany. It was so overwhelmingour hard work for over a year had finally reaped beautiful fruits that we could carry back home with us.

It was a matter of great honour and pride to receive the award in the presence of notable scientists. Whats more, my win did not end with me, says Senthalir. Over the next few years, Senthalir transferred her Intel ISEF experience and inspired students, not only in her own school but also in other schools in Coimbatore, to participate in various science fairs conducted across the country. She had become an evangelist for science! Daughter of an agricultural scientist, Senthalir was always passionate about botany. Her interest in science was nurtured by her father, Dr M Paramathma, a research scientist and Director of Research at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. He was not only her research guide but also her role model, and has played a huge part in moulding

The teammates working on their project (right); and with their guide, Prof Chitra Natarajan (first from left in the picture on far right)

her into what she is today. An unintended benefit of working on her project with her father was that Senthalir found the answer to something she had always wondered about why he was so engrossed in the world of science! The inspiration for her project came right from the apartment block she lived in. When she and Sharanya were searching for a project idea that would solve some issue commonly faced by the public, she noticed that the eucalyptus trees that were planted along the sides of her apartment block had become a nuisance. These trees grow profusely even if just a year old, causing inconvenience to passing vehicles and residents alike. The maintenance team had to continuously prune the branches, spending many man hours in this unproductive activity.

Dr M Paramathma, Senthalirs father and mentor

The two girls decided to find a way to curb the growth of the branches themselvesand thus was born the idea for their project. When they discussed this with Dr Paramathma, he added another perspective to the problem, and made them expand the scope of their research to find a solution that would be cost effective. That solution was neem oil. Their well-researched project came out on top at the Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel STDF). Scientists present at the National Fair gave them suggestions on how they could take their project to the next phase by identifying the chemicals in neem oil that made it work. Before they left for Intel ISEF, they trained at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, where they spent

ten very useful days with their guide, Dr Chitra Natarajan. The entire journey culminating in Intel ISEF had a tremendous impact on Senthalir, as she learnt many things the art of communication and the science of researching, to name twothat helped her transform from a student into an ardent researcher. Their project also gave them another life changing opportunity: meeting the then President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, a scientist himself, and explaining the project to him. Senthalir was in her second year at college when she learnt that minor planets had been named after Sharanya and herself ((17091) Senthalir and (17092) Sharanya. The icing on the cake was that she received the news on her birthday! She says, I got the best birthday

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Memorable moments: with Dr Dudley Herschbach, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, at Intel ISEF (right); with Dr A P J Abdul Kalam on their return to India (far right); and with other winners at Intel ISEF (below right)

present! She recalls that it was the start of a year filled with happiness. Ecstatic as she was, Senthalir says that the honour also made her aware that I had a responsibility to never leave my passion for botany behind. Among Senthalirs fondest memories of Intel ISEF is meeting astronauts who had worked with Kalpana Chawla. She realised that the world today has great expectations of Indians. Meeting Nobel laureates, astronauts, and others with science running in their blood was a fantastic motivating experience. It kindled her passion, and caused her to ask herself every now and then, What have I contributed to science so far? Meeting these luminaries made her realise the dedication and the strong commitment that one has to possess in order to pursue and excel in research. She decided that no

matter what path her future career took, she would continue to be involved in research. Senthalir has graduated in Information Technology, and has a Masters degree in Management and Information Systems from Manchester Business School, UK. She is currently working as a Business Analyst in Information Technology and Organisation Management in an IT company in Chennai. She wants to stabilise her career in the management stream and become a freelancer, but, down the line, she wants to get back to botany. She explains: Even though I have switched subjects, botany remains my first love, and I have plans of reworking on my project once I have stabilised in my career and can follow my passion with all my heart. If there is one lesson that she would like to share with students who are at


the stage shewas at when she began her eventful journey a decade back, it is this: Whatever path you decide to stride upon, put your heart and soul into every step you take, as every great goal requires great passion and dedication. Always stay updated, and seize every opportunity. Senthalir is an ardent numismatist, loves to read books, involves herself with gardening, and enjoys travelling and exploring places. All these add variety to my life, and prevent it from becoming banal, she says.

The Joy of Discovery


2003
Avila Convent Matriculation Higher Secondary School Coimbatore Tamil Nadu 

Sharanya S
In spite of all the hard work that young Sharanya, along with her best friend Senthalir, had put into their Team Project, Suppression of Branches in Eucalyptus Trees, and her confidence in the quality of their research, she was still floored when their names were called out at the Awards Ceremony of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Cleveland, Ohionot once, but twice! They won the Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 and a prize in Botany that got them US Savings Bonds worth USD 500 from the AVASC Foundation. Says Sharanya, It was the most surprising and thrilling moment of my life when we were invited on a dais with so many distinguished scientists. It was the greatest reward for our passionate work. When I came home, I felt more responsible in that I felt I now had to encourage many young people to follow their passion for science. Speaking of her Intel ISEF experience, Sharanya says, It was an excellent exposure to the world of science, and the best of opportunities to showcase our work. It was a unique experience to hear from the best scientists and Nobel laureates about their motivations and their passion for research, and how they enjoy the process of experimentation and discovery. That year, Kalpana Chawla, an Indian-American astronaut with NASA, was one of seven crew members killed in the Columbia space shuttle disaster. When some NASA astronauts met them at the Fair and learnt that they were from India, they spoke highly about Kalpana Chawla and her spirit of exploration. The entire experience honed our communication skills and exploring

Suppression of Branches in Eucalyptus Trees Botany Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (17092) Sharanya Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Team Category Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond AVASC Foundation



This also created an opportunity for us to meet our President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, with whom we were able to share our passion. He quickly grasped our research idea and encouraged us to work on science.



patterns, Sharanya continues. The arena was proliferating with innovative ideas. I could walk up to any stall and talk to them about how they worked on the idea that motivated them. One of her most memorable moments was when she met Dr Dudley Herschbach, the 1986 Nobel laureate in Chemistry. After listening to their hypothesis and the way they had conducted their experiments, he shared with them his spirit of science, saying, It is not important to get the right answer, but to be passionate about exploring a problem and to wallow in the joy of continuous discovery. The glory did not end in Cleveland. Two years after this momentous event, she received a communication that a minor

planet, (17092) Sharanya, was named after her, and another after Senthalir. I could not believe my eyes, recalls Sharanya. It was the greatest recognition for our work. Our parents were very proud of us. There were many interviews, more recognition from our school, and we became quite famous through the newspapers and the radio. This also created an opportunity for us to meet our President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, with whom we were able to share our passion. He quickly grasped our research idea and encouraged us to work on science. Sharanya was always confident that her passion would take her far, but she adds that it was Senthalirs father, Dr M Paramathmatheir research guide

and mentorwho helped hem translate their idea into field experiments by identifying apt scientific methods to verify their hypothesis that neem oil, widely used as a pesticide, would help to control the growth of unwanted branches when used in the right concentrations. He introduced them to experimental procedures like applying different concentrations of neem oil to varied sets of eucalyptus plants, and analysing the effects by measuring the branching percentage, which helped them arrive at their conclusion that the magnitude of suppression of branches was proportional to the concentration of neem oil that was used. Sharanya feels that using eco-friendly neem oil for their experiments, on Dr Paramathmas recommendation, was a great way to preserve the environment and protect the trees from pests.

Sharanya feels that using eco-friendly neem oil for their experiments, on Dr Paramathmas recommendation, was a great way to preserve the environment and protect the trees from pests.

The two friends won the National Award when the results of their hypothesis were presented at the National Fair of the Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel STDF) in Bangalore in 2002. This propelled them to conduct further experiments. Workshops at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai were extremely useful. Dr Chitra Natarajan, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Science Education at the institute, helped them hone their presentation skills, and focused their attention on exploring scientific reasoning to discover different possibilities to further research into. Sharanya recalls: Their team, especially Ms Anupama Ronad, encouraged us to spend more time on our next series of experiments with azadirachtin, and

supported us through to the final presentation. While Dr Paramathma inspired her on her award winning project, science, especially biology, was not new to Sharanya. Her father, an agriculturalist, and her mother, a doctor, played a significant role in inspiring her towards her success in the field. She recalls her father conversing at home about the botanical names of trees around them. Her younger brother, too, gave her a lot of moral support Sharanya, a B Tech graduate from Coimbatore Institute of Technology, is presently working with Thoughtworks, a software consultancy firm that is a pioneer in custom software development. Based in Chennai, she is fascinated with the IT space, but does not rule out pursuing her interest in biology sometime in the future.

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All I Need Are Wings


2004
Sadvidya Composite Pre University College Mysore Karnataka 0

Amruth B R

Mechanical Wave Modulation and Its Applications Physics Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Individual Category Honourable Mention Award for International Students National Aeronautics & Space Administration

I think the subjective feeling of risk that is associated with non-mainstream careers was completely eliminated because of my Intel ISEF experiencewhich I think is the biggest value add I got from the Fair.
Sharing a word with Dr Craig R Barrett at Intel ISEF 2004

When the tsunami devastated Indian shores in December 2004, Amruth B R must have felt a strange sense of dj vu. Only seven months earlier, this young boy from Mysore had wowed the judges at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Oregon, USA, with his solution for reducing the impact of giant tsunami waves on a major construction project along the Japanese coastline. He showed how an effective shock absorbing system can decrease the impact of waves by modulating amplitudes. Right from an early age, Amruth was intrigued by science, especially physics. His parents, both of whom are science graduates, have played a very vital role in nurturing his inquisitive interest in unveiling the mysteries of science. A brilliant student, Amruth had worked on Properties of Eddy Currents when

he was in Class 8, and bagged the State award for science in the year 2000. It was his high school physics teacher, Mr G R Manjunath, who catalysed his interest in the world of scientific experiments, and he was a great inspiration to Amruth. But over the years, says Amruth, I must admit that it is my parents who have been my biggest source of inspiration. I never realised throughout my early life that I was privy to experiences that starkly contradict what society tells parents to ask of their children. I think that high level of freedom to question things around me and make my own decisions about my life shaped the better part of my personality. On the same note, he empathises with kids who have to bear the burden of expectations of their parents. He feels parents tend to underestimate what their children can do.

At Intel ISEF 2004, Amruths project, Mechanical Wave Modulation and Its Applications, won him a Grand Award. It had its genesis in a documentary he saw on Discovery Channel, which showed how an ambitious Japanese construction project had been affected by a tsunami. Participating at Intel ISEF helped to define Amruths aspirations to a great extent. He always loved creating new things, but the recognition at the international level gave him the confidence to pursue his goals on a grander scale. I think the subjective feeling of risk that is associated with non-mainstream careers was completely eliminated because of my Intel ISEF experience which I think is the biggest value add I got from the Fair, he says. After Intel ISEF, he explored options of building shock absorbers that can



I never realised throughout my early life that I was privy to experiences that starkly contradict what society tells parents to ask of their children. I think that high level of freedom to question things around me and make my own decisions about my life shaped the better part of my personality.



During his graduate years, Amruth spent a significant amount of time in research institutions across India through various scholarships that he earned. He was now working on areas like Inflationary Cosmology, Quantum Chromodynamics, Game Theory and the Neuroscience of Decision Making, Evolutionary Biology, and Near Field Electromagnetic Wave Propagation. Though very diverse, these subjects broadened his horizon significantly, and gave rise to new interdisciplinary interests. be implemented in the real world, as opposed to the lab conditions in which he had run his tests. But as he was still a student, he came across many hurdles in pursuing real world implementation, and his enthusiasm flagged. After his Class 12, Amruth pursued his passion for physics at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, in a four year integrated Masters program. Here, in collaboration with his Physics professor, Dr Souri Banerjee, he wrote a paper on the topic of his Intel ISEF project. That apart, his project had by now been shelved for all practical purposes, as new areas of research attracted him. One such interestin modeling and predicting human behaviourcaptured my fascination by the time I came to my final year, says Amruth. I worked with some of my peers and professors from different institutions to create a framework for behavioural profiling and simulation by using interactive neuropsychology based activities.

Amruths company, Vita Beans, currently helps companies and organisations create and adopt innovative technology solutions for learning and assessments.

The idea became a prototype. We tested the prototype and got very good results. So it evolved into a product, and, eventually, into the company I started while still in college. During his Pilani years, Amruth was part of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) on campus, and went on to head the Centre as its President. This exposed him to the business side of things that he previously had no experience of. His experiences at CEL influenced him as much as his research interests in shaping his subsequent steps. So, instead of pursuing a PhD, he co-founded a company, Vita Beans, of which he is today, at 25, the Chief Executive Officer. Amruth explains that Vita Beans (www. vitabeans.com) started out purely as an intellectual endeavour to build an Artificial Intelligence agent that can

make decisions just like the human brain doesnot just by considering economic and tangible criteria involved in decision making, but also the evolutionary, emotional and psychological elements involved. Vita Beans currently helps organisations create and adopt innovative technology solutions for learning and assessments. Over the last three years, his company has worked on integrating several key principles from neurobehavioural science and interaction design to build over 100 interactive applications on the Web, for mobile devices and for the desktop. Keen on constantly innovating, he has also added a wide range of interesting solutions to his companys portfolio: game based learning applications, animated story telling, virtual classroom solutions, behavioural assessments for career guidance, and the simulation

of group level behaviours among populations. Amruth, along with his team, has recently cofounded the National Association of Simulations and Serious Games (NASSG), which seeks to create awareness and promote research and use of Simulations and Serious Games in India. Talking to Amruth, it is tough not to be affected by his highly contagious energy and optimism, and his interest in fuzzy logic and neuroscience. Every time he talks about his company and his plans for the future, you can see the sparkle in his eyes. One little dream is all it takes, he says, to make a believer out of you. He continues, Personally, what I value the most about the Intel ISEF experience is the level of confidence and motivation it gave me. As for my

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career, Intel ISEF gave me the confidence that I can do whatever I put my mind to, to the best of my ability.


Amruth remembers discussing with his fellow Intel ISEF participants about how they felt about being a part of the Olympics of science fairs. They were unanimous that the scale of participation, the level of exposure, the opportunities they got to mingle with students from other countrieseverything was on a much grander scale than they had imagined. I think more than anything else, the experience of Intel ISEF gives you confidence in exploring exciting possibilities. And, at the same time, he continues (and you can almost see him put his behavioural science hat on!), it also gives you enough storiesboth heard from others, as well as those that you can claim as your ownthat grow

to shape up how you define yourself in life. All of us define ourselves by choosing stories from our lives and Intel ISEF gave me a sudden abundance of stories to choose from! Overall, Amruth feels that Intel ISEF has contributed in more ways than one to his success in terms of the confidence and the penchant for success he gained from his participation at the Fair. As far as his aspirations go, the sky is the limit. He says, Ive been working on a few ideas in behavioural science and

artificial intelligence over the last three years. Weve built up some strong links with research and industry communities in this space, and these are throwing up exciting opportunities that we are keen to explore in the next 2-3 years. I hope to be able to build and launch these ideas into successful products in the market on a global scale. Education is another field that draws Amruth. He feels fortunate enough to have had unconventional experiences throughout his own education, and, in

Keep exploring until you find something that makes your heart beat faster every time you think about it. If you find it, then stick to it until you are the best, or at least one of the best, in that field. Opportunities then will naturally flow your way.

hindsight, he thinks there are many things that can be done to make our education system better, more flexible, diverse, and, most importantly, something that can scale easily to address the challenges that we, as a nation, are facing today. His interest in human behaviour blends in naturally with this interest in understanding how people learn and evolve their knowledge, skills and abilities, so he expects to make a significant contribution in changing the educational landscape of our country. But then again, he says, Ive always seen research as a way of approaching life to understand everything around us in a more holistic way than what we would otherwise perceive the world to be. So I dont expect to be bound by any definitions of subjects or topics or fields that currently interest me, says Amruth, with wisdom admirable in one so young.

His advice to young students interested in science and technology? Keep exploring until you find something that makes your heart beat faster every time you think about it. If you find it, then stick to it until you are the best, or at least one of the best, in that field. Opportunities then will naturally flow your way. On a lighter note, Amruth says, I spend more time on my hobbies than in my professional pursuits. I love travelling! I also like biking, playing the guitar, writing short stories and building computer games. I also love reading fiction, watching movies in short I engage in anything that drives my imagination.





A Winner From Every Angle


Sameer Yeleswarapu
St Francis de Sales High School Secunderabad Andhra Pradesh

2004
When Sameer Yeleswarapu was in Class 7, his father once asked him to practice geometry for an upcoming term exam. But Sameer felt he was already thorough with the syllabus, and didnt want to do it all over again. So his active mind started questioning the basic triangle property that states that the sum of two sides of any triangle is greater than the third side. Till then, he had always accepted this property unquestioningly; but that day was different. He asked himself the question: By how much is the sum of two sides greater than the third side? When his father, Dr Yoganandam, returned home from work and saw Sameer drawing lots and lots of triangles, he was puzzled. Sameer explained to his dad the question he was trying to resolve. A PhD in Signal Processing, his father had a strong mathematical background, and immediately understood the novelty of the question. He encouraged Sameer to probe further. A couple of years later, Sameer, who was now in Class 9, came across the poster of the Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel STDF). Keen to take part, he revisited his Class 7 notebooks, and developed his hypothesis further. At the National Fair, Sameer was among the eight winners selected to represent India at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) that was to be held in May 2004 in Portland, Oregon. At Intel ISEF, Sameers Mathematics project, An Interesting Property in Triangles, won an Honourable Mention Award Certificate from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Sameer says, Winning the NASA award at Intel ISEF was a huge moment in my


An Interesting Property in Triangles Mathematics Recognition at Intel ISEF Honourable Mention Award for International Students National Aeronautics & Space Administration

His most memorable moment at the fair was a two minute chat with Dr Dudley Herschbach, a Nobel laureate in Chemistry, who visited his booth and appreciated his work and its novelty.
A proud Sameer acknowledged by NASA (left top and bottom); with judges at Intel STDF (right)



life. Even to this day, I keep recollecting the few moments before the announcement of the award, and the shock I was in when I heard my name being called on the stage. My success at Intel ISEF was a very emotional and memorable moment for me and my family. Dr Yoganandam, who has unstintingly supported Sameers efforts, right from the initial idea, has been a great source of inspiration to his son. As the mentor for the project that Sameer submitted for the National Fair, he spent long

hours with his son, weekdays and weekends, trying to find mathematical proofs for the observations. His mother and sister also had roles to play, in different ways. From my childhood, says Sameer, my mother, Aparna, always taught me different thingsand also taught me things differently. His sister, Shefali, was a very good and patient listener as he practised his presentations for Intel ISEF. Looking back, Sameer says: Being selected for Intel ISEF and winning the NASA award for my work made a huge impact in my life. It encouraged the creativity and inquisitiveness in me. It also increased my self-confidence. It changed the way I see things around me. Participating at the Fair was an overwhelming experience for him. It left him with so many memories and also opened up a lot of new opportunities.

His most memorable moment at the Fair was, he recalls, a two minute chat with Dr Dudley Herschbach, a Nobel laureate in Chemistry, who visited his booth and appreciated his work and its novelty. Another visitor at his stall told him, I thought basic mathematics was over 200 years ago. Its good to see that you found something new in it! His journey since Intel ISEF has taken him down a path quite removed from the properties of right angle triangles. After his Class 12 board exams, in which he stood second in his college, he joined the B Pharm (Hons) course at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani). While he was there, he did a summer internship with a company called Butterfly Fields during his vacations. The company focuses on introducing a hands-on approach into the Indian school education system.

If you encourage your childs inquisitiveness and curiosity, then the child will excel in whatever field he or she chooses.

Sameer explains a math concept to a student in his workshop (above); at Intel STDF (above right); and at Intel ISEF (far right)

They develop activities and scientific toys for K-10 students. The students learn basics in math and science while making toys, and apply the concepts learnt while playing with them. Sameer designed quite a few scientific toys and teaching aids during his internship there. He was so taken up with the work he did during his internship that he joined Butterfly Fields when he graduated from BITS Pilani. He is currently working there as a Research Associate in the R&D Department. Full of a passion for research and a quest for the unknown, Sameers future plans are clear. He says, I am interested in the field of product design. I want to become a toy designer. I think my strong hold

on fundamentals in mathematics and sciences, as well as my work experience in the education sector, where I regularly interact with K-12 children and develop scientific toys, will be of great help in achieving my dream. Sameer has not left his Intel ISEF project fully behind. In his free time, he continues to probe into the various open ends in his work, and is trying to apply it to real world problems. Asked what he would like to tell children who would like to follow in his footsteps, Sameer chooses to advise their parents instead: If you encourage your childs inquisitiveness and curiosity, then the child will excel in whatever field he or she chooses. With a workshop of his own in the basement of his house, Sameer has the power tools and other equipment to

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give concrete shape to his imagination. Here, he makes new products like pen stands and pieces of geometric art. He also designs 3D models of furniture on his computer. On some nights, he observes the night sky with a telescope that his sister brought back for him from Spain. Now he also plans to make a solar cooker for his mother. With such varied interests, each one pursued with amazing zeal, Sameer is sure to carve out a notable future for himself.

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Living For Research


Zeeshan Ali Sayyed
Shreerang Vidyalaya Thane Maharashtra

2004
When Zeeshan Sayyed won the Grand Award Second Prize at Intel ISEF 2004 in Oregon, USA, he was only 14 years old. And when he learnt that he and his teammate, Vrishikumar Patil, would have minor planets named after them, he was simply overwhelmedthe young boy did not even know that such a thing was possible! In fact, Zeeshan was not even aware of the Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel STDF) till he and Vrishi were given a wild card entry into it, on the basis of their performance in the state level competition of the National Childrens Science Congress (NCSC). He had been a regular participant in NCSC since he was in Class 7. When he was in Class 9, he had to do a project on food and agriculture. When he surfed the Net to find a suitable topic which had the potential to be developed into a good project, the area of seed dressing caught his attention. It struck him that though this is a powerful method of food protection, it has significant problems attached to it: its cost, and the fact that it is very hazardous to the environment. So Zeeshan and Vrishi decided that they would focus on better and cheaper ways of seed dressing. In their project, To Study the Effect of Biological Seed Dressing on the Growth and Yield of Crops, the two of them challenged the conventional way of chemical seed dressing of protecting crops from pests. Their sole aim was to produce treatments that would not only be nearly as effective as the conventional method, but also be completely ecofriendly and inexpensive. Their quest was successfultheir biological seed treatment was better than the seed


To Study the Effect of Biological Seed Dressing on the Growth and Yield of Crops Biochemistry Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (20616) Zeeshansayed Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Team Category

Life is no more studying well, getting into a good institute, then getting into a good company, and earning big money. For me, life is about researching and innovating.



dressings available in the market, and at a cost that was at most 1/10th to 1/15th of the chemical alternatives available at that time. Zeeshan says, This project definitely has a lot of scope for development. What we have done is tested our treatments in the field only on certain crops. Its wide scale production is yet to be considered, and it has to be tested in the field by farmers themselves. Prior to Intel ISEF, Zeeshan had had the good fortune of meeting with the then President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, as a finalist at the NCSC. This encounter influenced him so deeply that he decided that he wanted to become a scientist like Dr Kalam, even though his parents had set their hearts on his becoming a doctor. Apart from Dr Kalam, he met

many other eminent people from the world of science during his visits to the various levels of the NCSCat the taluka, district, state and national levelsand their motivational speeches helped him strengthen his resolve of becoming a scientist. When he represented India at Intel ISEF 2004, his convictions were further reinforced. Seeing the quality of the projects at the Fair was a learning experience in itself. Meeting with scientists from all parts of the world and interacting with Nobel laureates gave him a new perspective, and he became even clearer in his mind that he wanted to pursue a career in scientific research. Post Intel ISEF and his teams success there, life changed for Zeeshan. The recognition which he got amazed him he was suddenly a small time celebrity

in Thane! All the press conferences made him feel that he had indeed achieved something. The Corporator of his area knew him personally, the Mayor of Thane called on him, and MLAs visited him. The fanfare apart, the entire experience of just being there at Intel ISEF changed him completely. He says, It deepened my resolve of becoming a scientist forever. I cant think of being anything

Zeeshan with his teammates and other participants (above, and left top and bottom)

Since his childhood, he has been interested in techie stuff. His father inspired him to excel in whatever he did, and was a figure whom Zeeshan could always look up to. In young Zeeshans eyes, he was the epitome of perfection.

else now. It was like this big moment in my life, which changed the way I looked at life. Life is no more studying well, getting into a good institute, then getting into a good company, and earning big money. For me, life is about researching and innovating. Also, I have found this passion for teaching within me. Zeeshan acknowledges the role his mentors played in his achievements the people who guided and helped Vrishi and him all along as they worked on their project, with useful tips and suggestions. Their official mentor was Mrs Shweta Sawant, his science teacher in school. Says Zeeshan, She is one of the finest persons I have ever known, and undoubtedly, she was my favourite teacher. The other person who helped us technically was Mr Milind Datar. He used to work in Bayer India and was a Committee Member in the

school management. We are grateful that we had him to guide us. His principal, Mrs Rupa Dey, too, was a very important motivating factor. She supported them when they wanted to use the school labeven, at times, late into the night! When they were leaving for the Intel STDF National Fair, she told them, You just have to go to the Fair and present your project. Because, I know when you get back here, you will have to start preparing to go to America. You wont have much time then. These simple words made a world of difference to Zeeshan and Vrishi. Zeeshan comes from a middle class family. His father is a civil engineer, while mother is a teacher. Since his childhood, he has been interested in techie stuff. His father inspired him to excel in whatever he did, and was a figure whom Zeeshan could always

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Always try and think of places where you feel you can do something different, something which interests you. Then you have hit the bulls eye and no one can stop you from winning. But the most important part is finding a place of study that will touch your heart.

look up to. In young Zeeshans eyes, he was the epitome of perfection. Zeeshan has just completed his B Tech in Computer Science from Fr C Rodrigues Institute of Technology, Navi Mumbai, in April 2012. He will now be heading to the US for higher studies. He will do his PhD in Computer Science at The School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB), where he will specialise in artificial intelligence. He has been awarded a 95% scholarship, as well as a comfortable stipend. Put together, he feels he will have money to spare after meeting all his expenses, and he plans to put the balance to use to meet the educational expenses of his younger brother. Needless to say, his father is most relieved. His aspirations are simple. Says Zeeshan, I want to become a scientist. Right now, I wish to go to the US, and



pursue my PhD, which will take about 5-6 years, and then a post-doc which should be around 3-4 years. And then I might take up a professorship. At the moment, I plan to return to India. But the question is, will the policies in India change? There should be more focus on, and funding for, research in our institutes. His advice to the future Intel ISEF aspirants is, Always try and think of places where you feel you can do something different, something which interests you. Then you have hit the bulls eye and no one can stop you from winning. But the most important part is finding a place of study that will touch your heart.

Zeeshan with his teammate, Vrishi (right)



Technology Addict
2004
Shreerang Vidyalaya Thane Maharashtra 

Vrishikumar Patil
How does a fourteen year old react when he is told that a minor planet will be named after him? Vrishikumar Patils first reaction was: Are you kidding me?! Even today, he finds it difficult to describe that incredible feeling in words. He says, Unless someone has been in our position, understanding our state of mind might be difficult! It was inconceivable that two 14 year old students would now have minor planets named after them. This made people think, What remarkable feat have they achieved to deserve this? The fact that Vrishi and his team mate, Zeeshan Ali Sayyed, chose to study the effect of biological seed dressings on crops was quite fortuitousit was the result of an Internet search for an apt topic for a state level science competition. But the pair of youngsters from Thanes Shreerang Vidyalaya worked collectively with their teachers and Mr Milind Datar, who at that time was a member of the School Committee, to get a clear focus. At the state trials, Vrishi and Zeeshans aim was to ensure that they had a fighting chance of representing their work at the national level of the competition as well. But their story took a wonderfully different turn when they won the state level competition. The judges encouraged them to participate in Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel STDF) held in Hyderabad in 2003. Success at Intel STDF propelled them into the international arena, to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). And there too, they tasted success, when they won the Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 in the Team Category for their Biochemistry project. Astounding is the word that Vrishi uses to sum up his Intel ISEF experience.

To Study the Effect of Biological Seed Dressing on the Growth and Yield of Crops Biochemistry Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (20604) Vrishikpatil Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Team Category



A diehard fan of computing, Vrishi, on his own admission has never ever read a single book in his life apart from what was required to pass exams. But he voraciously devours anything related to technology.

Vrishi (extreme left) with his teammates at Intel ISEF 2004



He says, I was a reserved person to begin with, but Intel ISEF gave us a platform to display our talent to people from different geographical regions and continents, which, as kids, we had only dreamt about. Every second was memorable. The huge Convention Center at Portland, Oregon; the 1,500 odd participants, the 1,200 esteemed judges Further work on the project was stalled after Intel ISEF as the two teammates had to concentrate on their Class 10 exams the following year. Vrishi gives credit to his teacher, Mrs Shweta Sawant, and his Principal, Mrs Rupa Dey, who were sources of

inspiration to them throughout. His parents were also extremely supportive, to the extent that they did not put any pressure on him to complete his school assignments; rather, they encouraged Zeeshan and him to do their best and push all boundaries to achieve their goals. Vrishi says, I was most inspired by my father. Though he never knew completely what we were doing throughout the two years we did our research, he always stood rock solid behindme. Even though both his parents are doctors, Vrishi was very clear that he wanted to pursue a career in

engineering. After Intel ISEF, Vrishi went on to complete his BE in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from K J Somaiya College of Engineering, Ghatkopar, Mumbai. In his first job now, Vrishi is working at Accenture as a SAP Functional Consultant since the latter part of 2011. But the desire to study further still burns in his heart: I am planning to do my Masters somewhere down the line, in the next two or three years, though I havent yet homed in on the field of study as of now. He ultimately aims to have his own start up company. Sharing his thoughts with young students interested in science and technology, Vrishi says, Do things which you feel like doing. The school curriculum will go at its own pace. You need to learn to think differently.

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A small change in perspective can open up a world of opportunities for you. A diehard fan of computers, Vrishi, by his own admission, has never ever read a single book in his life apart from what was required to pass exams! But he voraciously devours anything related to technology, and you can find him working on some online tutorial or the other, related to just about anything about technology that he finds interesting. But when he gets the urge to get the wind in his face, he takes out his bike or goes for a spin in his fathers car.

The Summer Of Hope


2005
St Marys Convent High School Kanpur Uttar Pradesh 0

Malavika Vinod Tiwari


In the summer of 2005, Malavika Tiwari, a sensitive teenager keenly aware of the plight of the physically challenged, won the Grand Award Third Prize in Engineering for her project, A FootControlled Device and Wheel Attachment for Persons with Upper Limb Disability at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona. A vivacious, multifaceted student from St Marys Convent, Kanpur, she was awarded USD 1,000 in prize money for designing a foot-operated steering device for automotive two wheelers. Asked about her feelings at being a winner at Intel ISEF, Malavika says, It was a great and proud feeling, the biggest achievement of my life. She elaborates further, My experiences at Intel ISEF were life defining moments that completely changed my personality, and installed in me, supreme confidence. The whole experience made me feel that I have achieved something in my life that I will cherish forever, and that only a few can do what I did. The exposure that I got at Intel ISEF was of a level that I feel I could never have got, had I not participated at the Fair. Although I was formally selected, she continues, I feel really fortunate that I came to know about the competition and decided to participate in it in the first place. The feeling that my idea got universal acceptance and international recognition instilled huge confidence in me, and representing my country produced a sense of responsibility in me. The meetings she had with Nobel laureates were the most memorable moments at Intel ISEF for her; these moments are also a source of great pride for her.

Foot Operated Vehicle Device for the Physically Challenged Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 Individual Category



The inspiration of 16-year-old Malvika is her father Kali Vinod Tiwari, disabled by a childhood attack of polio. Not one to take things lying down, he designed Indias first auto cart for challenged people in 1980 which earned him the National Award for the Welfare of the Handicapped, a gold medal and certificate from the then President Giani Zail Singh.



Malavika at Intel ISEF 2005

16-year-old Malavikas inspiration was her father, Kali Vinod Tiwari, disabled by a childhood attack of polio. Not one to take things lying down, he designed Indias first auto cart for physically challenged people in 1980, which earned him the National Award for the Welfare of the Handicapped, a gold medal and certificate from the then President Giani Zail Singh. My father is my mentor, tutor and inspiration, says Malavika proudly. She adds, His spirit to drive such long distances even though he was physically challenged proved to be the ultimate inspiration. His confidence motivated me and made me feel that the joy of driving ones own vehicle is something that should be facilitated for everybody who wants or needs it. Moreover, my father also shared his technical knowledge, his experiences of driving,

My father and his spirit to drive such long distances even though he was physically challenged proved to be the ultimate inspiration. His confidence motivated me and made me feel that joy of driving ones own vehicle is something that should be facilitated to everybody who wants or needs it.

be lagging behind in my studies, she instilled so much confidence in me and eased all other tensions, so that I could concentrate on my project. Taking about her project and how it evolved, Malavika expalins: A physically challenged person paralysed below the waist, my father could drive by transferring all leg controls to his hands. However, I always pondered how a person with no hands can drive a two wheeler. If a person is unable to drive any motorised vehicle, how dependent must such a person be on others for his or her mobility! Seeing my father drive two wheelers so smoothly and effortlessly, even though he was physically challenged, inspired me to make a two wheeler for people with upper limb disabilityand I was confident that I would be able to make it.
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Receiving an Award for her innovation from President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam in December 2005, on World Disabled Day

and the problems and issues he faced, which proved to be a great help. If her father was her inspiration, Malavika says that she could not have done without the support of her mother, Rama, who teaches mentally challenged children at the Army School in Kanpur. Whenever I felt hassled by academic pressures and felt that I might

A vehicle modified by Malavika

The prize winning invention is an auto-gear device that, when fitted onto a scooter, enables those whose upper limbs are disabled to steer automotive scooters.



The prize winning invention, which Malavika has dedicated to the Disabled Club of India, is an auto-gear device that, when fitted onto a scooter, enables those whose upper limbs are disabled to steer automotive scooters. This auto-geared model has two parts: the support and the main device. The support comprises extra tyres on each side, and a back bracket to keep the person upright while driving. The steering device is an attachment, which can be fitted to geared scooters. It is similar to the steering mechanism of motor cars, explains Malavika. The idea of foot-controlled scooters came to her in Class 8, when, as a visitor to science exhibitions and workshops, she was struck by the conspicuous absence of automotive transport for those with upper limb disabilities. She followed this up with a with qualitative

research with 50 disabled people, who had to visualise a vehicle for themselves. It took a six month survey, based on an unstructured questionnaire, to come up with my invention, she says of the apparatus, which was being used by four people in Kanpur soon after her win at Intel ISEF in 2005. Malavika returned from Intel ISEF to a rousing reception. There were showers of awards and felicitations that continued for a long time. She got letters from many physically challenged people thanking her and congratulating her for her efforts. Later in 2005, Malavika was presented the National Award for The Best Innovation in Technology for the Handicapped at a function held in New Delhi on World Disabled Day, in the Adaptability of Innovation to Provide Cost Effective Technology category.

This award was presented to her by the President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. Today, Malavika is working as an Applications Developer in IBM, Hyderabad, but is also associated with Care Invalids in Kanpur, an enterprise started by her father 25 years ago, and jointly run by her brother. She also spreads awareness about the effectiveness of her invention. Whenever any person with an upper limb disability contacts them to modify their vehicle, Malavika and the Care Invalids team provide them with assistance. Says Malavika, Today, I continue to provide technical assistance to physically challenged people. I fabricate their vehicles to suit their abilities, and it gives me huge satisfaction when I see my invention being translated into reality and on the roads.

Today, I continue to provide technical assistance to physically challenged people. I fabricate their vehicles to suit their abilities and it gives me huge satisfaction when I see my invention being translated into reality and on the roads.

As her enterprise continues to develop her invention, Malavika plans to gradually increase awareness about it, so that more people can benefit from it. She is now also looking at commercialising it, and producing it on a mass scale some time in the near future. And, ten years from now, she can see herself applying her software knowledge to further enhance her invention. Her advice to young student innovators? Take note of what your mentors and teachers tell you. And keep faith in your ideas.





Born To Lead
Apurv Mishra
D A V Public School Bhubaneshwar Odisha

2006
At 22, Apurv Mishra is an inventor, entrepreneur, and the youngest to have received a fellowship from TED, the program designed to bring together young world changers and trailblazers who have shown unusual accomplishment and exceptional courage. During the last decade of his life, which has been eventful and rewarding, Apurv has more than lived up to his name (which means unusual). As a child, he was the first student to be enrolled in a local primary school in the KBK districts of Odisha, which were the undeveloped areas in the state. Here, living conditions were difficult, tribal communities dominated the region, and there was a strong Maoist presence as well. His father, a civil engineer, was engaged with the State Governments rural development projects. This environment, where there was a scarcity of opportunities and resources, fuelled in Apurv the need to do more. He started tinkering around, as he was always intrigued by bits and pieces of broken electronic appliances, and, at a very early age, he started thinking differently. Here is an example of how he puts his innovative skills to work to resolve simple problems: As a child, he was often reprimanded by his mother for drinking water straight from the bottle. By the time he was a student of Class 9 in D A V Public School, Bhubaneshwar, he decided to do something about it. He noticed that drinking water from a large bottle is not easy without touching it to your lips. Balancing the bottle requires secondary support from the lips, and sharing the bottle with friends then becomes unhygienic. So, he showed his ingenuity


Glabenator An Advanced Alternative and Augmentative Communication Device Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 Individual Category Second Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond by AVASC Foundation

Why shouldnt he be able to communicate, if his brain is functioning and he can move his eyes?, thought Apurv of his grandfather, who was struggling after he had a stroke and became mostly paralysed.



Industrial Research (CSIR) Invention Award 2004. Getting this award was a life changer for himthere was less resistance from people in his environment. They were now open to his ideas, and he learnt to become more independent. This was the start of his journey as an inventor. When he was about 14 years old, his grandfather had a stroke and became mostly paralysed. As a curious and concerned grandson, Apurv saw him struggle, because he could not communicate, though he could see and hear. He asked himself, Why shouldnt my grandfather be able to communicate, if his brain is functioning and he can move his eyes? Apurv had some money courtesy the CSIR Award, and he used that to create a small lab. Armed with information

by cutting and attaching a piece of plastic into a snake-hood shaped projection that could be attached to the neck of the bottle, and which fits comfortably on the chin, so that it was not necessary for a person to put his or her lips to the bottle itself. The invention was patented, and Apurv received the Council of Scientific &

I have always believed that innovation is all about making tiny and nave changes to make a giant leap.

Receiving the National Technology Award 2006 from the then President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

from the Internet, he developed a device that detected his grandfathers eyebrow movements so that he was able to communicate. Thats how Glabenator was created: a device that enables a patient who has lost the ability to move his body to scroll a set menu and select standard lines that will be voiced through a recorder and a speaker. It employs the subtle movement of the forehead muscles to control a computer, thus providing a stress free means of communication for paralytic people. For Apurv, now in Class 11 and 16 years old, it was thrilling to have this invention selected for the Intel

International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), held in Indianapolis in 2006. His engineering project, Glabenator: An Advanced Alternative and Augmentative Communication Device, won him the Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000, as well as another award which gave him a USD 500 Savings Bond. He was felicitated by the Chief Minister of Odisha for this feat on his return home, and received a cheque for INR 1,00,000 from him on the occasion. Later the same year, he was awarded the National Technology Award for the Welfare of the Disabled by the then President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. Apurv patented his invention in 2006, in India and in USA, and licensed it to various companies for implementation. I have always believed that innovation is all about making tiny and nave

changes to make a giant leap, he says. Glabenators success instilled in him a deep desire to make more innovative tools for the disabled community, especially in the underserved and remote regions of India, Africa and South America. As a disability aids inventor with a strong passion for making cutting edge knowledge accessible to the less developed countries, he is also currently working on a project, Technomics, for empowering the economy through open technology. He wants to implement a dream idea: not to patent inventions for good, but to open up the blueprintsin other words, free technology transfer to the bottom of the pyramid entrepreneurs. This will not only empower rural entrepreneurs, electricians, and mechanics to make custom disability and healthcare aids

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IFF was launched at the Indianapolis Intel ISEF itself. It is a platform where ideas from all industries could come together to create new ideas. The concept of open innovation was born. Before the week long event was over, more than 400 Intel ISEF participants had signed up to play a part in his new scheme of things.

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at much cheaper prices, it will also give them access to active documentation and blueprints from the inventor that will ensure standards are maintained. He is currently working at making the blueprint of Glabenator open. An interesting fallout of his experience at Intel ISEF was that, inspired by the event, Apurv founded the Innovator Factor Foundation (IFF), a network to help innovators turn promising concepts into reality. Impressed with the brilliant young minds he encountered at Intel ISEF, he realised that everyone there had a similar vision of changing the world through innovation and something clicked. IFF was launched at the Indianapolis Intel ISEF itself. It is a platform where ideas from all industries could come together to create new ideas. The concept of open innovation was born.

Before the week long event was over, more than 400 Intel ISEF participants had signed up to play a part in his new scheme of things. IFF aims to connect young innovators and industry, and, today, more than 3,000 freelance innovators are registered with it. The not-for-profit organisation is creating an ecosystem of freelance innovators, corporations and universities that can help inventors foster good ideas into products with a convincing market value. This initiative impressed Dr Craig R Barrett, the former Chairman of Intel Corporation, who said, The most interesting thing about this guy was that he started a network of innovators right at the event. He also credited Apurv during his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show which was held in January 2009 at Las Vegas.

Pictures with Nobel Laureates at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies in 2009 at Stockholm, from Apurvs collection (above, and facing page)

Palomar5 brought together 30 people under the age of 30 from 30 different disciplines and backgrounds to come up with 30 ideas or projects bringing new innovation for the betterment of society through creativity and exploration of collaborative spaces. The youngest participant at the event, Apurv conducted research to help design and build the future of innovation, technology and the working environment.

Apurv is grateful to his family and to his mentor, Dr Arnab Bhattacharya, for their unconditional support. He says, I have a very supportive family, without whom it would have been impossible for me to pursue my dream. Dr Bhattacharya supported him during the development of his project from the IRIS National Fair, through intensive mentoring sessions held at Mumbai in January 2006, because of which he was able to successfully hone his project for Intel ISEF in May. His role models are Dean Kamen and Elon Musk. Dean Kamen is a leading American scientist and inventor, whose products include the Segway Human Transporter and the iBOT battery-powered wheelchair. Musk is best known for having created the first viable production electric car of the modern era (the Tesla Roadster), for designing a private successor to the

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Space Shuttle (F9/Dragon) and creating the worlds largest Internet payment system (PayPal). After Class 12, Apurv went on to study Computer Science at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Kolkata. After two years at the institute, he transferred his credits to the University of Cambridge, where he completed his undergraduate

studies in Computer Science from the Cambridge Judge Business School. The year 2009 was an eventful one for Apurv. He joined the Palomar5 Innovation Residency in Berlin for a six week Innovation Camp held that October in Berlin. Palomar5 brought together 30 people under the age of 30 from 30 different disciplines and backgrounds to come up with 30 ideas or projects

This is the first time India will be represented at the Nobel Prize Ceremony on behalf of the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS). I have also been selected for the SIYSS Award and will be the first Indian to get this since the inception of SIYSS in 1976.

Apurv at work

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bringing new innovation for the betterment of society through creativity and exploration of collaborative spaces. The youngest participant at the event, Apurv conducted research to help design and build the future of innovation, technology and the working environment. Later, at Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) India 2009 in Mysore, Apurv joined the exclusive league of 200 TED Fellows across the globeand he was the youngest of them all. TED is well-known for its annual, invitationonly conference devoted to ideas worth spreading, and for its lectures, known as TED Talks. In December 2009, Apurv got another feather in his cap. He was awarded a prestigious fellowship as a Seaborg SIYSS Fellow to attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm in 2009 along

with the Nobel laureates, and to deliver a talk during the Nobel Lecture. A thrilled Apurv said at the time, This is the first time India will be represented at the Nobel Prize Ceremony on behalf of the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS). I have also been selected for the SIYSS Award and will be the first Indian to get this since the inception of SIYSS in 1976. The following year, Apurv joined Hypios, an expert search firm based on open innovation, as the Vice President, Strategy. This Paris-based French firm helps Fortune 500 companies solve problems by matching them with a vast network of scientific experts. Not one to rest for too long, he, with some TED Fellows and other visionary engineers, founded a startup, Future.ly. The companys goal is to map the

state of innovation across the world, and to democratise access to cutting edge knowledge. He feels that as the adoption of new technologies is rapid in Asia, especially in countries such as China and India, these new ecosystems could become the next hub of innovation. Apurv aims to track that process and make it visible through Future.ly, which will map the players,

Governments spend a lot of money trying to render their country more innovative, and mostly try to copy what has worked in other countries, rather than understanding what works within their own.

influence factors, and dynamics in the innovation space around the world. He feels governments spend a lot of money trying to render their country more innovative, and mostly try to copy what has worked in other countries, rather than understanding what works within their own. He wants to work at the policy level to help governments better understand what innovators are working on in their own country, the dynamics that power that, and the social fabric behind those dynamics, as a consultant and technology entrepreneur. Apurv was acknowledged as a Future Global Leader at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2011, where he worked with the Russian Government on innovation and technology policy. He was also covered in the Washington, DC, based Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign

Policy October 2011 as a Top 99 Under 33 Emerging Foreign Policy Leader. Currently, Apurv is doing his M Phil in Technology Policy at the University of Cambridge, where he is also the President at Cambridge University Venture Capital and Private Equity Club, UK. If you think that Apurv would not have any free time at all as he continues on his mission of building bridges between people and innovations, you would be wrong. Go to the Cambridge University Fencing Club, and you might occasionally find him brandishing his sabre there!

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Physics In The Blood


2006
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ganeshkhind Pune Maharashtra

Hamsa Padmanabhan
Physics runs in Hamsas family: both her parents are physicists. Small wonder, then, that Hamsa too aspired to be a physicist! Hamsa was a 16 year old student at the Kendriya Vidyalaya in Ganeshkhind, Pune, when she won the Grand Award in Physics at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) held in Indianapolis in 2006. She also won two special category prizes for her project, Physics of a Simple Prototype for Static Magnetic Levitation. It consisted of a pencil suspended in mid-air as a result of magnetic forces. She understood, and explained, the complex physics involved in it. She got the idea for her project when she saw a commercially available toycum-pen stand; she was curious to find out the principles on which it worked. This is a very complex process, and my daughter analysed the forces involved in the process, as well as the factors contributing towards the stability of the levitating pen, says her mentor-father, Dr Thanu Padmanabhan, who is a noted theoretical physicist and Distinguished Professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune. Looking back at her Intel ISEF experience, Hamsa says that meeting so many top scientists and seeing how the entire judging process was conducted was a memorable and valuable experience for her. Intel ISEF gave her a wonderful insight into how research is carried out, and hands on experience in the scientific method. The other projects at Intel ISEF were absolutely amazing. They were very ingenious and well thought out. It was evident that

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Physics of a Simple Prototype for Static Magnetic Levitation Physics Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (21575) Padmanabhan Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Individual Category UTC Stock with an approximate value of USD 2,000 United Technologies Corporation Third Award of USD 300 American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society

everyone had put in a great deal of effort to get to Intel ISEF, and each one clearly deserved to be there, recalls Hamsa. A year after winning at Intel ISEF, when Hamsa received her certificate from MITs Lincoln Lab stating that a minor planet had been named after her, she was very excited and happy. Intel ISEF 2006 was Hamsas second major co-curricular win. In 2004, she had won the gold medal at the prestigious All India Test of Scholastic Skills (ASSET) for Class 9 students, conducted by Educational Initiatives, an Ahmedabad-based NGO. Unsurprisingly, Ms Kranti Kumar, Principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ganeshkhind, says proudly of her star pupil, Hamsa, always a topper, has made our school famous by winning prestigious awards Im certain theres a great future ahead for her.
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Its not her genes but her early academic influence that got Hamsa interested in physics. I was always at IUCAA in my childhood days, around great scientists, and exposed to scientific lectures, talks and debates.
Hamsa at Intel ISEF 2006

Her father was her official guide for her project, and supervised my general physics reading at the advanced level required for the project.
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meritorious studentsand Hamsa is one of them. While her parents have impressive qualifications to say the least, its not her genes but her early academic influence that got Hamsa interested in physics. I was always at IUCAA in my childhood days, around great scientists, and exposed to scientific lectures, talks and debates. My parents encouraged me to do what I wanted to, and didnt push me to take up physics, she says. Hamsa had an interest in arts when she was younger and whiled away her spare time drawing or painting. An advanced maths class at the Bhaskaracharya Institute of Maths when she was in Class 9 channeled her liking to physics. It revealed the beauty in maths to meof symbols, abstract equationswhich led me to discover

Hamsa with her father, Thanu Padmanabhan (right)

Her mother, Vasanthi, who has a PhD in astrophysics from TIFR, Mumbai, was also very supportive throughout. Vasanthi says, Hamsa was always a disciplined child who finished all her tasks to the perfection they deserved. Hamsa acknowledges all the support she was fortunate to have received. I was always interested in physics and doing projects. I was in Class 11 when I submitted my project, first for the IRIS National Fair, and then for Intel ISEF. I got a lot of support and encouragement from my school. My teachers were willing to help me out with lab sessions that I had missed while I was away at orientation camps related to the project. Since her return from Intel ISEF, Hamsa has done summer research projects from 2007 to 2011 under the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY), an ongoing program started by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, to encourage students of Basic Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to take up research careers. Generous scholarships are provided, up to the pre-PhD level, to selected

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An advanced maths class, when she was in Class 9, channelled her interest into physics. The beauty of maths was revealed to me of symbols, abstract equations which led me to discover the joys of experiments and analysis.
Hamsa at Intel ISEF 2006 with other participants and Judges

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of International Education (IIE) and the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and came first in Mimamsa 2009, an inter-college Science Challenge organised by Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune. Hamsa is an enthusiastic member of the Physics and Astronomy Club at her college. She has given lectures in Advanced Physics in college, and helped organise lecture series and science popularisation programmes outside college. A life member of MENSA India, she enjoys her hobbies such as reading, drawing and painting. Hamsa has recently completed her M Sc in Physics from the University of Pune. Currently, she is engaged in doing a project on cosmology. Her main area of interest is theoretical physics, and she aims to do her PhD in Physics as well.

the joys of experiments and analysis, she says. A recipient of the prestigious KVPY Fellowship and an National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) Scholar, she has already published three technical research papers in the American Journal of Physics, General Relativity and Gravitation and Physical Review D. She was selected as a Goldman Sachs Global Leader in 2009 by the Institute

Hamsa with her mother at Stonehenge, UK

A Happy Accident
Varun Mittal

2006
Sanatan Dharam Public School Pitampura New Delhi 99

Effect of Chinaberry Fruit Extract Oil on Feeding, Growth and Fecundity of Plutella Xylostella Zoology Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Team Category

Varun at Intel ISEF with his teammate, Kanishka (far left); and explaining his project (left)

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Varun Mittal and his teammate, Kanishka Tiwary, discovered an environment friendly way to combat a deadly moth that infests vegetables. They studied the diamondback moth that is found in cruciferous plants, such as cabbage and cauliflower, and destroys these crops. This moth also enters into the human brain and causes a severe disease called cysterosis. Together, they found the solution: chinaberry fruit extract oil, which they stumbled upon while checking out neem leaves as a solution. An example of innovation by accident! It was a happy accident, as the two students of Sanatan Dharam Public School took their discovery to the Initiative for Research & Innovation in Science (IRIS) National Fair, where they were declared National Winners, and selected to represent Team India at the Intel International Science and

Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), held in Indianapolis in May 2006. At Intel ISEF, their success story continued: they won the Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500. Varun shares his feelings of joy on being an Intel ISEF winner: Intel ISEF is a stage where participation in itself means that you are a winner. And when we actually won the Fourth Prize, that was indeed a proud moment for us. It meant that all the hard work we had put in had been recognised by the world. It simply feels great to win any competition, and when it is Intel ISEF, the joy gets enhanced manifold. Intel ISEF, he says, is the biggest stage for young science innovators. Meeting more than 1, 200 students from over 40 countries, as well as the judges, some of whom were Nobel Prize winners, was awe-inspiring. It was a cultural fest,

besides being a great science event. At the competition, you tend to forget all the obstacles which you encountered in the journey. After tasting success once, it made me believe that I can do whatever I want to. I started believing in myself! There were many memorable moments for Varun at Intel ISEF: just entering the huge Intel ISEF hall; the pin exchange program, where students of different countries exchange the pins which they carry as a symbol of their country; and the encounter with the judges. But the

Sharing a light moment with Team India

With participants from various countries at Intel ISEF

Award Ceremony is something that has left the most indelible mark in his memory. He honestly admits that the idea for their project just came out of nowhere. He is fond of reading magazines on all topics, and, one day, he read an article in Science News about the pest Plutella xylostella, the diamondback moth, which had some statistics about the devastation which this pest causes to cruciferous vegetables. After reading more on the topic, he brought it up in his biology class one day, just to create an impression in the classroom, he says. His teacher, Ms Sonika Verma, who is an M Sc in Zoology, did not let it go; she knew about the pest, and encouraged Varun to take up the task of finding a bio insecticide for this moth as a research project. Along with his team mate Kanishka, Varun started working on the project.

Nothing was planned, things just kept on happening. It was a bumpy ride with a sweet end. They were successful, feels Varun, because both he and Kanishka kept motivating each other. Sonika Maam was their friend, philosopher and guide; she was always there for them whenever they had to go to the University lab for experimentation or to various industries. She also accompanied them to the IRIS Fair in Mumbai once they had completed their project. Varun cant thank her enough: She was THE WALL behind this projectmotivation and inspiration all came from her! It was a long and painstaking process. We took each day, set our goals, and worked together. Sometimes, in research work, you dont get results even after doing everything right. During those days, we kept calm, and

We took each day, set our goals, and worked together. Sometimes, in research work, you dont get results even after doing everything right. During those days, we kept calm, and I used to tell Kanishka that at least we are getting a chance to enter the University, and do some interesting work away from our boring classroom! But, above all, what kept us going was the cause: we knew that our innovation, if successful, will help farmers.

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Follow your dreams and strive to be the best... Have faith in yourself and work hard, especially in scientific innovation. If you reach a dead end, that is the point where you have to remain focused and look for the loopholes in your current work. And after correcting them, move forward. Just do not lose hope and faith.

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I used to tell Kanishka that at least we are getting a chance to enter the University, and do some interesting work away from our boring classroom! But, above all, what kept us going was the cause: we knew that our innovation, if successful, will help farmers. After Intel ISEF, Varun chose to be an engineer. As he wanted to work on solar power development projects, he decided to do his B Tech in Electrical Engineering. Currently in his fourth and final year at the Career Institute of Technology, Faridabad, he is working at developing solar lighting systems for street lights. His future plans include doing his Masters in Business Administration, and then working for rural India. He would like to set up a company in a village, which will employ only the people of that area.

In order to empower them, the people will be given an education as well as training by the company. He envisages the scheme to work like an NGO, but with the objective of making a profit as well. Varun feels that winners are not born so; they make themselves winners by choosing the path which leads them to their goals and aims in life. He says, Follow your dreams and strive to be the best. In todays world, there is no scope for mediocrity. You have to be the best, so work hard to excel. There would be some people who will demotivate you, but have faith in yourself and work hard, especially in scientific innovation. If you reach a dead end, that is the point where you have to remain focused and look for the loopholes in your current work. And after correcting them, move forward. Just do not lose hope and faith.

With another participant at Intel ISEF

Varun loves reading novels and magazines, and plays badminton in his free time.

When Inspiration Works Wonders


Kanishka Tiwary

2006
Sanatan Dharam Public School Pitampura New Delhi 03

Effect of Chinaberry Fruit Extract Oil on Feeding, Growth and Fecundity of Plutella Xylostella Zoology Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Team Category

Kanishka with Team India at the Indianapolis Fair (left)

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Its been a while since Kanishka Tiwary won the Grand Award Fourth Prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), but the feeling of euphoria never seems to fade. She says, It makes me happy that Intel provided us with such an opportunity to display our talents at an international forum. It still feels great to have been a part of Intel ISEF. I always feel like reliving those moments again. Kanishkas project, which she developed with her classmate, Varun Mittal, under the encouragement and guidance of their teacher, Mrs Sonika Verma, aimed to develop something to deal with Plutella xylostella, the diamondback moth,

so as to decrease its growth or totally kill it. This was because it is a devastating pest, and destroys around 40% of the total yield of cruciferous vegetables like cabbages and cauliflowers. They started off by trying to formulate an insecticide with neem. But, as they continued their research, they discovered that the plant that got them the most positive results was not neem, but chinaberry (Melia azedarach). Recalls Kanishka, Before leaving for Indianapolis for Intel ISEF 2006, I got an opportunity to meet our former President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. It was a very inspiring meeting, and we had a great deal of discussion on my research work, the work I had done until then, and my further career plans. I think that meeting was the most inspirational moment towards my success at Intel ISEF. Of course, my partner, guide,

An inspiring meeting with the former President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

No matter what others say, one should always cultivate the love for science and technology. It need not necessarily be as a career, but just the passion for it is enough.

mentor, school principal, and my parents and friends, were always there to support me through the difficult times and they kept encouraging me. All their support was very important for my success. She goes on to share her memorable experiences at Intel ISEF: It was my first brush with research work. Presenting my work at such a big level was like a dream come true. Interaction with other students around, the various inputs that some of the Nobel laureates gave us, the presentation, and every single moment I spent at Intel ISEF was extremely inspiring. Witnessing such a huge community devoted towards science and research, as well as becoming aware of all the many things a person can do, learn, discover and inventall this helped build the foundation for my interest in research.

Currently, she is in her final year at the Institute, and is simultaneously working as a Project Trainee at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, under Dr Sutirth Dey, Assistant Professor. Kanishka plans to continue on this path even in the future, pursuing her interest in science, particularly evolutionary biology, as it interests her the most. She advises young students interested in science and technology: No matter what others say, one should always cultivate the love for science and technology. It need not necessarily be as a career, but just the passion for it is enough. Fond of books, Kanishka enjoys reading in her free time. She also listens to music; but what she enjoys most is mentoring her younger brother in his science projects!

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To date, Intel ISEF remains one of Kanishkas greatest achievements. She was a Class 12 student at Sanatan Dharam Public School, New Delhi when she won the Grand Award. Soon afterwards, she completed her schooling, and started her B Tech in Biotechnology from the Dr D Y Patil Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Institute, Pune, in 2008.

Indias Pride: Twice Over!


2006 & 2008
Christ Nagar Senior Secondary School Thiruvananthapuram Kerala (2006) Management of Aphid Pest of Cowpea by a Bio-Pesticide Fusarium Pallidoroseum Environmental Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF 2006 Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 Individual Category Bhavans B P Vidya Mandir Nagpur Maharashtra (2008) Fusarium Pallidoroseum, II: Can it Control Water Hyacinth? Environmental Management Recognition at Intel ISEF 2008 Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 Individual Category Special Award Third Prize of USD 500 American Phytopathological Society 0

Swathi Soman
It wouldnt be surprising if Swathi Soman builds a shrine to Fusarium pallidoroseum. After all, it is this fungus that has given her the unique experience of representing India twice at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). Even better, she was a winner both times! Back in 2006, little did Swathi Soman know that her curiosity about black spots in vegetables would take her to Indianapolis as part of Team India. Swathi, who saw that her mother would always have to throw away infected peas, wanted to find a solutionthat, too, without using chemicals. The current management practice of using chemical pesticides to tackle this pest is dangerous, as it causes environmental and health hazards. She discovered that F pallidoroseum can be used to control the aphid pest in the cowpea plant, and proved that the fungus was safe to other biotic fauna and flora found in the plants ecosystem. For her project, she won a Grand Award in the Environmental Science category at Intel ISEF 2006. This passionate environmentalist from Kerala was determined to represent her country again at the international fair. She participated at the IRIS 2007, now with a project on how to control water hyacinth, the pernicious aquatic weed. This time, it was the sight of the ghastly weed choking the water bodies around her house in Kerala that egged her on to find a solution. The disadvantage of this weed outweighs its merits, as it interferes with the production of hydroelectricity, forms a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and affects aquatic life by depleting the

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I felt proud to represent India. I felt lucky, blessed and excited to be among the eight participants to be selected. It was a dream come true to be a winner twice.
A victorious journey: (anticlockwise from top right) Swathi at the IRIS National Fair; at IEYI India in 2007, and at Intel ISEF 2008; and with members of Team India at Intel ISEF 2006 in Atlanta

oxygen levels in the water. In Kerala, it makes recreational and water activities unsafe.
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which the weed grows is being utilised for household uses. Swathi found an efficient method to integrate F pallidoroseum with cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL), a by-product of the cashew industry, and turn it into an effective bio-control agent against the weed. F pallidoroseum was formulated into a wettable powder, and was tested on various plants and weeds to prove

Management of this weed can be taken up by physical or chemical means. The most widely followed practice is manual collection and destruction, which is not very successful, as the weed multiplies very fast. Herbicidal destruction is not feasible in most cases as the water in

how host specific the fungus was. The results of the study proved that the fungus is not pathogenic to crop plants, nor to insects of the locality, and hence is safe to be used as a bio-control agent. Field trials were conducted to prove that F pallidoroseum, together with CNSL, was effective in controlling the weed on a very large scale. After her win in 2006, Swathi knew exactly how to present an award winning project, and, at Intel ISEF 2008 in Atlanta, she not only won another Grand Award, but also an award from the American Phytopathological Society. Swathi attributes her success to her parents and her sister, who have been a constant source of support and inspiration to her. Of her experience at Intel ISEF, Swathi says, I was the youngest in the group that went to the US, and the only Keralite! I was scared,

Happy moments for Swathi with her teammates (first three pictures) and being felicitated by Shri Kapil Sibal in New Delhi after her Intel ISEF win in 2008 (extreme right)

shy and jittery. And not very confident. But by the end of the trip, we had all become very good friends, and we are still in touch today. In retrospect, it was one of the best times I have had, meeting many people and making friends for life! Personally, I felt proud to represent India, she continues. I felt lucky, blessed and excited to be among the eight participants to be selected for the Indian team. It was a dream come true to be a winner twice. The Intel ISEF award has given my school, my family and the research institute pride and recognition. It has also brought me to the limelight through television, newspapers and magazines. While Swathis interactions with the Nobel laureates at the Indianapolis Fair had inspired her to try to become one

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Dont waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window or break down a door! When you feel down and out, just remember that the darkest hour is just before sunrise.

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some day, life seems to have taken her down another path. Even by the time she went to Atlanta in 2008, she had chosen to study Commerce in Class 11. Despite that, she was offered admission (subject to her SAT scores) to the Bio Technology course at Purdue University, Indiana, a major research institution known for discoveries in every field of science. But a refrain that she had constantly heard while doing her field project disheartened her: time and again, she was questioned why, coming from a commerce background, she was doing a science project! She also found it difficult to get either funding or support for her project. But, ever the optimist, she didnt let any of this get her down. She lived her philosophy: Dont waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window, or break down a

door! When you feel down and out, just remember that the darkest hour is just before sunrise. So she decided to continue her studies in the Commerce stream, as she wanted to become a Chartered Accountant. She is currently doing her final year B Com from Madras University. She is also simultaneously doing her Chartered Accountancy course, and is undergoing her articleship with Ernst & Young in Chennai. She hopes to clear her CA Final exams in May 2013. Swathi finds it difficult to understand the rigid compartmentalisation that says that a person who has a passion for Commerce or the Arts cannot also have a passion for science. But she doesnt let that bother her, and she is still very attached to what she calls her fungus! She still keeps in touch

with her project, and visits the lab at the Kerala Agricultural University in Thiruvananthapuram once a year, where she meets her mentor, Dr A Naseema, who is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathologyand, of course, her fungus! Once she is there, she checks it, conduct tests on it, and updates herself with the papers that her mentor writes on the fungus. This fungus has been very close to me since I was in Class 9, says Swathi. I cant ever forget it. I havent really thought about what it is exactly that I will do, but I will always be involved with itread up papers published on it, and the like. Thats a truly extraordinary passion who says that science is not romantic!

Swathi working on her project in the field (left), and in the lab (right)

An Ignited Mind
Rishin Behl
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Mankhurd Mumbai Maharashtra

2007


A Novel Design for Magnetic Levitating Seismograph Earth and Planetary Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (23133) Rishinbehl Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Individual Category Full Tuition Scholarship Award University of New Mexico First Award of USD 1,000 US Savings Bond AVASC Foundation Award of Merit of USD 500 Society of Exploration Geophysicists Trip to China to attend CASTIC China Association for Science and Technology

The biggest impact that Intel ISEF had was that it changed my perspective on life; now I believe that anything is possible... Before ISEF, I was confused like every other teenager. But, now, I believe one should do what he likes without being pressured by society.



A keychain laser. An aircraft. And the spark of genius. Thats what went into making Rishin Behl a big winner at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2007. Rishin was toying with the keychain laser, reflecting the beam off a window pane, when an aircraft passed overhead, causing the window to vibrate. Rishin noticed that this made the laser spot oscillate. It was his Eureka moment! He put his discovery to practical use in his project, A Novel Design for Magnetic Levitating Seismograph, which is a product of his spirit of inquiry that questioned the inability of seismographers to detect the tsunami that struck India in 2004. Seismographs are used to measure the intensity of earthquakes, and Rishin designed his using a magnetic field and

a laser to make his computer generate a 3D image of the shock wavea huge improvement over the conventional mechanical device. From a playful experiment to a prizewinning project, it was a lot of hard work, reading, experimenting and thinking for Rishin. But not an ounce of his efforts was futile: he went on to win as many as five awards at Intel ISEF 2007. If cash prizes worth USD 3,000, a trip to the Society of Exploration Geophysicists International Exposition, and another to Kunming in China for a week to attend the 22nd China Adolescents Science and Technology Innovation Contest were not enough, he also won a full tuition scholarship of USD 60,000 over four years from the University of New Mexico (UNM). Participation in Intel ISEF helped me decide which path I would take in the

future, says Rishin. Definitely, it gave me an exposure in an international arena to the scientific world, which, I discovered, was very wide and supportive. I also met lots of amazing scientists and engineers from different fields of science, and got the chance to interact with Nobel laureates and Apollo astronauts. This was all made possible due to the help and support from my teachers at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Mankhurd, and Intel. I thank Intel for providing me a platform to achieve all of this. He adds, The biggest impact that Intel ISEF had was that it changed my perspective on life; now I believe that anything is possible. I always liked structures and systems, though, to tell the truth, before ISEF, I was confused like every other teenager. But, now, I believe one should do what he likes without being pressured by society.

Rishin at his stall at IRIS 2006 (above); and with his Professor at his convocation at the University of New Mexico in 2011 (right)

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My father himself is very good at doing things, and has always guided me on various scientific projects since my childhood. I feel I acquired the inclination for doing things from him.



Rishin had an inclination towards science and innovative ideas right from childhood. Rishin believes his family background has contributed a lot to his exceptional talent in this field. His father, a Naval commander, was involved in marine engineering projects, while his mother worked on electronics projects. They always encouraged, guided and supported me in anything and everything I did. My father himself is very good at doing things, and has always guided me on various scientific projects since my childhood. I feel I acquired the inclination for doing things from him. When he took up the project that brought him glory in Albuquerque, Rishin was in Class 12academically a very crucial year for any student! But my father encouraged me to go ahead with project work. It was because of my parents that I believed that I could

Rishin was always an extraordinarily intelligent boy. He would only watch Discovery Science channels, and created various science projects on his own. He was exceptionally good at sketching, and even at the age of six, he was able to make intricate sketches of planes, ships and submarines.
Cdr Rajnish Behl, Rishins father
Rishin with his family

take up studies and project work simultaneously. His father, Cdr Rajnish Behl, now retired, recalls: Rishin was always an extraordinarily intelligent boy. He would only watch Discovery Science channels, and created various science projects on his own. He was exceptionally good at sketching, and even at the age of six, he was able to make intricate sketches of planes, ships and submarines. He maintains that, even as a child, Rishins knowledge about weaponry, radar and other equipment was greater than his! With a minor planet(23133) rishinbehl already named after him by the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rishin, who modestly believes that being good at what I do is my reward, is well on his way to finding his place in the

universe. If I look up at the sky, I can always feel theres something out there named after me. Thats an excitement and rush like nothing else, says Rishin. My family was, and still is, very proud of me. That is because this honour is highly prestigious, very limited and is only conferred based on very high achievements by the MIT Lincoln Lab. Within the firm belief instilled in him by his Intel ISEF experience that he should follow his passion, Rishin took up structural engineering at UNM on the scholarship he won at the Fair. During his engineering program, his professors saw the potentialand the versatility of the technology he had used in his project, which can be modified for effective use in other fields. There have been enquiries from the defence industry, and people from the fields of medicine and geographical sciences

have also evinced interest in Rishins innovative design, but he does not wish to elaborate upon these at this stage. Rishin himself says that he plans to use the technology to create a portable device that can detect anomalies in the case of a cardiac arrest. At UNM, Rishin graduated with honours in Nuclear Engineering, with a lot of research experience in the field of radiology and imaging. Throughout, he was listed in the Deans List for securing high grades. Within a month of joining the university, he got a research job in the famous BoydLab. He also got the opportunity to work in the Long Array Antenna Research Program at Socorro, NM. In his junior and senior years at UNM, he did research in the field of radiation imaging at the UNM Medical School.



His professors saw the potentialand the versatilityof the technology he had used in his project. There have been enquiries from the defence industry, and people from the fields of medicine and geographical sciences have also evinced interest in Rishins innovative design.



He had a string of achievements during his four year stint at the university. He was the Secretary of the UNM Student Chapter of the American Nuclear Society. He was also the Vice President (Student Chapter) at the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management. Further, he was selected to participate in various international symposia. Based on his research work, high grades and high recommendation, he was offered scholarships for further studies at many prestigious universities in USA and Canada. He chose to do a medical physics course at McGill University in Montreal. Presently, updates Rishin, I am pursuing my MS at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, with my focus on the use of innovative technologies in the field of radiation scatter imaging. I plan to continue research in the field

Rishin with an official at Intel ISEF 2007

of nuclear medicine and mechanical engineering. Getting to know more about the newest developments in the field of science and medicine has always been a great passion of mine, says Rishin,

but it isnt just technology that drives this young innovator. Playing lawn tennis, hiking and drawing free sketches of things, ranging from artillery to ships, are my hobbies.

A Cool Solution
Ambud Sharma
Sunbeam School Bhagwanpur Varanasi Uttar Pradesh 

2008

A Low Cost Water Based Evaporative Cooling Device for Computers Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Individual Category Scholarship of USD 12,500 per year, renewable annually by Florida Institute of Technology

Ambud designed and fabricated a cooling system for the computer, especially the CPU, that would allow heat to be captured by water and radiated to the atmosphere. Essentially, it was an adaptation of the desert cooler concept that has been prevalent in India for the past several centuries.



The absence of an air conditioner in his Varanasi home was a boon in disguise for Ambud Sharma. His old PC was forever hanging, due to overheating. Always curious about computers, Ambud had stumbled on a generic problem every PC owner faces in India during summer: heat! To fix the problem, Ambud had to find a way to move the heat away from the computers CPU. When he kept his hand on the heat sink to help reduce the heat being generated, he realised that his blood was acting as a heat carrying medium and his skin as a water jacket. This gave him the idea to design and fabricate a cooling system for the computer, especially the CPU, that would allow heat to be captured by water and radiated to the atmosphere. Essentially, it was an adaptation of

the desert cooler concept that has been prevalent in India for the past several centuries. Thats the project that took Ambud to IRIS, and then to success at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) at Atlanta, Georgia, in 2008. This Class 12 student from Sunbeam School had earlier dreamt of being a chip designer so that he could work for Intel! Ambud affirms that its the computers processor that inspired him, because of its speed, multitasking capability and making almost no mistakes. Its heating was a big drawback though. Ambud did not have a guide for his project, and his parents did not know how to operate a computer. So it was to his cousin, who works in the US in the field of robotics, that he turned

Sharing precious moments with Dr Craig R Barrett, Ex Chairman, Intel Corporation

for inspiration. Ambuds path breaking Evaporative Cooling Device, which he named Heat Busters, has the potential to considerably reduce the need for environmentally hazardous air conditioners that are a threat not only to individual health but also to the ozone layer. I hope my project can be of great help to mankind, says Ambud. Ambud recalls his experience at Intel ISEF with pride: Representing my

No wonder its called the Olympics of Science Fairs... I got to see and become acquainted with various innovations happening across the globe, and it was amazing to meet students just like me, having the same temperament for science, research and innovation for the betterment of humanity. In short the experience is unforgettable!

country at an international event gave me great personal satisfaction. Also, I feel it was a major opportunity to interact with Nobel laureates, eminent scientists, and heads of leading companies of the world. He adds, Intel ISEF is one of the most spectacular events organised in the field of Science and Technology for high school students; no wonder its called the Olympics of Science Fairs. The term itself explains a lot about it. I got to see and become acquainted with various innovations happening across the globe, and it was amazing to meet students just like me, having the same temperament for science, research and innovation for the betterment of humanity. In short the experience is unforgettable! Ambud feels that the experience not only helped him realise the importance of innovation, but also,

at a personal level, helped him develop innovative thinking and the art of representation of science to the world. At the Fair, Ambud had the good fortune of participating in a Question & Answer session over lunch with eminent Nobel laureates and the Chairman of Intel, Dr Craig Barrett. He was among 35 participants chosen by Society for Science & the Public for this signal honour, on the basis of questions submitted by them. In fact, he was the first ever student from India to get this unique opportunity! Among his cherished memories of Atlanta are the moments he shared with Ms Elizabeth Marincola, President, Society for Science & the Public, Dr Robert F Curl, who got the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 and the privilege of having lunch with Dr Robert Horvitz, Nobel laureate in Medicine in 2002. The sheer experience
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Ambud and other members of Team India at Intel ISEF

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With Dr Praveen Vishakantaiah, President, Intel India, at IRIS 2007

of talking to Dr Horvitz and asking him questions was life changing. Both he and Dr Curl inspired him tremendously with similar messages: You should be really passionate about what you do, the end result doesnt matter. Ambud won two awards at Intel ISEF. After bagging the Grand Award Fourth Prize, Ambud also won a USD 50,000 scholarship from the Florida Institute of Technology. It was also gratifying when

several of the eminent judges told Ambud that they looked forward to his presence in the industry. He says that he is unable to find adequate words to describe his feelings about winning for his country: India has always been on the frontier of science and technology and bagging a prize at a global science forum proved to the world our excellence in innovation in the field of science and technology. And I still feel humbled and privileged to have made my country proud. His parents, especially his father, have been extremely supportive, and have been instrumental in his success. We are very happy about his achievement. He has made us proud, says a beaming Rajendra Kumar, Ambuds father. For a year after Intel ISEF, Ambud had many ups and downs, as he tried to sell

his technology to a French company. Then his passion for computers and computer science got him focused on research in the field. Currently, Ambud is pursuing his BS in Computer Science and Information Systems from the University of WisconsinStevens Point in the US. Apart from his studies, Ambud is concurrently working on various research projects independently, and in conjunction with faculty both at his university and at others. Among these is Project Orion, at his university, which is about cluster computing; he has been researching specifically on how to process massive amounts of network traffic and generate cyber threat alerts, an extremely critical need today, given the incredible growth of online traffic. In 2011, he worked on speech recognition systems at the Carnegie Mellon University.

India needs innovation and we are heading in that direction, we just need to increase our pace!

In his free time, Ambud enjoys searching for new research papers on the Internet and reading new publications. Other than that, he enjoys reading about new gadgets, watches TED on YouTube, and listens to music.
A proud moment at Intel ISEF 2008



Other cutting edge research projects that he has been involved are: Intelligent Network Selection for Smart Phones Using User Trends; Sun SPOT Store and Forward Technique for Reducing Congestion in Sensor Networks; Optimised Task Scheduler for Hadoop; and Network Traffic Compression on GPU. With extreme clarity on his future plans, Ambud outlines the course he plans to take: I would like to be a research scholar especially in the field of cluster computing and BigData, and also do practical work in the industry in the same field.

Ambud feels students truly interested in the field of science and technology should overcome their mindset of grades, admissions and jobs, and pursue the subject of their interestbe it physics, chemistry or engineering. Says Ambud with feeling, Students need to understand their passion for science not only to be successful in the field, but also, more importantly, to contribute to society. Research and innovation are critical to Indias progress, but are even more important for the existence and survival of humanity in the years to come, says

Ambud. He is glad that the Government of India is making changes to the education system to motivate and promote innovation. India needs innovation and we are heading in that direction, we just need to increase our pace!, he concludes.

A Quest For Science


2008
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Mandya Karnataka 

Lavanya H Giriraj
A Class 11 student from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV), Mandya, Lavanya Giriraj wanted to replace toxic chemicals that are commonly used in household products with more environmentally friendly substances. She investigated alternatives to synthetic dyes that are used in fabrics, paints, and foods. She extracted dye from the petals of Ixora coccinea, a fuchsiaflowered plant of the coffee family. She was able to successfully dye ice cream, cotton, and silk, and prepared water colours and oil paints from the pigment. Her research project, Natural Colour from Ixora Flowers, won Lavanya the Second Prize of USD 500 from the American Society for Horticultural Science in the Plant Sciences category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2008. This was, naturally, a big moment in her life. She says, Intel ISEF is a great platformone of the best! for young innovators to showcase their hidden talents. Being from a rural school and making it to Intel ISEF was a dream come true for me. It opened up the doors of opportunity for my future, and has influenced me ever since. Lavanyas quest for science was encouraged and supported by her project guide, Mrs Remani K, at JNV, Mandya. It was Mrs Remani who inspired Lavanya to take up the project on the basis of a small experiment that she conducted in her school laboratory. The project was a National Winner at IRIS 2007, and was then improved under the guidance and review of eminent scientists, before it was ready for Intel ISEF. Lavanya is very grateful to all those who helped her on her triumphant journey: My project guide and her husband,

Natural Colour from Ixora Flowers Plant Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Second Award of USD 500 American Society for Horticultural Science

Mr Selvam, were my strongest supporters throughout my journey. They contributed significantly towards my success at Intel ISEF. Other people who supported me include Mr Chandrasekaran, Principal, and Mr Chenchaiah, then Vice President, from my school; Mr Chandrashekar, from the Central Institute of Aromatic Sciences, Bangalore; Mr Keshavan, retired Professor, Manasagangotri, Mysore; all my teachers at JNV, Mandya; and last, but not the least, my family. At Atlanta, the whole experience was one of learning and joy for Lavanya. It was great being a part of Intel ISEF, even more when you know that you are representing your country at the international level. The experience gave me a new definition in life, a new aspect from which to see life as it is. It gave me the independence which I had longed for. And the way people respect India is,

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Science is a beautiful field, in which every dream can come true with sheer hard work and dedication. So if you are serious about bringing about a change around you, never wait for the right time to come, use your present time. Start working on your dream and you will surely succeed.
Lavanya getting her award at Intel ISEF 2008 (left); at the felicitation event by Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Science and Technology (middle); and winning the Fair and Lovely Scholarship 2009 (right)

amazingly, seen when you are far from here! It made me care for the small things, which, if worked upon, can be turned into wonders.


She continues, Being called up on stage as the 1st runner-up by the American Society for Horticultural Science, receiving the award in that great hall, in front of thousands of people, making my country proudthats the moment Id die to live again for. I was most inspired by the hard work, peoples dedication in making things work out, and their punctuality. After Intel ISEF, Lavanya completed her Class 12 Board exams, and, the following year, she joined the Government Engineering College, K R Pet, Mandya, to do her Bachelors in Engineering. She says, I have chosen Electronics and Communications. I have taken up technology as my prime field, and plan

to continue my higher studies in the same field. After her graduation, she wants to pursue an MS from a reputed university, preferably overseas. And down the line, she aims to work in a research centre, guiding young talents to achieve their dreams in the field of science and technology through research. Lavanya has not revisited her Ixora project since Intel ISEF, but is eager to continue research on it and get it patented, once she has the opportunity. Encouraging young students who are interested in science and technology, she says, Science is a beautiful field, in which every dream can come true with sheer hard work and dedication. So, if you are serious about bringing about a change around you, never wait for the right time to come, use your present time. Start working on your dream, and you will surely succeed.

She is also determined to encourage and support students to participate in science exhibitionsespecially Intel ISEF! A born teacher, she says, Teaching is, at present, my hobby. Whenever I am free, I usually teach young kids around my place.

Lavanya with Team India at the Olympic Park in Atlanta (right)





Winning The World With Science


Pooja Dholakiya
Late Shree S G Dholakiya Memorial High School Rajkot Gujarat

2008
Going to Atlanta for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in 2008 was a life changing experience for Pooja Dholakiya. Along with her classmate, Riddhi Dasani, Pooja won the Grand Award Third Prize in Plant Sciences in the Team Category, which carried a cash prize of USD 1,000. Heres how it all started: One day, when Pooja was at school, she saw some young students licking ink from their sketch pens. Appalled at the possible danger to their health from the toxic inks, she spoke to her friend Riddhi about it. They resolved to see what they could do about it. They experimented with fruits, flowers and vegetables to see if they could develop organic inks that are non-toxic. Six months later, they had achieved their objective: they were able to extract quite a few appetising, bright colours. Their edible palette included yellow from turmeric, red from chili peppers, pink from roses, and more. As Pooja and Riddhi went about giving final shape to their project, Eco-Friendly Ink for Colour Pens, they travelled to Chhindwara, where powders used for dying fabric are made from various plants. They also visited fabrication units and factories to see how pens are made. Even as they worked hard at their project, they were fortunate to get a lot of support from Dr Ismail Katri, from the M S University in Baroda. The girls consider the former President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, their idol, and his words have been their constant inspiration. Their story and their path to success have, in turn, been a great inspiration not just to the students in their school, but to others in the community.


Eco-Friendly Ink for Colour Pens Plant Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 Team Category

Pooja with her teammate, Riddhi at Intel ISEF 2008 (above and below left); and explaining their project to a judge (right)

and the reports have been very encouraging. Pooja has not done any further work on this project, but is happy that Riddhis younger brother, Jay, has latched on to their idea. She says, We have just created a path. I am glad someone is taking this further. She feels there are many possibilities to fine tune the project; for example, as the ink is made out of natural material, there is a chance of bacterial and fungal infection. She also feels that if, after working for less than a year, they were able to discover nine colours from natural sources, the scope to discover more colours is vast. She plans to support Jay in his research when she comes home during her vacations. On her Intel ISEF experience, Pooja says, We got an opportunity to bring out our

talents in the field of science. We are very happy to participate in such a big scientific event. She is very proud of being an Intel ISEF winner. She says, Its a great feeling to bring glory to our country. Participating on the world stage and finding myself among the winners has given me immense pleasure. My parents and Dr Abdul Kalam have been my inspiration for my success, says Pooja. And my parents, my teachers, and my friends have been a great support to me all throughout. She makes special mention of their mentor, Mr Sachin Jani, who taught them Biology in Class 9. Speaking of the profound effect the experience had upon her, Pooja says, At Intel ISEF, I got the opportunity to meet many young scientists from all over



On their triumphant from Atlanta, the two girls, along with other Team India members who had won at Intel ISEF that year, were felicitated by the Union Minister of Science and Technology, Shri Kapil Sibal, in New Delhi. Subsequently, they were also honoured at a special event by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modithey were the first students from Gujarat to win at Intel ISEF. The inks developed by Pooja and Riddhi have been analysed by laboratories at the Saurashtra University, M S University, Baroda, the Gujarat State Food and Drug Control Department, and others,

Her interest in innovation can be applied in medicine as well, as she can now help save thousands from dukh, dard aur maut. I dont want her to just do her MBBS and practise medicine I would like her to research and innovate for the benefit of mankind.
Krishnakant Dholakiya, Poojas father

or the school, but for Gujarat as well. He goes on to say, That my daughter received an international award is a cause of great happiness for me. She did something that I couldnt do! the world. I could enrich my knowledge with my interactions with them. I learnt about the different cultures of the world, and made some good friends. I also got the opportunity to meet Nobel laureates. Representing Indian culture in the poster presentation session was the most memorable moment for me. Her father, Mr Krishnakant Dholakiya, is also the Trustee and Principal of her school. He says, I am very happy both as a father and as the trustee of the school. Coming from a Gujarati medium school, my 14 year old daughter won a prestigious award at Intel ISEF. Her win is a matter of pride not just for me Following in Riddhi and Poojas footsteps, their schoolmate Hetal Vaishnav was a winner at Intel ISEF in 2009and again in 2011! Mr Dholakiya beams with justifiable pride: All the three girls, Riddhi, Hetal and Pooja, are the brand ambassadors of our school! Currently, Pooja is studying for her MBBS degree at the AMC MET Medical College in Ahmedabad. After completing her studies, she would like to pursue research as a career and do something worthwhile for mankind. Her interest is in clinical research, and she would like to specialise in either neurology or cardiology.

Mr Dholakiya, who is supportive of the aspirations of his daughter, says, Her interest in innovation can be applied in medicine as well, as she can now help save thousands from dukh, dard aur maut (sadness, pain and death). I dont want her to just do her MBBS and practise medicineI would like her to research and innovate for the benefit of mankind. Poojas advise to young students? Theres a lot of fun and lots of things to learn in the field of science. Go, win the world with science!

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For the last ten years, his school has dedicated the months of June and July to a science exhibition. On an average, students exhibit more than 500 projects, both model based and research based, in this annual school exhibition.

Nurturing the Scientific Spirit


Mr Krishnakant Dholakiya, Principal and Trustee of the Late Shree S G Dholakiya Memorial High School, Rajkot, is an M Sc in Physics and has been a science teacher. Hence, it is not surprising that he gives very high importance to the teaching and learning of science in his school. For the last ten years, his school has dedicated the months of June and July to a science exhibition. On an average, students exhibit more than 500 projects, both model based and research based, in this annual school exhibition. The best of these projects are then selected for participation at IRIS. Since 2006, students from the school have not only participated at the IRIS National Fair, but have won awards there as well. When these winners at the IRIS Fair come back, they are given a heros welcome and felicitated by dignitaries in the school. Mr Hitesh Bhundiya, In-charge of Science Activities and Research Projects for the School says, IRIS winners are actual thinkers and should be encouraged. Mr Dholakiya feels extremely happy at the achievements of his studentsone of whom happens to be his daughter. He says, Its a matter of great pride and honour to have three Intel ISEF winners from the school. Our school encourages parents to motivate their children to participate in science fairs by funding their expenses as they accompany their children to these events. When the IRIS National Fair was held at Ahmedabad, every day five bus loads of students from all their schools were taken to the exhibition, just to see what IRIS is. The school also invites scientists from eminent institutions in India as well as those from local colleges and Government institutions, at the schools expense, to motivate and encourage their students. The school also supports the students by organising visits to various institutes and other places, as necessary, so that they can research their project ideas and develop them further. The costs of these trips, where the students are also accompanied by their teachers, are borne by the school. This nurturing support to kindle the scientific spirit in his school will surely encourage and produce many more young innovators in the times to come.
Krishnakant Dholakiya with his daughter, Pooja

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Crossing New Horizons


Riddhi Dasani

2008
Late Shree S G Dholakiya Memorial High School Rajkot Gujarat 3

Eco-Friendly Ink for Colour Pens Plant Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 Team Category

Riddhi says, Participating in Intel ISEF was a great chance for me to know about new things related to science. Even more than the prize she won, she considers it a great honour to have represented her country at an international forum!

Riddhi (extreme right) with Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Science and Technology, at the felicitation event for Team India in New Delhi

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When Riddhi Dasani, along with Pooja Dholakiya, travelled to Atlanta in 2008 to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), it was the first time she had taken a trip outside her home town, Rajkot, on her own. Little did she realise the extent to which her horizon would expand. The pride she felt at representing her country at the international level overcame any apprehensions she might have initially felt when she embarked on her journey. The Rajkot girls did India proud. They came back richer, not just from the experience, but as Grand Award Third Prize winners in Plant Science in the Team Projects category, bagging a cash prize of USD 1,000!

With limited exposure to the fast growing pace of science and technology prior to her trip to Atlanta, Riddhi was thrilled by the opportunity. She says, Participating in Intel ISEF was a great chance for me to know about new things related to science. Even more than the prize she won, she considers it a great honour to have represented her country at an international forum! Language was a worry, as neither Pooja nor she were fluent in English. But that was taken care of when they were assigned an interpreter on the first day of judging. Riddhi found this extremely useful: whenever she was unable to explain a point in English to a visitor or a judge, she took the help of the interpreter. The idea for their winning project, Eco-Friendly Ink for Colour Pens, was born when Pooja saw some young

children in her school licking ink from sketch pens. She discussed this with her friend, Riddhi, and they decided to do something about it. Six long months of experiments later, they achieved their objective: a special ink that is non-toxic. Their raw material: fruits, flowers and vegetables, with their appetising colours! They successfully constructed their edible palette: yellow from turmeric, red from chili peppers, pink from roses, and so on. Like Pooja, Riddhi also considers the former President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, her idol, and his words have been her constant motivation. She is also very proud of the fact that they were felicitated by the Union Minister for Science and Technology, Shri Kapil Sibal, in New Delhi, on their return from Atlanta. Later, they were also honoured by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi.

Riddhi with her brother, Jay, who is taking their project forward to find additional colours (right)

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At Intel ISEF 2008 in Atlanta

Riddhis brother, Jay, has taken off from where his sister stopped: he is working on extracting black, white and dark blue from natural sources. These are the key colours that Riddhi and Pooja had not been able to extract.

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Impressed by their achievements, their school has sent their inks to the laboratories of M S University, Baroda, Saurashtra University, the Gujarat State Food and Drug Control Department, and others, and the analytical reports have been very encouraging. Riddhi feels a deep sense of gratitude towards her mentor, Mr Sachin Jani, who was her Biology teacher in Class 9. She is also extremely grateful to her parents, her school teachers, and the judges at IRIS for their support and encouragement. And she is happy that their own path to success has been a great inspiration to all the students in their school. Currently, Riddhi is pursuing her degree in engineering at Rajkot. She plans on doing further studies in aeronautics at an institution in Punjab. As ever, her parents are highly supportive of her choices.

Riddhi and Pooja have not taken forward their research into eco-friendly inks after their return from Intel ISEF. But there has been an interesting development. Riddhis younger brother, Jay, has been bitten by the research bug, and is taking the girls project to the next level with support from his sister, of course! A student of Class 8 from the same school as Riddhi, Jay has taken off from where his sister stopped: he is working on extracting black, white and dark blue from natural sources. These are the key colours that Riddhi and Pooja had not been able to extract. He plans to enter his project for the IRIS National Fair 2012. Today, Jay is researching assiduously, and has been rewarded with a new pigment from a fruit. If he is successful in his quest to extract the elusive colours, Riddhi and her brother plan

to take concrete steps towards making this product commercially viable. Heres wishing Jay successand a fruitful conclusion of his project!

On Top of the World

They are young, but they have already achieved immortality. Because, thanks to the brilliance they displayed at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), 16 students from schools across India have had minor planets named after them. As of May 2012, fewer than 17,500 people across the world have had this rare distinction. This celestial honour, which puts these young geniuses in the company of the worlds great scientists and other luminaries, was bestowed on them under Ceres Connection, a unique partnership between Society for Science & the Public and the Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to promote science education. Meet the brilliant Indians who will now shine down on Earth forever.

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On Top of the World

(12599) Singhal

(17095) Mahadik

(23133) Rishinbehl

Akshat Singhal
Intel ISEF 2002

Bhushan Prakash Mahadik


Intel ISEF 2003

Rishin Behl
Intel ISEF 2007

(25636) Vaishnav

Hetal Kanjibhai Vaishnav


Intel ISEF 2009

(25630) Sarkar

Debarghya Sarkar
(20616) Zeeshansayed
Intel ISEF 2009

Manosij Ghosh Dastidar*


Intel ISEF 2011

Zeeshan Ali Sayyed


(12509) Pathak
Intel ISEF 2004

Madhav Pathak
Intel ISEF 2002

(17091) Senthalir

(20604) vrishikpatil

(25629) Mukherjee

Ankur Kanjibhai Vaishnav*


Intel ISEF 2011

Senthalir P
Intel ISEF 2003

Vrishikumar Patil
Intel ISEF 2004

Anish Mukherjee
Intel ISEF 2009

(25620) Jayaprakash

Vishnu Jayaprakash
Intel ISEF 2009

Raghavendra Ramachanderan*
(17092) Sharanya
Intel ISEF 2011

Sharanya S
Intel ISEF 2003

(21575) Padmanabhan

Hamsa Padmanabhan
Intel ISEF 2006
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Planet Name Under Process

Since 2004, those who win a Grand Award Second Prize, or a higher award, at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) have qualified to have minor planets named after them under the Ceres Connection*. Prior to that, students were chosen based not just on their projects, but also on an essay they had to write on why they believed they they deserved the honour. Heres the essay that Akshat Singhal, who, in 2002, became one of the first two Indian students to have a minor planet named after him, wrote.

Why the Ceres Connection Minor Planet Honour is Important to Me


In these times, earning honour and prizes is an easy task for every exceptionally hardworking student. In todays world, if youre a hardworking student, you surely have a room full of merchandise and folders full of certificates. While there may be a lot of fun and happiness in such awards, and indeed some of them hold great honour, nothing, I believe, can compare with the honour and happiness associated with having a minor planet named after you. It automatically guarantees you the title of star when newspapers write about you, and that too without recording a pop-album or running for a role in a movie. I do imagine great rewards for myself which this honour can bring me. In eastern countries, especially India, we do a lot of astrology based on stars. Almost everyone here believes that fate is controlled by stars, and many people do detailed studies on how to tell someones future based on the positions of main planets. If one day this science extends to the level of minor planets, I could be bigger than a celebrity! I mean, peoples fates would be decided in my name. If my planet brings bad luck, people would dread my name like they dread the name Alzheimer, and if its lucky, theyd embrace it like they embrace Linus Torvalds Linux. I also see the possibility of the naming of a whole race of aliens on my name. After all, space could be holding many science-fiction-type secrets for us, which could also mean that my minor planet could be the home of an alien race, and if that race is discovered, itll be a great honour to have a population of a few million creatures after my name. Not to mention, their alien leaders may also give me some foreign gifts if they discover they are known under my name on Earth. What the press would think about this and write about this would be a different matter altogetherI already feel swollen with pride at that thought. Till the time aliens are discovered and astrology touches my planet, there would still be a lot of happiness in this honour. The honour would be intrinsic gratification to all of my efforts that could get me to this opportunity, and would motivate me for greater goals in life. If the other variables remain the same, the honour can give me the foundation to become a good scientist in my professional life, and it can also serve as an inspiration to the other bright students of my state who are striving for success in science and technology. The work this honour might do in this way could be greater than what it can do with aliens and astrology. If I get this honour, it would give me a lot of popularity and fame all my life, it would give me great pleasure till the end of my life, when I could be saying: Yes, little boy, that is grandpas planet... right there. That is how I feel the Ceres Connection Minor Planet honour is important to me.

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*For more information on the Ceres Connection, visit http://www.ll.mit.edu/outreach/ceres.html

Finding The Better Way


Anish Mukherjee

2009
South Point High School Kolkata West Bengal 137

Clamped Bottle Cap: A Novel Tamper-Proof Bottle Cap Design Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (25629) Mukherjee Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Team Category

Being a Grand Award Second Prize winner at Intel ISEF itself can make one feel like he is on top of the world. On top of that, having a minor planet named after me is like a dream come true. But I felt something else besides elationthe satisfaction of being a possible source of inspiration for others who might take confidence from our success.

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at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) held in Reno, Nevada, in 2009. Their winning project, Clamped Bottle Cap: A Novel Tamper-Proof Bottle Cap Design, showcased a solution to the bottle tampering that is rampant in India. 16-year-old Anish and Debarghya decided that something needed to be done about this menace, as it seemed unlikely that the applicable laws could be rigorously enforced. What he did was to take the idea behind autodisposable syringeswhich, once used, cannot be used againand apply that to the design of a one-time use bottle cap. Their solution, which involved a redesign not just of the entire bottle cap, but of the bottle neck as well, ensures that a customer will get a clear visual indication if the bottle had been tampered with. They went through six

phases of development before they arrived at the form they presented at Intel ISEF 2009. Says Anish, Being a Grand Award Second Prize winner at Intel ISEF itself can make one feel like he is on top of the world. On top of that, having a minor planet named after me is like a dream come true. But I felt something else besides elationthe satisfaction of being a possible source of inspiration for others who might take confidence from our success. Anish acknowledges with gratitude the role his Physics teachers and his Principal played in his success. He says they were extremely supportive throughout their endeavour, even providing them with as much financial support as was possible. He also recalls with fondness all his friends,

Ask Anish Mukherjee what it felt like when he heard that he had a minor planet, (25629) Mukherjee, named after him, and he banters that, after the initial euphoria, his first thought was that his younger brother and juniors at school would now look up to him! Anish qualified for the rare honour when he teamed up with Debarghya Sarkar, his schoolmate at South Point High School in Kolkata, to win the Grand Award Second Prize for Team Projects

Anish with his teammate Debarghya at Intel ISEF 2009 (opposite page); with Dr Craig R Barrett at the Fair (right); and with Debarghya in Kolkata recently (far right)

who were amazingly supportive and who constantly egged us on. And finally, but most importantly, he has his parents to thank, for always being there whenever he needed them. Without them, his journey would not have been possible. His main source of inspiration was his mother. I do not think there is anyone else who believes so fully and devotedly in my abilities, he says. Intel ISEF, for Anish, was a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. The idea of meeting so many great minds at the same time and even getting advised by them was in itself quite overwhelming. The way the judges, some of the best minds in their fields, praised them, asked about their future plans, and advised them accordingly was a huge benefit. The Fair was also great fun, with a grand pin-exchange ceremony, and even a DJ night! The story of this

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Always know that if you have done something well, then there is always a better way to do it. It is only by accepting how little you know about things that you can strive towards knowledge.
Anish shares his victorious moment with Debarghya (left); and the duo and with their mentor, Prof Mistry (right)

journey is one which I never get tired of telling people over and over again. It was Richard Phillips Feynman who made him fall in love with Physics, and while Anish was very clear about his interest in the subject, Intel ISEF was a real confidence booster in crystalising his dreams. Interacting with great scientific minds was the best part of his experience, which, he believes, has made me a smarter person. Today, Anishs social life has changed, considering that he has now become quite a familiar and popular face both at school and at college. On the other hand, he says, I do not think that as a human being I have changed much, except for the fact that I have become more confident than before. This will surely help me in the long run, as self-confidence is really needed to pull oneself through any situation.

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Currently in his second year at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, studying Electrical Engineering, he would like to research in the basic sciences in the future. Along with his studies, he is currently working on a science project on Fluid Flotation mechanics with his friend, Saurabh Nath, a second year student of Mechanical Engineering at the same University. Anish is very clear about the general direction his life will take: he plans to remain in the academic field. He aims to do his ME/M Tech in a reputed institution. No matter what I do, it is absolutely necessary for me to be involved with something that I enjoy doing. Having done that, I will try to focus my studies towards how my work can benefit society, he says with assurance. An avid reader, Anish devours all genres of books, ranging from science fiction to

horror to mythology. He is also, by his own admission, a game freak, and likes to spend a lot of time indulging that passion. Anish advises young students who are interested in science and technology to keep your mind open. He adds, A good scientist is one who never thinks that you know everything there is to know about something... If you do, then you have closed the door to your development. Always know that if you have done something well, then there is always a better way to do it; if you know something, you can always know more about it. It is only by this, by accepting how little you know about things, that you can strive towards knowledge. Wise words indeed from one so young!

A Life Changing Experience


Debarghya Sarkar

2009
South Point High School Kolkata West Bengal 141

Clamped Bottle Cap: A Novel Tamper-Proof Bottle Cap Design Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (25630) Sarkar Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Team Category

Debarghya feels that it is a great achievement to get his name attached to a celestial body he feels immortalised!

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Debarghya Sarkar was 17 years old and studying in Class 12 in South Point High School, Kolkata, when he participated at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Reno, Nevada in 2009. Together with his teammate, Anish Mukherjee, he wowed the judges with his project, Clamped Bottle Cap: A Novel Tamper-Proof Bottle Cap Design, and won the Grand Award Second Prize for Team Projects. Thats not all: his win also qualified him to have a minor planet named after him. A few months later, he received the communication from the Lincoln Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) confirming that minor planet (25630) Sarkar had been named in his honour! He recalls the moment: It was exhilarating and I felt good inwardly. He feels that it is a great achievement to get his name

attached to a celestial bodyhe feels immortalised! When Anish and Debarghya embarked on their trip to Reno, they did not seriously expect to win at Intel ISEF. But, during the judging, when as many as seventeen judges came to meet them instead of the scheduled seven, they got an inkling that their project was being talked about, and began to see a glimmer of hope that they would win something. On the big day, when the awards were announced, their names were called out for the Grand Award Second Prize. Winning the award was great and overwhelming. I still cherish memories of walking up the ramp draped in the tricolour, with the red badge of the Second Grand Award on me! says Debarghya. Of course, once they won, Anish and he could not help feeling

that the First Prize would have been far better! Debarghya feels that the award was a just reward for all the hard work that Anish and he had put in for more than six months. It all started with Debarghyas concern about the tampering of mineral water bottles, and the consequent health issues. He wondered if he could design a bottle cap that would make the bottle tamperproof, and he joined hands with Anish to do research towards this end. Thereafter, the project went through many phases, as they put a lot of effort into design and development. Through a survey at the Ruby General Hospital Pharmacy and the East India Pharmaceutical Works, they learnt about different bottle cap designs

Debarghya and Anish with Dr Doug Osheroff, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Our inexperience often posed a hurdle, but our tender age possibly drew compassion and help from different corners, which eased our journey considerably.
With Team India at Intel ISEF 2009

currently in use, and the process of manufacturing bottles and caps. Says Debarghya, Our inexperience often posed a hurdle, but our tender age possibly drew compassion and help from different corners, which eased our journey considerably. They frequently got in touch with Prof Kamalesh Majumdar of Jadavpur University for guidance, and to discuss the feasibility of their designs. Eventually the very simple idea they had put down in the synopsis for their IRIS entry, went through two major changes, before Debarghya and Anish took part in the IRIS National Fair with their third modified design. After winning at the IRIS National Fair, they continued to work at honing their design. They attended two Coaching Camps during which they developed what became their final design, after

many iterations. With mentoring from the Scientific Review Committee (SRC), they then polished their entry into an international award winning project. As the project evolved, they moved beyond the mineral water bottles they started off with. Their final design covered both single-use bottles like intravenous medicinal bottles as well as multi-use containers like mineral water bottles and gas cylinders. They have filed for a patent for their product, and are waiting for a response. Till Debarghya went to Intel ISEF, he was not really sure which path to pursue in his career. But the wonderful experience of meeting and interacting with Nobel laureates at the Fair, and the tremendous exposure he got, helped him make up his mind about targeting a career in researchthough

he was still not very sure which field of science he would work in. Speaking of how life changed for him after Intel ISEF, Debarghya says, We were heroes in our school, and probably still remain so to this day! Multitudes of TV interviews and newspaper reports followed. One day, the library of our school turned into a press conference hall! Awards flowed in from different cornersfrom the school, and later from our Alumni Association, ASPEXS, as well. Along with the rejoicing, he had to get back to the grind of regular schoolwork: Till Intel ISEF, I was devoting most of my time to developing the project, designing flexes, and the like. But, after Intel ISEF, I had to concentrate more on my studies. All said and done, Intel ISEF was a life changing experience for Debarghya, and it was possible because of the

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We were heroes in our school, and probably still remain so to this day! Multitudes of TV interviews and newspaper reports followed. One day, the library of our school turned into a press conference hall! Awards flowed in from different cornersfrom the school, and later from our Alumni Association, ASPEXS, as well.

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support that he received from various quarters. He says, My parents were my all time source of support every step of the waywhether giving moral support, or running along with me to the plastic factory to get the design fabricated, or arranging a visit to the pharmacy of a hospital, or to a pharmaceutical factory to do our survey. He also acknowledges the support of his mentor, Mr Partha Pratim Roy, who he feels is one of the best Physics teachers at his alma mater. He is still in touch with him, even if it is just an occasional phone call. Once they were selected to participate at Intel ISEF, Debarghya and Anish were assigned Prof J B Mistry, a retired professor of Physics from Presidency College, Mumbai, and an SRC member, as their mentor. We reaped the benefit of the guidance we received from Prof Mistry when we received compliments

for having done a complete, neat engineering project at Intel ISEF. I still talk to Prof Mistry once in a while when I see him online, says Debarghya. He also credits Dr Arnab Bhattacharya of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Dr Narayan Iyer with being always there to help them solve various problems. Today, Debarghya, a second year student of Electrical Engineering at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, looks forward to doing his Masters in the US and, subsequently, research. In the future, he sees himself getting immersed in cutting edge research and mainstream academics. He feels that every little experience of his over the years has taught him whatever he knows today, and whatever he is learning, some idea or concept is sure to help him somewhere, sometime.

In his free time, Debarghya reads a lot: storybooks, science fiction, mystery, detective anything even a cookbook may interest me, because I am interested in cooking. A keen musician, he also plays the violin. Debarghya signs off with a word of advice to young students interested in science: Aim high, dream higher. Science is about imagination. Mingle your imagination with your Power of Q!

Anish and Debarghya chilling with another Intel ISEF 2009 winner, Vishnu Jayprakash

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The Power of Waste


Vishnu Jayaprakash
Chettinad Vidyashram Chennai Tamil Nadu

2009
The enthusiastic Class 12 student from Chennais Chettinad Vidhyashram spoke with a lot of gravity: Lack of power is a crippling problem in rural India. Im working on slashing the cost of providing electricity to Indias 700,000 villages. It was 2009, and young Vishnu Jayaprakash was preparing to represent India at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), held in Reno, Nevada. Today, Vishnu has taken his dream of generating electricity using low cost, eco-friendly material closer to reality. And, along the way, his work has won him quite a few laurels, including the Grand Award Second Prize In Energy and Transportation at Intel ISEF. The icing on the cake was that, as a result, he also qualified to have a minor planet, (25620) Jayaprakash, named after him. Renewable energy technology has always been Vishnus area of interest. After doing some initial research on different renewable energy technologies, he decided to focus on microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology. MFCs were introduced in 1911, and, since then, a lot of work has been done to make them commercial, but without success, says Vishnu. As his goal was to provide lighting in rural villages using some form of renewable energy, MFCs from organic waste seemed to him to be an ideal solution. Vishnu talks proudly of his innovative work: I succeeded in making a cow dung based MFC that provides much higher efficiencies at merely INR 125 per cell, compared to the average MFC, which costs a whopping INR 2,100. This fuel cell requires no maintenance and has a lifetime of 70 years. Ive also replaced the imported carbon paper electrodes in MFCs with indigenously available,
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A Novel Microbial Fuel Cell Based on Inexpensive Graphite Electrodes Energy and Transportation Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (25620) Jayaprakash Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Individual Category

Although I am still very grateful for winning at the Fair, I cherish the journey more than the reward. The skills I learned, the guidance I received from the IRIS mentors, and the numerous interactions I had with brilliant minds are far more valuable to me than the award.

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low cost graphite sheet electrodes. He perfected the fuel cell in June 2008 under the guidance of Dr T S Natarajan, Professor of Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) he was the youngest Research Scholar in Prof Natarajans research group. The MFC that Vishnu has developed converts the chemical energy in cow dung into electrical energy with the help of organic microbes. Today, even as he is doing his Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), Vishnu continues to work on his invention along with Professor Liwei Lin. After getting a patent in September 2011 for his fuel cell design, he co-founded a renewable energy startup, Agni Surya Energy Pvt Ltd, which will start distribution in the very near future. He is working with Dr Lin and Dr Natarajan, his mentor, to

improve the efficiency of the fuel cells and to make a MEMS scale device for large scale implementation. They are also presently working towards a publication of their work in a major journal. Vishnus brilliant work has won him considerable recognition, apart from his Intel ISEF award. At the prestigious 4th Enertia Awards 2010, the young research scholar received the Special Innovation Award and Commendation Prize, which also carried a cash award of INR 75,000 for his project, Microbial Fuel Cell based on Cow Dung to Light Up Indian Villages with Ultra Bright LED Lamps. Other winners that year included industrial giants like Reliance industries, Suzlon, BHEL and NTPC! Vishnu also bagged a bronze medal, a cash award and a scholarship at the third International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering & Environment)

Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) held in April 2010 for his project. I-SWEEEP is a groundbreaking science fair held in Houston, Texas, every year. Vishnu continued his research on his MFC project. He participated at IRIS once again in 2010, and his project, featuring indigenous membranes in addition to inexpensive graphitised carbon fibre electrodes, won him the Best of Category Award at the Fair. In the same year, he presented his work at a couple of prestigious conferences in India, before leaving for his studies at UC Berkeley. Sharing his feelings at being a winner at Intel ISEF, Vishnu says, It was certainly

Vishnu displaying his MFC at Intel ISEF 2009

My aspiration is to become a serial entrepreneur, a person who will continually make interesting and innovating products. I believe that, in the future, my passion for research and making new products will continue to drive my lifestyle, as it has been doing for the last few years.
With his mentor, Prof T S Natarajan Vishnu and other winners at IRIS 2008 with Dr Praveen Vishakantaiah, President , Intel India

a wondrous moment for me when the announcer called out my name. In that moment, I felt that my research and the hard hours I had put in had been recognised. I was also elated that I was able to bring pride to our country on the international stage. Although I am still very grateful for winning at the Fair, I cherish the journey more than the reward. The skills I learned, the guidance I received from the IRIS mentors, and the numerous interactions I had with brilliant minds are far more valuable to me than the award. His brother, Agni Jayaprakash, and his parents have been his inspiration. His brothers international achievements in swimming (he is currently training for the London Olympics!) have always pushed him to work hard in order to prove myself worthy of being his brother. His mother and father have

been to him as columns are to the Pantheon; I owe my success to them. He credits his mentor, Prof Natarajan, who has supported him ever since Vishnu began working at his lab, saying, I wouldnt be where I am without his mentorship and support. Prof Natarajan was not only his mentor for his Intel ISEF project, but, over the last three and half years, he has also guided him through his work on cow dung based fuel cells. To simply list the means by which he has motivated and helped me, I would have to spend more than two hours, and, even so, my efforts would be futile. For one thing, he let me into his lab when I was still a Class 10 student, with little experience with practical research; and, for another, he accompanied me to IRIS and Intel ISEF, despite having to mentor a handful of postdocs and a large body of graduate

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students, and teaching two classes at IIT-M! He has always found time for me, guided me through the paths of not just academic research but nearly everything else as well. If there is such a person as a perfect mentor, he would be it. Dr Arnab Bhattacharyya, too, he says, contributed a lot towards his work, from fine tuning the style of his presentation to spotting abnormalities in his data. His supportive and calming presence

before the presentations, juxtaposed with his stern criticism during the camps, made him a very good mentor, says Vishnu.
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He describes his experiences at Intel ISEF as being a very humbling and exciting experience for me. The opportunity to interact with hundreds of research oriented students from across the globe, who all wanted to contribute to science and technology, was enriching. He was most inspired by the Nobel Laureateshe found their humility and knowledge very inspiring. Apart from cow dung based fuel cells, Vishnu has his fingers in other pies as well. He is also working on concentrated photo voltaics, and he is on the way to co-found two software startups. My aspiration is to become a serial entrepreneur, a person who

will continually make interesting and innovating products. I believe that, in the future, my passion for research and making new products will continue to drive my lifestyle, as it has been doing for the last few years. He has a wealth of advice for young innovators. Be sure that you have a passion for science and technology, he says. If you are getting into research solely because you want to go to Intel ISEF, or to boost your resume for college/grad school, or because someone is forcing you into it, then I dont think research is for you. I say this because research involves a lot of work, and sometimes a lot of frustration. Steve Jobs also felt this way about making innovative products, if you dont love it, if you dont love the process, you are not going to be very successful. Sane people would walk away from the prospect of working through the night for two months at a stretch, and finding out at the end of it that their work wasnt good enough. But that is a small part of what scientists and engineers do. So be sure that you love it. He adds, If you figure out that you would love to work on something, dont let it go, no matter what. Get help. If you are in a major city, look to the IITs, email professors, get meetings with them, and talk to them. You dont need a research background, but you do need to know what you are talking about, so read related scientific articles before
Vishnu receives his award at the ENERTIA Awards 2010 (above left); and working on his MFC at a farm in the US (above)

Vishnu is much more than a science buff who subscribes to and regularly reads science and technology publications. This budding young scientist has bagged four bronze medals in National Swimming Championships.

you approach professors. If you email 20 professors, one of them may accept you. If you dont have a specific idea yet, ask the professor if he will allow you to work on a project that he or a graduate student is already working on, which is in your area of interest. Chances are, they could use help anyway. And finally: Intel ISEF was a really good experience for me, but dont stop there, or dont let it stop you if you dont get selected. To be completely honest, your performance in a science fair depends a little on your presentation skills. So, if your interest is science and technology, your goals should be to make better products, and to get a patent or to publish a paper. Your idea could be the next Facebook. Vishnu is much more than a science buff who subscribes to and regularly

reads science and technology publications. This budding young scientist has bagged four bronze medals in National Swimming Championships, and won the Best Overseas Entry Award in 2004 from the Royal Astronomical Society in the UK for his essay on the planet Venus. And if there is any free time at all in his packed schedule, he scores in basketball as well!

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A Passion For The Environment


2009 & 2011
Late Shree S G Dholakiya Memorial High School Rajkot Gujarat Recycled Composite Material Made from Non-Recyclable Multilayer Film Plastic Packaging Waste (2009) Recycling Rexine Waste: A Novel and Economical Approach (2011) Environmental Management Recognition at Intel ISEF 2009 Minor Planet: (25636) Vaishnav Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Individual Category Second Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond by AVASC Foundation Ricoh Sustainable Development Award of USD 12,500 Second Award of USD 200 by Patent and Trademark Office Society Recognition at Intel ISEF 2011 Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Team Category

Hetal Kanjibhai Vaishnav

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Hetal at Intel ISEF 2011 with her brother, Ankur (right); with a judge at IRIS 2010 (middle); and at Intel ISEF 2009 (far right)

In 2009, Hetal Vaishnav hit the jackpot in Reno. And, no, it wasnt in the famous casinos of this Nevada town that she did so; it was at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), which was held in Reno that year. Hetal was a Class 10 student at the Late Shree S G Dholakiya High School, Rajkot, when she represented Team India at Intel ISEF, and won the Grand Award Second Prize in Environmental Management, and as may as three Special Awards. Whats more, she qualified for the rare celestial honour of having a minor planet named after her. So, for two years now, Hetal has been on top of the worldquite literally so, as the minor planet (25636) Vaishnav has been looking down on earth from the heavens! And very soon she will have her younger brother, Ankur, for company.

Because, in 2011, Hetal proved, yet again, that diligence and perseverance and plenty of determinationis a winning combination, as she proceeded to win the Grand Award Second Prize at Intel ISEF 2011 in Los Angeles, California, this time for a team project with Ankur. Today, Hetal is not quite out of her teens, but she can consider herself a past master at research. She competed at the Initiative for Research & Innovation in Science (IRIS) National Fair for five consecutive years since 2006; and in each of the last three years, from 2008 to 2010, she was a National Award winner at IRIS. The story of her triumphs started at the IRIS National Fair 2008, where she submitted her project on Recycled Composite Material Made from Non-recyclable Multilayer Film Plastic Packaging Waste, which

illustrated a novel and cost effective process to create composite material using non-recyclable plastic waste, thereby preventing it from being dumped in landfills. The genesis of her project was a chance observation. Hetal saw that a ragpicker was not collecting waste packets made up of multilayer plastic. She wondered whyand found out that this was because recycling companies do not purchase multilayer film plastic waste, as it cannot be reused or recycled. It was then that Hetal decided to work on the idea of recycling this material. After considerable research and hard work, she found her answer: a process that would deliver an innovative material that is sustainable to water, has good

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I just wanted to live the experience of being at something as splendid as Intel ISEF. I was content after winning three Special Awards; the Grand Award was just a topping on my ice cream!

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nail- and screw-holding capacity, and has features that are better than MDF and plywood. Adjudged a National Winner in the Environmental Sciences category, Hetal was shortlisted to participate at Intel ISEF 2009 in Reno. Excited, she prepared diligently for the big event. At Intel ISEF, she won award after award for her project: the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award of USD 12,500, the Second Award of USD 200 and a citation from the Patent and Trademark Office Society, and the Second Award of a USD 500 Savings Bond from the Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation. But what made her day was the Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500. I just wanted to live the experience of being at something as splendid as Intel ISEF. I was content after winning three Special Awards; the Grand Award was just a

topping on my ice cream!, said Hetal after her win. A year later, the minor planet (25636) Vaishnav was christened after Hetal by the prestigious Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. She responded with

sheer joy and amazement at this achievement: I had no expectations of winning, and was extremely happy when I did, and learnt that a minor planet was named after me. She realised then that she had potential and would like to realise it further.
Hetal sharing a happy moment with her brother and parents (left)

There were more encomiums that were in store for Hetal. At IGNITE 2010, an event organised in November 2010 by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, the former President A P J Abdul Kalam honoured Hetal with the third prize for her invention. Meanwhile, in 2008, she had teamed up with her brother, Ankur, who was studying at Shree P V Modi School, Rajkot, for their first project together. Again, their project grew out of a random observation. Extremely fine tuned to their environment, the duo noticed dense smoke when they were at Ukarda village near Rajkot, and found out that the farmers were burning agricultural waste. They decided to find ways of utilising this waste, rather than let it go up in smoke and pollute the environment.

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During a visit to her fathers factory, Hetal noticed heaps of rexine scrap left over after executing an order. She learnt from her father that this scrap could not be recycledin fact, rexine is not recyclable anywhere in the world today. Hetal was aware of the environmental hazard that this would cause. This set her thinking, and soon, her project idea was born.

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from Spoiled Garlic, at the IRIS National Fair 2009 in Ahmedabad, they won the first prize in Environmental Science. They also won an Honourable Mention for this project at the International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering & Environment) Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) in Houston, Texas, in 2010. Hetal and Ankur tried different methods, such as grinding and heating, to extract fibres from agricultural waste to make an eco-friendly board. The siblings spent nearly 18 months to prepare a plank, at a cost of nearly INR 250,000. At the end of it, they made a board from rotten garlic and the waste generated during the process of extraction of foodgrains. This board, they say, can be used to make furniture. When Hetal and Ankur presented their project, Eco Friendly Particle Board Made from Agricultural Waste Using Natural Binder Derived Not one to rest on her laurels, Hetal was back in USA, yet again, a year later. She and Ankur had been selected to represent Team India for Intel ISEF. The two years since her spectacular performance in Reno had made a lot of difference to her outlook. The shy young girl had metamorphosed into a confident, budding scientist, who was definite that her team would win an award at the prestigious event for their project, Recycling Rexine Waste A Novel and Economical Approach. And win they did!

Once again, it was Hetals curiosity and keen observation that started them on the project. During a visit to her fathers factory, Hetal noticed heaps of rexine scrap left over after executing an order. She learnt from her father that this scrap could not be recycledin fact, rexine is not recyclable anywhere in the world today. Hetal was aware of the environmental hazard that this would cause. This set her thinking, and soon, her project idea was born. She roped in her brother, with whom she had now formed a successful team, and who was also extremely interested in research. The sister-brother duo found an economical solution to the problem by separating the fabric and polymeric components of rexine using a cryogenic grinding technique in a modified kitchen mixer. This was their project entry at the IRIS National Fair 2010. When they

Hetal getting her award from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, former President of India, at IGNITE 2010

Her father, in turn, is extremely proud of her, and is determined to encourage and support her in her pursuit of her goals. He says that she has already done what he could not achieve in his life.

won the National Award, and were shortlisted to be a part of Team India at Intel ISEF, their joy knew no bounds. Hetal says, I felt very lucky at having got two chances to represent India at Intel ISEF. At Intel ISEF 2011, both brother and sister were delighted when they won the Grand Award Second Prize in Environmental Management. Of her second experience at the Fair, Hetal says, This time I was more confident, and could communicate with the judges with ease. I also interacted more with other participants, and spent a lot of time understanding their projects as well. This was a great learning experience, as it gave me insights into different aspects of research across subject categories. Not surprisingly, Hetal says that her experiences at Intel ISEF were life

changing. The opportunity to interact with brilliant minds helped her grow as a person. In her words: My journeys from IRIS to Intel ISEF have been unforgettable. On both occasions, I met many scientists, Nobel Prize winners, and students from different countries, which was indeed a great and memorable experience. I also got the rare opportunity to interact with renowned scientists like Robert F Curl, Bell, Ager, and others. Hetal takes pride in the support her parents have given her across the years. Her father, in turn, is extremely proud of her, and is determined to encourage and support her in her pursuit of her goals. He says that she has already done what he could not achieve in his life. All Hetals experiments are conducted at his workshop, where he executes orders that require injection moulding, specifically pressure diecasting of zinc and aluminium.

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Hetal is also concurrently working on another science project out of her sheer interest in, and passion for, science. You can find her most evenings at her fathers factory, even at 9 pm, working on her project.
Hetal and Ankur expalin their project to a judge at the IRIS National Fair in 2010

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Her mother ensures that Hetal eats well, sleeps well, and is able to wake up at all odd hours when she has to work! Hetal also acknowledges the invaluable support that their cousin and guide, Vaibhav Ramani, who is doing a Ph D in Chemistry from the Saurashtra University at Rajkot, has given them. At 19, Hetal is currently in the first year of her B Sc course in Chemistry at the M & N Virani Science College in Rajkot. This summer, she will take part in a two month Summer Internship Program for students at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune. She will be conducting research in conductive polymers under Dr Nirmalya Ballav, Assistant Professor, Nanoscience, Self-Assembled Monolayers, ElectronBeam-Lithography, and Molecular Spintronics at the Institute, during her internship.

Hetal is also concurrently working on another science project out of her sheer interest in, and passion for, science. You can find her most evenings at her fathers factory, even at 9 pm, working on her project. Wistful that she is now not eligible to participate in Intel ISEF, she is on the look out for science competitions that college students can participate in. In the world outside her fathers workshop and her labs, Hetal finds time to play chess and watch movies, and she says that she loves to draw and sketch.

A Very Special Flower


Kaushik Srivatsan K

2010
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Mandya Karnataka 159

Investigation of Antimicrobial Property of Ervatamia Coronaria Flower Plant Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 Individual Category Second Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond AVASC Foundation

The widespread use of the flower, commonly found in Karnataka and tropical areas, for eye infections is based on tradition, and my aim was to experimentally establish the anti-microbial properties.
Kaushik being felicitated by Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development in New Delhi

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Kaushik Srivatsan was intrigued. All around him, he found people using the flowers of the nandibattalu plant to treat infections of the eye, and they seemed to work. But he could not find any scientific evidence or documentation to explain howor whyit worked. The nandibattalu (crepe jasmine, or Ervatamia coronaria to give it its botanical name), is widely seen across India and other tropical countries, prettying up the landscape with its fragrant white flowers. The widespread use of the flower to cure conjunctivitis and sties is based on traditional Ayurveda, and Kaushik, a Class 11 student at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in Mandya, Karnataka, set out to experimentally establish the anti-microbial properties that would explain its effectiveness.

Kaushik powdered the shade-dried flowers and did a methanol extract. He conducted experiments, and his tests showed significant presence of active ingredients against microbes ranging from human pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, to a few fungi of the Fusarium genus, which are plant pathogens. He decided that the flower extract is indeed a narrow spectrum antibiotic. Preliminary phytochemical analysis showed that the active component likely belongs to the alkaloid class of compounds. Inspired by the success of his three senior school mates who had participated at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) since 2005, and with their encouragement, he took his project forward. It was selected for the IRIS National Fair in 2009, where

he was one of National Winners. That booked his ticket to San Jose, California, for Intel ISEF 2010, where he won the Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 in Plant Sciences, and also the Second Award of US Savings Bonds worth USD 500 from the AVASC Foundation. Intel ISEF 2010 was a dream come true for Kaushik. The sheer magnitude and grandeur of the event that I experienced first hand still baffles me, and makes me proud that I could represent my country at this forum. This Fair exposed me to the best science projects and people and world-class facilities. At Intel ISEF, I was also very excited to meet students of my age from various countries, who had worked in different aspects of science. I also got an opportunity to meet many Nobel Laureates. At the pin exchange programme, our Indian tricolour flag pin was in so much demand that

Kaushik with his family (right)

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We, as a team, enjoyed ourselves a lot. We laughed and chatted all the timewe shared some of our happiest moments together.
Kaushik with Mr Rahul Bedi, former Director, Corporate Affairs Group, Intel India (left); and addressing the gathering at the Sixth Innovation Summit at Bangalore, organised by CII (right)

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I could exchange one for two pins!, reminisces Kaushik. We, as a team, enjoyed ourselves a lot. We laughed and chatted all the timewe shared some of our happiest moments together. He adds, I was thrilled to see the other projects in the Plant Science category, and saw all the hard work and research everyone had put in. As a person, the whole experience of participation was enriching for him. The most memorable moments, he recalls, were when he was appreciated by the judges, and when his name was announced for the Category Award. And the best part was that the glory did not end with the Fair. On his return from Intel ISEF, his biology teacher and he were honoured at a glittering award ceremony at New Delhi by Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human

Resource Development, in the presence of the Commissioner of the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS). Later, Kaushik was also invited by Mr Rahul Bedi, who was Director, Corporate Affairs at Intel India at the time, to participate in the Sixth Innovation Summit at Bangalore, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Rahul Sir made me feel like a hero by putting me on the same platform with eminent scientists, industrialists and entrepreneurs, says Kaushik. Kaushik feels honoured and thankful at the opportunity he got to represent India. He is grateful for the support that he received from everyone at JNV Mandya and the NVS, and from a host of people in the scientific community. All this would not have been possible without the support of the scientists who shared their knowledge and time

with me. I would specially mention Dr Rai, Head of the Department of Micro Biology at the University of Mysore, who got me the permission to use the Universitys lab facilities, even though school students are not allowed to work there; and Dr Satish, also from the same Department, who guided me as I did all my preliminary work. Dr Geetha Prashant, from the Bio Technology Department, and research scholars Rakshith and Alok were all very helpful while I did my research at the University. I was also supported by Dr Nagaveni at the Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Bangalore, and Dr Pooja Ravikumar at Vittal Mallya Science Research Foundation, Bangalore. Kaushik received tremendous support from his family and friends while he was engaged with researching his project. Giving an insight into Kaushiks

Glimpses of Kaushik at Intel ISEF 2010

An elated Kaushik says he plans to conduct further studies on the effective-ness of E coronaria on skin infections, and hopes to bring out new herbal anti-microbial drugs.

childhood, his mother, Uma, who is an English teacher at JNV Mandya, says, Kaushik was always very curious and also very mature for his age. He wouldnt get distracted. I feel he has great potential and I have many things to learn from him. An elated Kaushik says he plans to conduct further studies on the effectiveness of E coronaria on skin infections, and hopes to bring out new herbal anti-microbial drugs. Advising young students interested in science and technology, he says, Science is Fun. Lets take up science for sciences sake. Currently, Kaushik is preparing for entrance examinations for the IITs and other engineering colleges, as well as for M Sc courses. He has his blueprint for the future in place: I aspire to take

up research in science. Ten years from now, I would like to see myself as someone who has made a substantial contribution towards the vision of Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. This multifaceted young man is passionate about solving Sudoku and other puzzles, and going for walks in open spaces is his hobby. You can also find my nose diving deep into novels. Cooking is the other domain where I experiment with the possibilities of variations on mainstream dishes though that often lands me in a soup! he says.

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2010 & 2011


South Point High School Kolkata West Bengal 2010 Design of a Novel, Low Cost, Easy to Use, Auto-Disposable Syringe Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 Team Category 2011 Integer Partitions and Sequences Mathematical Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: Naming Process Under Way Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Individual Category First Award of USD 1,000 American Mathematical Society 164

Winning Twice? Q E D!
Manosij Ghosh Dastidar
Integer Partitions and Sequences. As a Grand Award Second Prize Winner, he has also been gifted a minor planet in his namethe process of naming the planet is currently under wayby the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Asked how he felt at receiving his second Grand Award and the gift of a minor planet, Manosij says simply, I felt happy that my work was recognised. He says that participating at the Intel ISEF gave him exposure beyond his imagination. Mathematics has been his passion since he was a child, and he had decided on being a mathematician even before he went to Intel ISEF, but he is nonetheless very grateful for the exposure that Intel ISEF provided, and for the friends he made with a number of talented people who are, or will

Winning once at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is hard enough. Manosij Ghosh Dastidar has done so twice, in successive years and that, too, in different subject categories! Talk about versatility! In 2010, Manosij and Anarta Roy, both students of South Point High School, Kolkata, won the Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1,000 for Team Projects for their Electrical and Mechanical Engineering project, Design of a Novel, Low Cost, Easy to Use, Auto-Disposable Syringe, at the San Jose edition of Intel ISEF. The following year, at Los Angeles, he decided to do it alonethis time in Mathematical Sciences! And he went one better than the previous year, winning two awards: the Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500, and a First Award of USD 1,000 from the American Mathematical Society for his project,

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Prof Stanley acknowledged Manosijs work, saying, Your theorem is new and I find your work interesting. He was also interested to know whether Manosij proved his theorem using combinatorics.
Manosij at the IRIS National Fair 2010

eventually become, prominent members of the mathematical community. As a case in point, Manosij recalls with pleasure his interactions with the guru of Number Theory, Prof Richard P Stanley, Professor of Applied Mathematics at MIT. Prof Stanley has made many pioneering contributions to the field of math called combinatorics. In addition, he has forcefully and with great originality contributed to the discovery of new connections between combinatorics and other areas of mathematics. Manosij was elated with Prof Stanleys feedback on his paper: he acknowledged Manosijs work, saying, Your theorem is new, and I find your work interesting. He was also interested to know whether Manosij proved his theorem using combinatorics. The inspiration Manosij got from this feedback was tremendous. He gained confidence by leaps and bounds, and

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was able to face the probing questions of the judges at Intel ISEF with assurance. At the Fair, three persons from the American Mathematical Society came together and grilled him with questions, all at the same time! A self assured and mature Manosij found this interaction extremely interesting. His passion for mathematics was awakened early in Manosijs life. As a child, his father bought him many books on puzzles, which had a math flavour to them. In Class 9, he was presented a book, Elementary Number Theory, by his father, and since then Manosij has not looked back. In Class 11, he read a book, Mathematical Gems, by Ross Honberger. In this, he came across Stanleys theorem, and realised that numbers per se are not important, but the way they behave is. And the rest is history.

Manosij had a lot of fun doing his research, under the mentorship of Prof Subha Roy Moitra, Professor In-Charge of Applied Statistics at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI). He also had the help of Mr Saurabh Sengupta, a doctoral student under Prof Moitra at ISI. He acknowledges the unstinting support his parents and his mathematics teacher in school, Mrs Sharmila Roy, gave him, which were instrumental in his success. For his team project the previous year, Manosij and Anarta had their school teacher, Mr Partha Pratim Roy, as their mentor. Of his Intel ISEF experiences, Manosij says, It was memorable interacting with mathematicians and Nobel laureates. I saw a lot of math, and became aware of areas in the subject I was ignorant about. I learnt a lot from this exposure. I also made a lot of good friends, and today, post school, I am more in touch

It was memorable interacting with mathematicians and Nobel laureates. I saw a lot of math, and became aware of areas in the subject I was ignorant about. I learnt a lot from this exposure. I also made a lot of good friends, and today, post school, I am more in touch with my Intel ISEF friends than with my school friends!

with my Intel ISEF friends than with my school friends! He feels that, during his second experience at Intel ISEF, he made better friends, since, during his first experience, he was more soaked up in the event to have fun. His one overarching thought at that time was: I am coming back next year! The second time round, in 2011, he was more relaxed, and found it easier to interact with the judges, whom he longer found intimidating. Practice had made perfect! Since high school, Manosij has been very clear that he wants to become a researcher, and given his passion for mathand number theory in particular his choice of subject was natural. Today, he aspires to do more research in the subject, as the abstract continues to fascinate him. He finds number theory the purest branch of math as, in his words, it is unsullied by applications!

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Manosij with his teammate, Anarta Roy, at Intel ISEF 2010

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Today, Manosij aspires to do more research in the subject, as the abstract continues to fascinate him. He finds number theory the purest branch of math as, he quotes, it is unsullied by applications!

Manosij with his mother at his Kolkata residence

After the euphoria of his second win at Intel ISEF, his quest to take up research in mathematics has hit a bit of a road block. He explains, I missed the entrance examination for a particular mathematics institute in India, where I would have liked to study, because it took place during the time at which Intel ISEF was being held. No exceptions could be made for me. I would have liked it if I could have been considered for an alternative exam or interview later on. He shares his experience that, in India, most institutes are unaware of the scope of Intel ISEF, and that there are no provisions to support participation at the Fair, unlike in the US. He cites the Davidson Fellows Scholarship as an example: scholarships are awarded to extraordinary young people, 18 and under, who have completed a significant piece of work in Mathematics, Science,

Literature, Music, Technology or Philosophy. While he waits for things to fall into place, Manosij continues his research into number theory. He has published a paper, Extension of Stanleys Theorem for Integer Partitions, which will soon be available on arXiv, an Internet based repository, hosted and operated by Cornell University, for preprints of scientific papers in physics, astronomy, mathematics, computer science, nonlinear science, quantitative biology and, most recently, statistics. Like others who have proved their mettle at Intel ISEF, Manosij believes that unwavering focus on your goals is half the battle won. He says, Pursue whatever goals you have set for yourself, dont leave any question unanswered.

Apart from reading and blogging, Manosij finds time to nurture his personal hobbies of writing short stories and poems, all of which is, he says, Q E D (quite easily done)!
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A Special Chemistry
Raghavendra Ramachanderan
St. Johns International Residential School Chennai Tamil Nadu

2011
That also meant that he would now have a minor planet named after him under the Ceres Connection program of the Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Of his first win at Intel ISEF, and on being gifted a minor planet, Raghavendra says, It feels good. Definitely. But what gives me the tingles is that scientists whom I have always dreamt of meeting found my work highly impressive. Their congratulations and best wishes for my future is what I cherish the most. He was immensely excited when he first heard that a minor planet would be named after him, but now he looks at it as something that inspires him to want to do even more. Im overwhelmed by the support that Im getting and it feels like Im on cloud nine. But every time this thought comes to my head, I see the huge landscape
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Drug Synthesis: Braving Legendary Challenges Chemistry Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: Naming Process Under Way Best of Category Award of USD 5,000 for Chemistry for Top First Place Winner Grand Award First Prize of USD 3,000 Individual Category

It was the day young Raghavendra Ramachanderan completed his Class 12 board exams at St Johns International Residential School, Chennai. A major academic milestone, surely, for any child. But, while his classmates and other kids in his place were busy celebrating the momentous occasion, Raghavendra was boarding a flight to Germany, to fine tune his Chemistry project for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May 2012. This will be Raghavendras second trip to Intel ISEF. In 2011, he was one of the nine member team that represented India at the Intel ISEF in Los Angeles, California. He came back triumphant: he won the Best of Category Awardthe first ever Indian student to do soas well as the Grand Award First Prize for his Chemistry project.

Thoughts constantly invade my head. Ideas begin to flow gradually, and it is a picturesque view to see the puzzle pieces coming together on their own. I dont work a lot to get an idea rather, it comes to me. A hypothesis that sticks in my head drills on itself to become a full fledged plan.

Im yet to tread on, and thats quite intimidatingyet it keeps my feet on the ground.
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The speeches by Nobel Laureates, what they had to say about science, and their world view gave Raghavendra a whole new perspective about everything. He says, I would want to become someone as wealthy with knowledge some day. The students projects at the fair impressed him equally. He had a great time interacting with Russian students, for example, on complex reaction synthesis, which not only inspired him but also gave him a sense of healthy competition. He says, This is a journey I will never forget, it was a week full of surprises, the best time of my life... yet! He says, My intentions for the future were quite clear even before Intel ISEF, but yes, ISEF did reinforce the thoughts that hovered around in my head.

Intensely involved with chemistry, Raghavendrawith a clarity of thought amazing in one so youngtalks about his love for the subject: Chemistry is an amazing subject that can sweep my mind away from most thoughts. The subject grew on me, and its details began to somehow aggregate into ideas that developed over time. So, what began as child like curiosity manifested itself in abstract ways into focused ideas by careful thought. The

application of organic chemistry to the medical sciences is what fascinates me the most. The chemistry of anti-cancer compounds and antibiotics are perhaps the coolest things ever! Giving us a glimpse into his brilliant mind, he says,Thoughts constantly invade my head. Ideas begin to flow gradually, and it is a picturesque view to see the puzzle pieces coming together on their own. I dont work a lot to get an idea rather, it comes to me. A hypothesis that sticks

At IRIS 2010 (below left); speaking at the felicitation ceremony at his school (centre), and at Intel ISEF in May 2011 (below)

Raghavendra working in the lab at the University of Regensburg

in my head drills on itself to become a full fledged plan. The person who ignited his love for Chemistry is Prof Subramaniyam, who was his chemistry teacher at St Johns. Subramaniyam Sir explained the mole concept, relatively boring among all the chapters in Chemistry, with such simplicity that I was hooked for life, he says. Bitten by the bug, Raghavendra immersed himself in the subject. The magic of chemistry lies hidden in books. It takes time to unearth that, he says, recalling times when he would go back again and again to chapters he found interesting. Two years ago, Raghavendra went to his parents with a plan that, at least in India, was quite unheard of: he wanted to take a break from school after Class 10, and devote himself to Chemistry. Normally parents wouldnt allow such things, but he was not speaking like a child. He knew exactly where is passion was, says his father, R Ramachanderan. Thus began Raghavendras journey that took him to Los Angeles for Intel ISEF. Prof Raghunathan Ragavachary of the University of Madras lent an invaluable guiding hand on the way. Raghavendra recalls how Dr Ragavachary listened to his project idea patiently, and gave him the opportunity to work in his Organic Chemistry Lab at the University. His work on anti-fungal drugs was done here, and that led to Raghavendras National Award at IRIS Mumbai in 2010. After that, he continued his work at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, where he got an opportunity to work on other molecules under the mentorship of Prof S Chandrasekaran, who always encouraged Raghavendra to do more.

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For the first time in the University of Regensgurgs history, a fast track undergraduate program of just 12-15 months has been designed especially for him! Raghavendra is excited, and looks forward to being in Germany, where all Ill be expected to do is chemistry.

It is under Dr Chandrasekarans guidance that Raghavendras award winning project, Drug Synthesis: Braving Legendary Challenges, took final shape.
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Raghavendra shares that there are still a few loose ends that he wants to fix in his project on Drug Synthesis that brought him glory at Intel ISEF. After that, he says, its up to his professors, and how they wish to continue the work. But he has high hopes for the project, as he feels it has a vast unexplored future that hes excited about. To Raghavendra, his Los Angeles triumph was just a stepping stone. Having grown on so many levels after Intel ISEF 2011, I am submitting a project again this year, titled Visible Light Deoxygenation Molecules as Energy Tanks. The project attempts to use sunlight as an energy source to drive complex reactions that could convert a few forms of used

fuel back to usable fuel again. I took a break from the medicinal aspect of chemistry, just out of curiosity, but the results are bewilderingly beautiful. I am looking at this reaction with an application-oriented perspective. He continues, I cannot wait to get back to Intel ISEF! With deep gratitude, Raghavendra talks about the support he has received from his school. The Principal, Dr R Kishore Kumar, gave him permission to go to Germany for five months to work on his current projectright in the middle of Class 12! His reachers pitched in, and helped him complete his syllabus in just a couple of months! On the Visible Light Deoxygenation project, Raghavendra has done a large part of his research at the University of Regensburg in Germany, with guidance and assistance from Dr Oliver Reiser.

The University obviously rates the young genius very highlyfor the first time in their history, a fast track undergraduate program of just 12-15 months has been designed especially for him! Raghavendra is excited, and looks forward to being in Germany, where all Ill be expected to

Follow your thoughts, but chase your dreams. Science can change the way mankind identifies itselfembrace that fact, and be a part of the revolution!
Raghavendra at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore

do is chemistry. No ordinary teenager this, thats for sure! Raghavendras career plans are quite clearly laid out. He is clear that he wants to pursue a career as a scientist a chemical biologist to be precise. After his Bachelors in Chemistry, he intends to do his Masters in Bio Chemistry, during which time he would like to publish a few papers. Subsequently, he will aim for a PhD at an Ivy League college, hopefully under Prof Stubbe, the Novartis Professor of Chemistry and Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ill do my best throughout, but where Ill reach is something even I keep wondering. While he is definitely obsessed with chemistry, Raghavendra loves reading novels and playing the veena, which helps him unwind. But most of the time, he its chemistry journals, in print

and online, that keep him engrossed. His father feels that, besides his innate inclination towards the subject, it is his usage of the Internet that has helped him focus and learn more. Raghavendra explains it differently, If you love science, science loves you back it is unusually rewarding. Chemistry can be unpredictable, but I dont stop hoping! He tells young students: Follow your thoughts, but chase your dreams. Science can change the way mankind identifies itselfembrace that fact, and be a part of the revolution! Raghavendra firmly believes in Socrates dictum, I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think, and, to him, My professors have inspired me by the fact that they exist! He goes on to say, Everything worked out quite well for me, and things could

not have gotten better. I got support from all sides, and each person has been indispensable in constructing my life so far. But, yes, I am a little greedy for more blessings from the Almighty. Other than that, nothing more!

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RAGHAVENDRA TRIUMPHS AGAIN! As we go to press, theres more great news. At Intel ISEF 2012, Raghavendra has not only won the Best of Category Award and the Grand Award First Prize in Chemistry once again, he has gone one better: he has become the first Indian to win the Dudley R Herschbach SIYSS Award, which includes an allexpense-paid trip to the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS) in December 2012and the opportunity to attend the Nobel Prize ceremonies!

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Like Sister, Like Brother


Ankur Kanjibhai Vaishnav
Shree P V Modi High School Rajkot Gujarat

2011
Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Like his sister, Ankur, too, is passionate about the environment, and, even before her triumphant trip to Reno, Nevada, in 2009, Hetal and he had teamed up for their first project together: Eco Friendly Particle Board Made from Agricultural Waste Using Natural Binder Derived from Spoiled Garlic. It took them 18 months and an investment of nearly INR 250,000 to get their solution right. They presented it at the IRIS National Fair in 2009, and they won the first prize in Environmental Science. In April the following year, they won an Honourable Mention at the International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering & Environment) Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) in Houston, Texas.
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When his name was called out at the Awards Ceremony at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in 2011, Ankurs joy knows no bounds. With childlike exuberance he says, It felt truly great when we won the award. It is my lifes greatest achievement, its like WOW! His sister, Hetal, has always been a great inspiration to Ankur, all the more so when she won the Grand Award Second Prize in Environmental Management at Intel ISEF 2009, and had a minor planet (25636) Vaishnavnamed after her. Very soon, Ankur will give his sister company in the firmamentquite literally so! Because when the two of them won the Grand Award Second Prize at Intel ISEF, he, too, qualified to have a minor planet named after him under the Ceres Connection program of the Lincoln

Recycling Rexine Waste: A Novel and Economical Approach Environmental Management Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: Naming Process Under Way Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 Team Category

Ankur and Hetal have applied for patents for their project, as they are interested in commercialising itthey are convinced that it will be of great benefit to the environment and to society.

were selected to represent India at Intel ISEF 2011 in Los Angeles. Today, Ankur and Hetal have applied for patents for their project, as they are interested in commercialising itthey are convinced that it will be of great benefit to the environment and to society. Ankur takes pride in the support he has received from his parents. He says, They, especially my father, have helped us in many things related to our project. Our father constantly motivates us; he is the source of our energy and the governor of our work. He also has tremendous regard for their cousin, Vaibhav Ramani, who is doing his doctorate in Chemistry at the Saurashtra University, Rajkot, and who has been a guide to them. Ankur believes that Hetal and he have been quite fortunate, and thanks the divine force that offered us absolute

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vision in our study, and without whose blessings this task could have not been accomplished. So we devote our great emotions to Him who controls the whole universe. There are a host of other individuals and institutions who helped them at various stages of their project, and he is eternally grateful to all of them. Among them are Mr Rasikbhai Tilwa, a manufacturer of plastic products; his school, Shree P V Modi School; the Departments of Chemistry and Physics at Saurashtra University, Rajkot; Junagadh Agricultural University; AUM Creations, Rajkot; the R K College of Engineering and Technology, Rajkot; and the National Small Industries Corporation, Rajkot. Of Intel ISEF, Ankur says, Being one of the 1,500 participants who had been selected from across the world,

Ankur and Hetal at the IRIS National Fair 2010 (above); and with Dr Praveen Vishakantaiah, President, Intel India, at the Fair (below)

Flushed with their success, the siblings took up another project, this time to find a way of dealing with rexine waste, like what they found in their fathers factory. They were quite surprised to find that nowhere in the world was there a way to recycle rexine. The sister-brother duo developed a way of separating the fabric and polymeric components in rexine, using a cryogenic grinding technique in a modified kitchen mixer. This novel and economical solution made them National Winners at the IRIS National Fair 2010, and they

A moment to celebrate: Ankur and Hetal receive their prize as National Winners at IRIS 2010

and being under the same roof with them, was truly a great experienceas were the opportunities to meet Nobel laureates and the Question and Answer session with them. I will never forget these experiences in my whole life. His visit to the Los Angeles Fair had a profound impact on Ankur as a person. His way of thinking, especially about research, has changed dramatically. He admits that he has now started looking at things in a systematic and scientific manner. His presentation skills have also improved, and stage fright is a thing of the past now. He feels that the biggest benefit of participating at Intel ISEF was the clarity of thinking that he developed. When he started working on his project, he was not very knowledgeable about what scientific research involved, but

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now he is clear that a career in research is what he would like to pursue, as he can then give back to society. Ankur has recently appeared for his Class 12 board exams (in March 2012), and is currently busy appearing for entrance exams to various colleges. This summer, he is doing a two month internship at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, where he will probably be working on a project on the treatment of tuberculosis

under Dr Harinath Chakrapani, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the institute. Ankur wants to do his B Sc in Physics or Material Science, after which he would like to embark upon a career in research. He plans to continue his studies in pure sciences, and do a Ph D in Material Science. Ankur feels that research is like having fun! He sees himself, in the future, using his passion for research to find solutions to the environmental problems faced by society today.

He sees himself, in the future, using his passion for research to find solutions to the environmental problems faced by society today.

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Ankur feels that every student in India must participate in events like IRIS and Intel ISEF. However, their aim should not be to win awards; they should participate for the opportunity to move away from bookish knowledge and into the creative world.

Ankur and Hetal: looking ahead with hope

The Winning Ideas


This section contains the abstracts of all the projects of Indian winners at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair since 2003.

Note The abstracts in this section have been sourced from the Society for Science & the Public web site: http://apps.societyforscience.org/abstracts/

2003
Maithili Prafulla Dalvi Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School Thane Maharashtra Biochemistry Recognition at Intel ISEF Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation Honourable Mention Award Endocrine Society

Coconut Flower Extract as a Possible Remedy in Stopping Excessive Uterine Haemorrhage


Basic Objective To do biochemical analytical study of coconut flower extract and to find out its possible usage in controlling abnormal and excessive uterine bleeding. The Procedure involved preparation of the coconut flower extract as the first step. Microscopic analysis of the extract and estimation of solid components by centrifugation, was done. Then High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was done to estimate the cations, anions and steroids in the extract. Peaks closely matching to Progesterone and its derivative- Hydroxy Progesterone Caproate, were obtained. Elements like calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, potassium and magnesium, which are helpful in patients having uterine bleeding, were also detected. Compounds closely matching with Progesterone and its derivative, were detected by Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (LCMS) also. Even Chemo-luminiscence immunoassay (CLIA) showed the presence of Progesterone-like compound. Culture of extract did not show any pathogens. Clinical trials were carried out on humans after obtaining proper consent and permission.

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Bhushan Prakash Mahadik Fr Agnel Junior College Navi Mumbai Maharashtra Chemistry Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (17095) Mahadik Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 DuPonts Center for Collaborative Research and Education, Office of Education Primary Award of USD 1, 000 National Aeronautics & Space Administration Honourable Mention Awards American Chemical Society

Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) A New Frontier in Nano-technology: Their Production from Vegetable Oils and Studying their Applications
Currently, Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are produced from fossilized precursors like Benzene, Xylene, etc. These being derived from petroleum sources, are bound to get depleted one day. Therefore, an alternative source for the production of CNTs has to be found out. The purpose of the experiment therefore is to find out whether CNTs can be produced from Vegetable Oils and if the quality of CNTs produced is at par with the ones produced from fossilized precursors. The Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) method was used to obtain soot of carbon. This soot was appropriately treated with Nitric acid to get rid of unwanted material. The final soot contained nanotubes with other nanomaterial. Experiments were carried out on the Capacitance and Hydrogen storage capacity of the CNTs produced. Also, experiments were conducted to see whether these CNTs in presence of light could control the growth of cancerous cells and Pathogenic bacteria. TEM images of the soot obtained showed the presence of CNTs in many samples. The average diameter of the CNTs was found to be between 20 to 80 nm (Multi Walled) Also, the capacitance of a few soots calculated before activation agreed with the values obtained for CNTs from fossilized precursors. The maximum capacitance was obtained for Linseed oil (34. 5 F/gm).

2003
Samples of Cotton Seed oil and Mustard oil showed evidence of Hydrogen storage in them. The sample of Linseed oil was found to control the growth of Cancerous cells to a large extent. Long, exquisite Nano-fibers were obtained from the soot produced from Anacardium seeds. From the TEM images, it can be inferred that production of CNTs from vegetable oils was possible. Also, their capacitance and Hydrogen storing capacity was at par with CNTs from fossilized precursors. Preliminary experiments show that CNTs can control the growth of cancerous cells. Thus these CNTs produced can be good Super Capacitors or drugs to cure Skin cancer.

Aadhar Mittal Montfort School Ashok Vihar Phase I New Delhi Computer Science Recognition at Intel ISEF Summer Internship Agilent Technologies

Artificial Creation of Music Using Music Theory


Human creativity is the least understood aspect of human behavior. Human creativity is often applied like human intelligence, which produces results of low quality. This project generates computerized music through different procedures and determines their quality. The music theory concepts were learned to gain an insight into the making of music. Computerized methods of four kinds: genetic programming, creativity theories using Markovs chains; and algorithmic approach based on Zipfs Law, Linden Mayers method were designed. These were implemented through programming to generate music, experimenting at the same time with different parameters. The results were analyzed by an artificial analytic system. The music thus generated was listened to. The music is of a systematic flow, rather than having inspired elements. Further investigations as to whether computers can become music composers rather than generators can be undertaken based on these results. Also creating along with a Genre Specification could be undertaken.

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Varun Kumar Nagaraja Sri Vani Public School Bangalore Karnataka Botany Recognition at Intel ISEF First Award of USD 1, 000 and a Certificate American Intellectual Property Law Association

Diagnosis of Pregnancy in Cattle (Punyakoti Pregnancy Test)


The project attempts to develop a simple bioassay for diagnosing pregnancy in cattle based on a unique technique practiced in ancient Egypt (ca 2200 BC). Papyri recovered from excavations in Egypt during 1898 AD reveal that the pregnancy status of woman can be diagnosed by assessing the germination response of barley and wheat seeds when soaked with urine of the woman. This project explores the possibility of extending this technique to diagnose pregnancy in cattle. The urine of cows was diluted with water in 1:4 ratio. Wheat, paddy (monocots) and green gram (dicot) seeds were soaked in the diluted urine in petridishes. Seeds were also soaked in distilled water (control). It was observed that the seeds treated with diluted urine of the pregnant cow strongly inhibited in their germination and seedling growth compared to those treated with diluted urine of non-pregnant cow and water. The possible causative factors for inhibition of seeds by the urine of pregnant cow were also investigated.

2003
The urine samples of pregnant cows were found to have relatively higher concentration of urea and surprisingly of ABAa plant hormone! It is likely that these chemicals are involved in inhibiting germination and growth of seedlings. Based on these results, a field level diagnostic kit is proposed to be of a great practical use in the rural areas of developing countries. Such a kit also helps in easily identifying the repeat-breeders and thus saves millions of dollars that is not being realized due to unavailability of simple diagnostic tools.

Senthalir P Sharanya S Avila Convent Matriculation Higher Secondary School Coimbatore Tamil Nadu Botany 184 Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planets: (17091) Senthalir (17092) Sharanya Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Team Projects Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation

Suppression of Branches in Eucalyptus Trees


Neem Oil, besides possessing insect-growth disruption properties also acts as suckericide in Tobacco (Joshi, 1986). Therefore its effect on suppression of branches in Eucalyptus tereticornis was assessed, as it will help in maximizing stem Biomass. In the first experiment lateral branches of the selected trees were pruned. Neem oil concentrations of 80%, 40%, 20%, 10% and control (untreated cut branches served as control), were applied on leaf axils of the pruned branches. In the experiment 2 regenerated branches were re-pruned and two Neem oil treatments viz. , 100% and 80% were applied with control. In the third experiment the apical shoots were topped and treated with 100% Neem oil along with control. Data on regeneration, and branch length were recorded on 20th, 30th & 60th days after the treatment and subjected to statistical analysis following the Panse and Sukhatme (1967). In the first experiment, regeneration of branches was suppressed and there was a parallel between the magnitude of suppression and concentration of Neem oil. Compared to control, the percent reduction in branching at 80% Neem oil was 41. 6%. In the second experiment pruned and regenerated lateral branches exhibited severe repression in regenerating ability (81. 8%) under 100% concentration relative to control. In the third experiment, coppicing percent of the apical shoot in control was as high as 176% as against 3. 75 % under 100 % oil. Reduction in coppicing shoot was 98. 3%. By pruning the lateral branches, wasteful consumption of photosynthesis can be precluded and stem bio mass maximized.

2003
Karan Sharma Apeejay School Sheikh Sarai New Delhi Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Second Award of USD 150 Patent and Trademark Office/US Department of Commerce/Patent and Trademark Office Society

Speed Booster System for Gliders


The purpose of this project was to develop a new speed booster system for gliders that uses energy of the flow of air to increase the speed of the glider. The underlying principle being the Equation of Continuity. The booster system was integrated with the wing contour, so as not to hamper the aerodynamic structure of the glider. Two wooden glider models of same shape, size, weight and wingspan were used for the experiments. The gliders are made of light wood material and tapering plastic tube with open ends was fitted to the under surface of each of the wings of one of the glider model, to serve as a booster. Both the gliders were tested for flight capability and were allowed to fall freely from the same height. It was seen that the glider with booster system covered more distance. Further both the glider models were subjected to a jet of air from a blower. The angle of deviation from the normal was measured. Assuming the thread to be of unit length; the sine of the angle gave the lift and cosine of the angle gave the drag. This was repeated with different designs of the booster to identify the optimum shape that gives the maximum lift/drag ratio. The lift/drag ratio was found out to be more for glider with booster system and less for the glider without. We can conclude from these smallscale experiments that such systems if designed would be successful on life-scale machines. 185

Sangameswaran Tejeshwar Tandon S B O A Schools and Junior College Chennai Tamil Nadu Computer Science Recognition at Intel ISEF Second Award of USD 500 IEEE Computer Society

Text Explorer
Purpose of Experiment: The development of Text explorer with additional functions started after a survey in which 73% of them wanted an advanced word processor. The main purpose of this project is to make word processing fast, effecient and usable by the handicapped. Procedure used: This program was developed in Microsoft Visual Basic The speech DLLs were designed in Visual C++. It has a multiple document interface, i. e more than 100 documents can be opened and edited at the same time ; It contains 25 forms, which is the outer structure and 26 modules and 4 class modules. which contains most of the programming. The program has 5 enhanced user controls. The whole source code of the program is approx. 11, 000 pages (ASM Code) Special Functions: Text to Speech, Voice Comand, Voice Dictation, Text Fader, Special Handicapped Mode, Decimal to Roman and Vice Versa, HTML Editor, Home work helper, 5+ Advanced Encryption & Decryption, Encrypt text into picture, mp3 player with lyrics support and many more Conclusion: These functions would allow a person to finish a job quickly and efficiently. With the special handicapped mode, even the disabled can use it. Powerful encryption and decryption options allow confidential messages to be sent over the network or internet securely.

2004
Kanishka Raajkumar Shree Baldevdas Kikani Vidyamandir Matriculation Higher Secondary School Coimbatore Tamil Nadu Computer Science Recognition at Intel ISEF Second Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond - Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation

PESDOC A Farmer-Friendly Software for Pest Diagnosis of Crops


PESDOC is aimed at helping farmers in remote rural areas to seek effective solution for pest control in crops (at present for Cotton, Sugarcane and Rice), by providing a software that could analyze symptoms, identify pests and suggest remedial measures. The system currently covers 30 pests (around 10 pests per crop). PESDOC was created in Visual Prolog 5. 2. The knowledge acquisition module was created in Visual Basic 6. 0. The animation and audio was developed using Macromedia Flash 5. 0 and Windows Sound Recorder utility respectively. It is in the form of a desktop pest expert with which a farmer, who has no formal training in pest control, interacts by responding to a combination of queries. The software employs rule based reasoning represented in Horn clauses. Knowledge was acquired from texts and human experts in the field of plant pathology and entomology. PESDOC employs backward chaining control strategy. Special interface has been provided for updating the knowledge base. Pest management procedures have been illustrated using audio and video files developed in local language for the benefit of rural farmers. When tested PESDOC performed as good as human experts within its narrow domain. Thus it can be concluded that PESDOC is able to provide effective diagnosis of pest damage and hence suggest treatment procedure to farmers. It can also help plant experts in diagnosis.

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Amruth B R Sadvidya Composite Pre University College Mysore Karnataka Physics Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Honourable Mention Award Certificates for International Students National Aeronautics & Space Administration

Mechanical Wave Modulation and Its Applications


Natural sources of mechanical waves are characterized by their energy per cycle, which depends on their amplitude. Their amplitudes are generally too low to be economically harnessed or too high to be put to constructive work. This project reports a method developed to modify the amplitude of mechanical waves so as to change their impact on the target. The primary objective of the project is to develop an effective shock absorbing system, by suitably decreasing the impact of the wave by modulating its amplitude. The basic system consists of coupled oscillators with the frequency of adjacent oscillators increasing by a constant value. This system causes the wave energy input at the low frequency end of the system to get modified so that at the high frequency end the output is in the form of a series of smaller impulses. Thus the system acts as a shock absorber.

2004
With further study it was found that this system can also be used to increase the amplitude of the incident wave. The system designed mainly for this, used fluids to propagate energy since the loss of pressure will be avoided. On the basis of the results obtained, this project also proposes models for some possible applications. These include better shock absorbers, better vibration isolation platforms, resonance control, and wave energy harnesser with unique features. It may also find applications in electricity generation from sources with presently unsuitable energy levels and the use of non-newtonian fluids as shock absorbers.

Zeeshan Ali Sayyed Vrishikumar Patil Shreerang Vidyalaya Thane Maharashtra Biochemistry Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planets: (20616) Zeeshansayed (20604) Vrishikpatil Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1, 500 Team Projects

To Study the Effect of Biological Seed Dressing on the Growth and Yield of Crop
In India about 33% of agricultural produce are damaged by pests. Most of this damage occurs during the early stages of crop growth. Different methods are used to tackle this problem. Seed-dressing, considered an effective method, involves the use of dry or wet formulation applied directly to seeds. Prevalent seed-dressing treatments use chemicals that may cause health and environmental problems and are very costly. This project aimed to find out natural and cost-effective substitutes for harmful chemicals in seed-dressing. Based on earlier studies, leaves and seeds of neem (Azardirachata indica), custard apple (Annona squamosa) seeds and Aloe vera (Aloe vera L.) sap were chosen as seed-dressing alternatives. The crops Hibiscus esculantus and Dolicos lablab were selected for the study and their seeds were dressed with suitably prepared powders of the above biological materials. Eleven treatments of varying concentrations and combinations using the above materials were tried. Sample sizes for each treatment was 60 plants or more. The treated seeds were sown and the effects of treatment were monitored using six visible traits of the crop. Results of the experiments show that treated seeds were resistant to pest attack during the first 25 days. Plants from treated seeds also show enhanced growth and yield. The effects of biological seed-dressings are seen to be comparable with chemical seed-dressing. This cost-effective dressing treatment can be easily formulated locally by farmers. Thus biological seed-dressing can be a potential alternative to the current methods of seed-dressing.

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2004
Srividya Swaminathan Shriram Jayaraman Modern English School Chheda Nagar, Chembur Mumbai Maharashtra Environmental Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000 Team Projects Scholarship Award of USD 1,500 National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance/The Lemelson Foundation

Paperood - Paper from Wood? No, Wood from Paper!


Every year out of 1000 million tons of paper produced, only 30% is recycled. The remaining paper is usually wasted which is an indication that paper is not used to the full extent. For the production of paper, a large number of trees have been cut down. Our main purpose was to find an alternative method to recycle paper and to some extent, reduce deforestation by making a substitute for wood. Paper was a key ingredient in the making of paperood. Waste paper was collected from various sources and sorted according to the size and type. This paper was then impregnated in the resin solution, which comprises of phenolic resin and some denatured alcohol for dilution. The paper was then subjected to drying using hot dry air. According to the thickness of the product desired, the stainless steel sheets under high pressure and heat. Safety measures were followed at all the stages of production of paperood. The paperood thus obtained was tested for its mechanical properties. The results of the tests were compared with wood. Paperood is found to be better than wood in most of the properties. Flexural strength of paperood is twice that of wood whereas compression strength is 15 times that of wood. Paperood also shows fire resistance and minimum water absorption when compared to wood. Thus paperood is better than wood in almost all structural properties. This encourages us to conclude paperood can be used for roofing, cabinets and insulators. In fact it can replace wood in several other articles, which are made of wood at present.

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Sameer Yeleswarapu St Francis de Sales High School Secunderabad Andhra Pradesh Mathematics Recognition at Intel ISEF Honourable Mention Award Certificates for International Students National Aeronautics & Space Administration

An Interesting Property in Triangles


One of the fundamental properties of a triangle is that the sum of two sides is greater than the third side. This is a statement of inequality but does not quantify the value by which the sum of two sides is greater than the third side. A measure DELTA by which the sum of two sides exceeds the third side has been defined. This measured DELTA has been defined to the best of our knowledge for the first time in this work. This work reports a detailed study of several properties of DELTA. Using DELTA measurements of different triangles, the author discovered some new properties and also proved them using trigonometry. The basic property discovered can be stated as In a given triangle, for a pair of parallel lines to any of the sides that form sub similar triangles, the difference between the DELTA measures of the sub similar triangles, is a constant and is independent of the location of the pair of parallel lines, as long as the separation between the pair of parallel lines is fixed. Working on the properties of the measure DELTA and related quantities helped the author to arrive at an efficient method for computing the perimeter of a right angle triangle.

2005
Suvrata Desai Mallika Desai Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Canacona Goa Environmental Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Second Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation

Traditional Spices as Bio Pesticides


This Project is based on Pesticidal properties of Spices like Chilly, Turmeric, Garlic, Asafoetida, Cloves etc. Spoilage of food grains by Pests such as Beetles, Weevils, and Granary Weevils is a common problem causing heavy losses. This project brings easy, Ecofriendly solution to this problem. It was hypothesized that Spices can be used as Pesticides. Tablets prepared out of these Spices were tried upon different Pests and positive results were obtained. Experiments were also conducted to verify preventive properties of Spices. It was found that pests didnt multiply in presence of Spice Tablets. Results were compared to Pesticidal properties of Neem leaves and Spices are found to be more effective. It is concluded that, Spices can act as effective. Harmless and ecofriendly Pesticides.

Mihir Tandon Riddhiman Yadava Modern School Vasant Vihar New Delhi Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Scholarship Award of USD 1, 000 National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance/The Lemelson Foundation

An Improvised Artificial Limb


A large number of disabled persons are deprived of the benefits of presently available appliances because of their inability to access them or to afford them. We have designed a simple artificial leg for above-knee amputees which is affordable as well as easily constructible even by village artisans. Our artificial leg is made from easily available material like: hollow, mild steel pipes (the kind that is used for fencing), cycle springs, foam and rexine. The cost of making our artificial leg is only Rs. 550/- i. e. US$ 11. 46 (assuming 48 Rs. = 1 US$). Our Prosthesis is light and weights only about 2.5 kgs. Our artificial limb has several features it has a mechanical knee-joint, which consists of a hinge for unidirectional movement and three springs. The two side-springs help flex the knee with little effort and the central spring helps the knee to automatically revert back to its normal position after flexion. Our artificial limb is especially suited for children as the leg length is adjustable to accommodate changes in leg length with growth. Toes that bend like human toes have been provided with the help of a hinge on our artificial foot. This helps the user to walk more normally and also to get up after squatting on the ground. Finally, with the help of a few simple measurements of the amputee stump, the socket can be custom made for a proper fit. The socket fits the stump in such a way that there is an air cushion of one to one & half inch at the bottom of the socket. This prevents the appearance of friction sores. Also, holes have been punched in the socket to provide ventilation to the stump.

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We have successfully tried our improvised leg on several human subjects both children and adults. In fact, on the very first trial, subjects who had walked only with the help of crutches for over a decade were able to use our leg comfortably. Our artificial leg allowed them to carry out the functions of walking, sitting, squatting on the floor and climbing steps with ease. With our improvised artificial leg we hope to make a difference in the lives of above-knee amputees by providing them with the mobility they have been deprived of.

Malavika Vinod Tiwari St Marys Convent High School Kanpur Uttar Pradesh Engineering 190 Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000

Foot Operated Vehicle Device for the Physically Challenged


The Purpose of this project is to develop such a device which when fitted on a scooter will enable a person with no hand or no hand controls to drive the scooter with his feet. This device known as F. O. D (Foot Operated Device) System is fitted on a platform placed on the footboard of a scooter. Pair of foot pedals is fitted on the right and left side of the main rotating shaft, which is fitted on the platform. A Junction Bos is fitted on the main rotating shaft, in which specially designed levers of Accelerator, Brakes and Choke are fixed. By pushing the pedals up and down the levers start functioning. On top of the rotating shaft, two iron plates are fixed which turn the handle left and right. Electrical switches of lights and indicators are placed on the bards in which the foot pedals are fixed. This system involves no use of hands while driving. This device is made by indigenous materials and can be repaired by any local mechanic. It is an economical and mechanical device and can be easily operated. This device will solve the mobility problem of the physically challenged people bereft of hands and instil confidence in him/her.

2006
Apurv Mishra DAV Public School Bhubaneswar Orissa Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000 Second Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation

Glabenator: An Advanced Alternative and Augmentative Communication Device


This device Glabenator has been developed to act as an Advanced Alternative and Augmentative Communication solution. It targets on the person who need support of communication either due to physical or technical reason. The device is based on a new concept of directional displacement of a point in the skin just above the eyebrows as a data source. AFSDCS (Advanced Forehead Skin Deformation Coding System) was developed to analyze the displacement of the positional indicators and find POMAD (Point of Maximum Displacement). The sensor is fabricated on the basis of innovative rod bending concept to detect the movement of POMAD. The displacement of the skin causes the rod to interrupt opto-interrupter respective to the direction of displacement. Thus using the data from POMAD displacement the contraction of Corrugator Supercilli and Frontalis muscle is detected. The user contracts these muscles voluntarily to interact with the device. The data from the sensor is processed and forwarded to the RF data transmission section which transmits this data. The receiver forwards the data to the micro-controller which is used to select and surf the menu. The motherboard comprises of Voice IC, Computer Cursor Control and LCD Display. Glabenator costs around 30 USD comparing to the present devices which are very costly. Thus Glabenator being simple, compact, comfortable, innovative and cheap can make the Alternative and Augmentative Communication affordable by the common man in cases of communication disability. It can be also used to zoom lens and operate computer in space. 191

Varun Mittal Kanishka Tiwary Sanatan Dharam Public School Pitampura New Delhi Zoology Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Team Projects

Effect of Chinaberry Fruit Extract Oil on Feeding, Growth and Fecundity of Plutella Xylostella
This project in its present form is the result of experimentation done to study the effect of chinaberry (Melia azedarach)fruit extract oil on Plutella xylostella (DBM) larvae. The initial idea was to find a method by which we can control the devastrating moth. In recent years this moth has developed resistance to most of the chemical insecticides and even biological insecticides. Still the scientists and reserchers are trying to find a method to control this moth. For this purpose we collected dry chinaberry fruits, crushed them and extracted oil using soxhelet apparatus, then we diluted the extracted oil with water and emulsifiers and studied the effect of extracted oil on feeding, growth and fecundity of DBM larvae.

2006
We reared DBM larvae in incubator and then allowed them to feed on cabbage leaves dipped in the sol. of different conc. of the oil. We studied different aspects of DBM larvae including mortality rate, eggs laid by the moth, percentage hatchability, pupal weight etc. Our experiments concluded that 4% concentration of test sol. is found to be most effective in controlling this moth. by treating this moth to 4% conc. of test sol. we got the following results: 1) mean leaf area consumption decreased to 0mm 2) mortality rate was increased to 90% 3) pupal weight, percentage emergence and adult longevity decreased in a dose dependent manner. The contribution of this project are in two folds. Firstly we found a method by which we can contol this moth. Secondly the product is completely bionatural, easily available, cheap, it does not cause any harm to the soil, plants and consumer. It is also environmental friendly and has no biological hazardous.

192 Hamsa Padmanabhan Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ganeshkhind Pune Maharashtra Physics Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (21575) Padmanabhan Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1, 500 UTC Stock with an approximate value of USD 2,000 United Technologies Corporation Third Award of USD 300 American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society

Physics of a Simple Prototype for Static Magnetic Levitation


This project aims at analyzing the stability and force balance of a simple mechanical gadget exhibiting magnetic levitation. The configuration consists of a pencil suspended horizontally in mid-air under the action of forces exerted by a set of ring magnets, gravity and a contact force. The configuration is found to be in perfectly stable equilibrium; the pencil can perform small oscillations and also rotate about its long axis. The project involved the following aspects. 1. The conditions under which stable equilibrium of the configuration was achieved were determined by direct experimentation. 2. The field lines of the magnets were mapped to understand the forces acting in the system. 3. A theoretical analysis of the force and torque balance of the system was done by approximating each magnet to a small dipole. 4. Using this, the conditions for stable equilibrium of the system were found. These confirmed the consistency of the force and torque balance conditions. 5. Finally, definite predictions were made about various parameters of the gadget using the theoretical model. These were verified directly by experiment, thus consolidating the validity of the model.

2006
Further avenues of investigation including the possibility of construction of similar configurations minimizing or without the use of contact forces, etc. are being explored. This gadget can serve as an excellent pedagogical tool for illustrating diverse concepts like magnetic dipole interaction, force and torque balance, stability, etc. The project provides an understanding of magnetic levitation of static, extended bodies and shows that a prototype can be built with inexpensive, everyday materials.

Swathi Soman Christ Nagar Senior Secondary School Thiruvananthapuram Kerala Environmental Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000

Management of Aphid Pest of Cowpea by a Bio-Pesticide Fusarium Pallidoroseum


Cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) ssp. sequipedalis (Verdcourt)] is a major vegetable grown and consumed in the domestic and foreign markets. Aphis craccivora Koch. is an important pest of cowpea causing crop loss to the tune of 10-20 per cent. Current management practice of using chemical pesticide to tackle this pest are dangerous as it causes environmental and health hazards. So there is need to develop ecofriendly methods to tackle this pest. Fungal pathogens of insects play a key role in pest management in nature. Fusarium pallidoroseum (Cooke) Sacc. is a potent biocontrol agent of cowpea aphid. It is safe to other biotic fauna, parasitoids and pollinators found in the cowpea ecosystem. Fusarium pallidoroseum was found to be compatible with the common insecticides such as Malathion, Quinalphos, Dimethoate, etc.

193

2007
Rishin Behl Kendriya Vidyalaya, Mankhurd Mumbai Maharashtra Earth and Planetary Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (23133) Rishinbehl Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1, 500 Full Tuition Scholarship Award University of New Mexico First Award of USD 1, 000 US Savings Bond Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation Award of Merit of USD 500 Society of Exploration Geophysicists Trip to China to attend the CASTIC - China Association for Science and Technology

A Novel Design for Magnetic Levitating Seismograph


A configuration of magnets is used to levitate a shaft in air by the repulsion force between the magnets. By appropriate design, the Lorenz-forces can be stabilized, creating a potential-well which restricts wobble amplitude of the shaft without hampering the disturbances caused due to external forces and sensitivity of the device. One end of the levitating shaft touches a glass plate, coupled to a heavy framework connected to the earth. Any force detected by the device causes a relative motion of the shaft in XY plane. A mirror is attached to the head of the shaft which reflects a laser beam, mounted on a vibration-isolated independent platform. The reflected beam produces an amplified motion corresponding to small changes in the movement of the shaft. This can be recorded on a photo-detector. The entire apparatus is shielded to protect it from air-currents and other external disturbances. To simulate response to an earthquake, the base of the device is made to vibrate in the desired low-frequency range by connecting it to the diaphragm of a loudspeaker and the corresponding reading on the photo-detector recorded. This design avoids the use of springs and eliminates some of the problems of mechanical seismographs. In future, the deflected beam pattern can be recorded using a photosensitive array and the data grabbed at regular time-intervals. Such frames over a timet can be integrated to form a 3-D graph. This can be vectorised and resolved to give a direction and magnitude of the force.

194

2007
Tanay David Delima Nikhil Khosla Dhirubhai Ambani International School Mumbai Maharashtra Energy & Transportation Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Team Projects

A Novel Advanced Brake Light Warning System to Prevent Vehicular Tailgating Accidents
Around 65% of all vehicular accidents are caused by tailgating. This experiment attempts to find out whether it is possible to prevent tailgating accidents by giving the driver in the rear vehicle additional time to apply his brakes and stop safely when the car in front stops. At present in cars, the rear brake lights come on when the brakes are applied. If an additional rear light of a different colour comes on in the lead vehicle, when the accelerator is released prior to the brakes being applied, it would inform the driver in the car behind of his intention to stop, giving him additional time to respond and bring his car to a safe stop. We mounted two lights on a board. In mode 1 the red light comes on when the brake is pressed. In mode 2 an additional amber light comes on when the accelerator pedal is released before applying the brake pedal. A digital timer starts when the researcher presses his brake pedal and is stopped when the subject presses his brake pedal. This records the time taken by the subject to respond in both modes. The experiment was performed on 134 subjects. The data was statistically analyzed and conclusively shows that when the subjects were forewarned by an additional light coming on just a fraction of a second earlier, their response time was significantly reduced. A simple rewiring in cars can prevent these accidents with its consequent loss of life and financial costs. 195

2007
Ram Raghunathan Sishya Chennai Tamil Nadu Computer Science Recognition at Intel ISEF Second Award of USD 500 Association for Computing Machinery

FDIS: A Fast Frequency Distribution Based Interpolation Search Algorithm


Search is a fundamental operation in computer science. Binary and Interpolation are two well-known search algorithms to locate an item in a sorted array. Interpolation performs better (worse) than Binary when data is (not) uniformly distributed. This project develops a novel search algorithm, FDIS, that utilizes frequency distribution of data in the array. The use of frequency distributions narrows down the search range and allows FDIS to exploit Interpolation. FDIS, Binary, and Interpolation search algorithms were implemented in Java. The number of locations searched and the time taken were used as performance criteria. The array size (N), frequency table size (k), and the shape of distribution of data were used as control variables. 5 levels for each control were chosen resulting in a total of 125 experimental scenarios. Data were generated randomly from Gamma, Gaussian, and Weibull distributions. On the average, FDIS performed significantly better than both Interpolation and Binary. The worst case performance of FDIS was not significantly different from that of other two. The average reduction in the number of locations searched (search time) was 82% (15%) and 94% (88%) compared to Binary and Interpolation, respectively. The gap between the performance of FDIS and the other two algorithms was higher when either the array or the frequency table size increased or the data in the array was more non-uniform The experiment confirmed my hypothesis that the average case performance of FDIS is O(log(log(N/k)). The project demonstrated that FDIS has the potential to significantly improve search in information retrieval applications that require large databases.

196

2007
Vaishnavi Viswanathan Modern English School Mumbai Maharashtra Environmental Management Recognition at Intel ISEF Second Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation

Desmostachya Bipinnata as an Eco-friendly Termicide


This project evaluates the anti-termitic properties of Desmostachya bipinnata, a plant native to India. In the traditional Indian medical system (Ayurveda) the roots have been used for treating various diseases. It was observed that the mats made from Desmostachya bipinnata were not affected by termites. This observation prompted me to investigate the efficacy of Desmostachya bipinnata as a natural remedy for controlling termites. Extracts of each root and leaf were made in different solvents both by the process of solvent extraction and by following an ayurvedic method. Various concentrations of these extracts as well as appropriate positive and negative controls were used on Coptotermes domesticus termite species and their responses were studied. The knockdown effect of the plant extracts was recorded at periodic intervals of two minutes up to 100% knockdown and knockdown times KT50 and KT95 calculated. The recovery/mortality 24 hours after exposure was also observed. The raw root and leaf of Desmostachya bipinnata were tested for its anti-termitic properties. It was found that the leaf of Desmostachya bipinnata achieved a mortality rate of 95% while the mortality rate in the root was found to be 90%. Experiments conducted on other pests (red ants, cockroaches and centipedes) showed a mean mortality rate of 85%. The lowest concentration that incurred mortality was found to be 3%. Data was statistically analyzed for significance. The results showed that the Desmostachya bipinnata extracts have potent anti-termitic properties, this study can help develop a natural alternative to the current environmentally detrimental termiticides.

197

2008
Pooja Dholakiya Riddhi Dasani Late Shree S G Dholakiya Memorial High School Rajkot Gujarat Plant Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000 Team Projects

Eco-Friendly Ink for Colour Pens


Our project is to make Eco-friendly Ink for Color Pens by extracting coloring pigments from various plant species. Color extracts of 150 plant species and its products were tested under sunlight for fading. Out of these, 15 plants like Butea monosperma (Flame of the forest), Beta vulgaris (Beetroot), Basella alba v. rubra (Indian spinach), Curcuma longa (Turmeric), Azardirachta indica (neem), Coffea arabica (coffee), Opuntia ficus indica, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Bixa orellana, Indigofera tinctoria (Indigo), Tagetes erecta (Marigold), Trigonella foenumgraecum (Fenugreek), Lawsonia inermis (Henna), and Spinacia oleracea (Spinach) that had not faded in sunlight were selected. These plants were dried in an oven, dissolved in a proper solvent like water and ethanol, filtered and dried again to get the color pigment like Anthocyanins, Curcumin, Betacyanin and Chlorophyll. Apart from plant extracts, caramel from sugar was also tried as a coloring agent. This dried pigment was crushed to powder and diluted to use as ink. Colors like Yellow, Pink, Magenta, Green, Blue, Orange and Coffee were obtained. The ink was refilled in color pens like sketch pens, marker pens, board markers, micro tips and fountain pens. Physical tests like fading in sunlight, writing length and heating effect, showed the aptness to be used as ink. Microbial contamination rate was found negligible and heavy metals were absent. Our research shows the pigment-based ink as an eco-friendly, biodegradable and with results, that compare very well with some of the commercially available pens.

198

Lavanya Giriraj Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Mandya Karnataka Plant Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Second Award of USD 500 American Society for Horticultural Science

Natural Color from Ixora Flowers


Extraction of color from Ixora coccinea flowers and demonstration of different use of color in food, fabric dye, and paint. As the awareness level of people about the deleterious effects of synthetic colors increases, the demand of natural colorants for foods, drugs, cosmetics, textiles, etc is expected to increase enormously. This project suggests that food, paint and fabric color can be produced from dry as well as fresh extract obtained from Ixora flower petals. Fresh petals of Ixora are soaked in distilled water, ground to paste, squeezed and filtered to obtain aqueous extract. Methanol extraction was also carried out. Ice cream and milk were prepared using the dry powder of Ixora (red and pink) which imparted a light pink color. Jam was made with Ixora flower, which was red in color. Ixora extract was used to dye fabric, cotton and silk threads. Water color and oil paint were also prepared. The colours of paint and fabric dye obtained are red and did not fade in the fastness test. There is ample scope for using the extract of Ixora flowers for obtaining different colours for food, paint and fabric. The T. L. C test, done at an independent laboratory, shows significant presence of coloring pigments.

2008
Hence food, paint and fabric color from Ixora may be a good substitute for artificial dyes. The exact colouring pigment needs to be identified, separated and compared with colours in current use. Ixora is available in several species with different colors. Hence different colors may be obtained from different species of the same plant. The color is obtained from the flowers of the plant without harming the plant itself. The plant has flowers throughout the year and hence a continuous supply of flowers is assured.

Ambud Sharma Sunbeam School Bhagwanpur Varanasi Uttar Pradesh Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Scholarship Award of USD 12, 500 per year, renewable annually Florida Institute of Technology

A Low Cost Water Based Evaporative Cooling Device for Computers


Heat-removal is critical to the performance of computers. I have developed an evaporative, water-based, cooling solution for computers. Traditionally air cooled heat sinks are bundled with the chips, which are very ineffective for ambient temperatures above 38C. My cooling solution is basically for the processor but can be extended to other parts also. I have used water as the coolant as it is easily available, has high heat capacity and latent heat of evaporation. The air cooled heat sink (of Intels PGA-478 and LGA-775 socket) has been modified and converted into water blocks which can circulate water over the processor without damaging it, as it is water sealed. The cooling system has two parts1. The pumping chamber contains a washer pump. The pumping chamber is the water reservoir for the device. There is also a water level indicator circuit in pumping chamber. 2. In the cooling chamber, modeled after a desert cooler, the water gets spread and cooled by evaporation (by fans), cooled water then returns to the pumping chamber. <br><br>The device costs about 300 Rupees, (~9 USD) which the lowest cost for any liquid based computer cooling solution. Advantages1. Allows computers to be run without AC cooled rooms (with high ambient temperatures). 2. No recurring costs, requires only water as input. 3. If implemented for servers can reduce their running costs. 4. Designed to be compatible with most computers (till ATX 2. 3) 5. Allows running high end software for long hours. Such a low cost solution will be particularly beneficial in hot dry environments, including a large section of rural India. 199

2008
Swathi Soman Bhavans B P Vidya Mandir Nagpur Maharashtra Environmental Management Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000 Third Award of USD 500 American Phytopathological Society

Fusarium Pallidoroseum, II: Can it Control Water Hyacinth?


I took up the study Fusarium pallidoroseum: Can it Control Water Hyacinth? to find out the most efficient method of biological control of water hyacinth using Fusarium pallidoroseum in the management of the weed from the water bodies of Kerala, India. Water hyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Martius) Soms Laubach] is a pernicious aquatic weed seen all over the world. Management of this weed can be taken up by physical, chemical or biological means. The most widely followed practice is manual collection and destruction, which is not very successful as the weed multiplies very fast. Herbicidal destruction is not feasible in most cases because of the pollution problems and the expense involved. Thus, biological control is an attractive alternative. Initially, laboratory and glass house studies conducted by me during the study (in the Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture, Vellayani, Kerala, India) indicated the possibility of using the fungal pathogen of the weed, F pallidoroseum, as a biocontrol agent. The results of the study also proved that the fungus is non pathogenic to crop plants, insects of the locality and hence is safe to be used as a bio-control agent. However, a major problem encountered in the large scale use of the fungus under field conditions was its low rate of infectivity on grown up healthy plants. This problem was overcome by pretreatment of the weeds with Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) a byproduct of the cashew processing industry. CNSL being a product of plant origin does not cause any pollution problem. Further it is cheap and locally available in Kerala. A wettable powder formulation of the fungus was prepared using Mycelium, Talc, Sucrose, Tween80, Glycerol and this formulation was used for field application. Large scale field trial was conducted at Ambalathara, Trivandrum, Kerala, India. The results of the trial clearly proved the efficacy of the biological of management of water hyacinth by spraying CNSL at 5% followed by the wettable powder formulation of the fungus Fusarium pallidoroseum at 5%.

200

2009
Divya Venkataraman Neha Kulkarni Modern English School Mumbai Maharashtra Environmental Management Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000 Team Projects Second Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation

Larvicidal and Insecticidal Properties of Carica Papaya Leaf Extract against Mosquitoes
This project evaluates larvicidal and insecticidal properties of Carica papaya leaves against mosquitoes. Taking cue from an observation that a tray of water kept under a Carica papaya tree, into which a leaf had fallen, was free from mosquito eggs, we hypothesized that the Carica papaya leaf might have insecticidal and larvicidal properties against mosquitoes, and proceeded to evaluate this systematically. Extracts of leaves were made by solvent extraction method. Various concentrations of these extracts, appropriate positive and negative controls were used on Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes Aegypti species of mosquitoes and their responses were studied. The knockdown effect of the leaf extracts was recorded at periodic intervals. The mortality after 24 hours exposure was recorded. The mortality rates of mosquito larvae in aqueous extract was 60%, in solvent extract was 80% and in positive control, Azadirachta indica extract was 60% when compared to the control. The mortality rates of adult mosquitoes in aqueous extract and in solvent extract were 85% and 88% respectively, when compared to the control. The mat vaporisers made using aqueous Carica papaya leaf extract achieved 56% mortality while the solvent extract mat vaporisers achieved 100% mortality and was considered extremely significant with t test value of 84 with 3 degree of freedom compared to the controls. Carica papaya leaf extract candle showed 94% repellency. Experiments conducted on other pests (House flies) showed 84% mean mortality. The lowest concentration that incurred mortality was 3% (v/v). Data was statistically analyzed for significance. These results show Carica papaya leaf extracts to have potent larvicidal and insecticidal properties against mosquitoes, and provides a novel environmentally benign alternative to synthetic chemical insecticides.

201

Vishnu Jayaprakash Chettinad Vidyashram Chennai Tamil Nadu Energy & Transportation Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (25620) Jayaprakash Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1, 500

A Novel Microbial Fuel Cell Based on Inexpensive Graphite Electrodes


The increasing global demand for energy requires a continuous search for alternative renewable energy sources. For practical applications of renewable energy sources in rural areas a cheap design based on locally-available raw materials is essential. My project studies Microbial fuel cells (MFC) which use cow dung as substrate. A Microbial fuel cell converts chemical energy available in a bio-convertible substrate directly into electricity. Bacteria present in the cowdung catalyse the decomposition of glucose present in the substrate releasing electrons, which contribute to the current. A cow-dung based fuel cell was fabricated using acrylic chambers where the anode contains cow dung and the cathode contains potassium ferricyanide which acts as the terminal electron acceptor. The chambers are separated by a proton exchange membrane (Nafion). My critical contribution in the design comes by the way of identifying an inexpensive graphite electrode for the cell.

2009
The details of the design, performance and cost of different cow dung fuel cells are presented in this work. Experiments were conducted to study the performance of the cell in the following aspects : (i) Different designs of the cow dung fuel cell were fabricated and their performances were compared (ii) The performance of the cells with different electrodes and different areas of the proton exchange membrane (Nafion) were compared (iii) The longitivity of the cell was determined (iv) The current drop with time and the charge liberated by the cell was calculated. The newly developed cow dung fuel cell showed 13% more current density, 44% more power density with a cost reduction of about 90% when compared to a reference model. Such fuel cells can provide enough power to enable LED based illumination in rural areas at a reasonable cost.

202

Rithika Sangameshwaran Divya Kothari Modern English School Mumbai Maharashtra Environmental Management Recognition at Intel ISEF Second Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation

Solanum Nigrum and Psidium Guajava as a Bio-Pesticide for Cockroaches


This study was conducted to evaluate pesticidal properties of Solanum nigrum and Psidium guajava extracts. These plants, native to India, have been used for treating various diseases in the traditional Indian medical system (Ayurveda). The extracts of leaf, root and fruit pulp were made using water and ethanol. Various concentrations and combination of these extracts as well as appropriate positive and negative controls were used on two cockroach species Periplaneta Americana (L.), and Blattella germanica (L.) under laboratory conditions and their responses were studied. The ethanol and water extracts exhibited mortality against cockroaches. Furthermore, the interactions among types of extract, time and concentration showed a significant effect wherein the mortality varied or changed at different exposure periods. The combination of leaf extract derived from Solanum Nigrum and Psidium Guajava showed the best mean mortality over naphthalene and a commonly used commercially available pesticide Mortein. The crude leaf extract of Solanum Nigrum exhibited mortality rate of 80% against Periplaneta Americana and Blattella germanica, solvent extract exhibited mortality rate of 100 % against the same species. Experiments conducted on other pests (centipedes) showed a mean mortality of 85%. Solanum Nigrum leaf extract gave 94% result than the fruit and root. Ethanol extract was found to be more promising than water extract. The lowest concentration that incurred mortality was found to be 3%. All data was statistically analyzed.

2009
The results showed that the Solanum nigrum and Psidium guajava extracts have pesticidal properties and can be promising botanical pesticides for cockroaches. Our study thus helps develop a natural alternative to the expensive and current environmentally-detrimental commercial pesticides.

Anish Mukherjee Debarghya Sarkar South Point High School Kolkata West Bengal Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planets: (25629) Mukherjee (20630) Sarkar Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1, 500 Team Projects

Clamped Bottle Cap: A Novel Tamper-Proof Bottle Cap Design


Our project Clamped Bottle Cap is a novel redesign for a bottle cap, preventing its reuse. This can curb widespread bottle forgery, especially in critical areas like single-use medicinal applications. We initially designed a bottle-cap with a ring having hooks. These cling on to the holes in bottle-neck. The attachment mechanism breaks off when the cap is opened. In our next improved design these hooks were changed to Zip-Toggle-like mechanism. This too posed problems regarding the fitting of the bottle-cap, so we converted to cylindrical-projections and circlip mechanism. We have further improved this in our final optimized design. In the optimized design we have eight cylindrical projections attached to the bottle cap. The bottle neck is joined by small bridges to the neck base. The cap with the cylindrical projections is slid in through the slots of the neck. The projections enter the eight corresponding holes in the neck and are held tightly in place. When the cap is twisted the projections of the cap do not break but the entire neck of the bottle is broken off. This mechanism also give a clear indication that the bottle has been opened before, making the bottle tamper-proof. To test the feasibility of our idea, we contacted a rapid prototyping workshop who fabricated a few samples based on our drawings. To extend the bottle for multiple-use in specific cases, another threaded neck is provided, attached by small bridges below the original neck. A separate cap will be provided for use with the threaded portion of the bottle neck which fits only when the upper neck is broken. This mechanism serves as a remedy for the major problem of bottle-forgery. 203

2009
Hetal Kanjibhai Vaishnav Late Shree S G Dholakiya Memorial High School Rajkot Gujarat Environmental Management Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: (25636) Vaishnav Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1, 500 First Award of USD 1,000 US Savings Bond Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty (AVASC) Foundation 204 Ricoh Sustainable Development Award of USD 12,500 Ricoh Americas Corporation Second Award of USD 200 Patent and Trademark Office Society

Recycled Composite Material Made from Non-Recyclable Multilayer Film Plastic Packaging Waste
My project aims to convert typically non-recyclable multilayered film plastic packaging waste via appropriate heat treatment into a useful composite material. Plastic packaging made up of multilayer films (e. g. chips packets) is usually not recycled. Such multilayers are made for example from metallized polymers or combinations of different polymers. While these materials can be recycled individually, but the multilayered packaging wastes are not normally recycled as separation of components is neither easy nor economical. My recycling process is novel as it does not require separation of multilayer film of plastic making it economic and time saving. Further, the recycling process is simple, and does not require additional chemicals, binder or solvents. This process starts from collection of such plastic waste, removing dust and cutting it into small pieces. After this, the waste pieces are washed with hot water, dried with hot air gun and pre-heated at a moderate temperature until they fuse with each other. These fused pieces are then passed through hand moulding machine to convert them into homogenous pellets. These pellets are then ground and screened. As a result, a powdered composite material is obtained. This composite powder is suitable for further use via extrusion moulding, injection moulding, or compression moulding for making various articles for different applications. The sheets made from this material were tested and found to have negligible water absorption. By adding various pigments different colours were obtained. This composite material also possesses very good properties like nail holding, screw holding and can easily be fabricated into any desired shape. Standardized laboratory tests carried out by external testing laboratories show that density, auto ignition temperature, water absorption etc. of this material is similar or better than that of plywood/MDF, thus making this recycled composite a novel substitute for plywood/MDF in many applications.

2010
Aritra Chowdhury South Point High School Kolkata West Bengal Chemistry Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Fourth Prize of USD 500 Honourable Mention Award American Chemical Society

Extraction of Natural Carbonaceous Nanomaterials from Soil Sources: Exploration of Properties and Applications
I have extracted carbonaceous nanomaterials from soil sources following simple cost-effective extraction techniques and have found potential biological applications of such nanomaterials in areas like cellular imaging and as enzyme immobilisation matrix. Soil humus and rock shilajit, both formed by microbial decomposition of dead organisms, can be rich sources for nanomaterials particularly carbon nanoforms. Such naturally formed nanostructures may be possibly more stable and safe for biological applications. I adopted a simple repetitive solution and extraction procedure for extraction of carbon nanomaterials from shilajit and humus. The shape and size of nanomaterials were evaluated through DLS and AFM, SEM and TEM imaging; Nearly spherical particles, of ~45nm size (humus, from TEM) and ~65nm size (shilajit, from AFM) were obtained. Chemical characterization through EDAX, wide angle powder XRD and selected area electron diffraction confirmed the product to have an amorphous carbon-based structure. The nanoparticles emitted violet fluorescence upon UV excitation. Shilajit-derived nanoparticles were easily taken up in HEK293 and U937 cells in culture without surface functionalization. Cytosolic localization and photostability were studied using confocal microscopy. I also used Shilajit-nanocarbons, as an enzyme immobilization matrix. Bromelain was successfully immobilized retaining ~30% of its original activity in immobilized form, with only 3% activity lost after 1 month exposure to ambient temperature (compared to 14% loss for free enzyme). My work proves soil materials to be a potent source of inexpensive, easily extractable nanocarbon forms with potential applications as inexpensive cellular imaging devices and as enzyme immobilization matrix. 205

2010
Kaushik Srivatsan K Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Mandya Karnataka Plant Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000 Second Award of USD 500 US Savings Bond Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty )AVASC) Foundation

Investigation of Antimicrobial Property of Ervatamia Coronaria Flower


Today scientists are in a constant lookout for new herbal antimicrobial drugs. This project investigates the antimicrobial properties of the extract of the flowers of Ervatamia coronaria to find out the efficacy of the same. In ancient traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, this flower is known to have curative properties for eye related inflammatory disorders. Fresh flowers of Ervatamia coronaria were collected, shade dried, powdered and methanol extraction was done. Experiments were conducted on Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis with the discs loaded with 10 l, 20 l, 30 l, 40 l, 50 l, 60 l, 70 l, 80 l, 90 l and 100 l of methanol extract of Ervatamia coronaria flowers. Similar experiments were conducted on Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium solani, Fusarium semitectum and Helminthosporium spp. by poisoned food technique at 500 ppm, 1000 ppm, 2000 ppm, 3000 ppm, 4000 ppm and 5000 ppm. Comparitive study revealed that microorganisms like bacteria treated with methanol extract of Ervatamia coronaria flowers inhibited Staphylococcus aureus (15 mm) and Bacillus subtilis (18 mm) when compared to gentamicin (23 mm and 22 mm) and control (0 mm). Similarly fungi like Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium solani, Fusarium semitectum and Helminthosporium spp. were inhibited by 100%, 100%, 80% and 100% respectively when compared to control (0%) and use of fungicide nystatin (100%). The TLC test done at an independent laboratory shows significant presence of active ingredients against bacteria and fungi. Thus the experiments demonstrate that Ervatamia coronaria extracts exhibit strong antimicrobial properties that can lead the future research direction to be used as herbal antibiotic.

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2011
Anarta Roy Manosij Ghosh Dastidar South Point High School Kolkata West Bengal Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000 Team Projects

Design of a Novel, Low Cost, Easy to Use, Auto-Disposable Syringe


Re-use of conventional disposable syringes has become a menace worldwide causing death of nearly 1. 3 million people a year, especially in poorer countries. We have designed an auto-disposable syringe that cannot be re-used after the first use even if one wants to do so. The design consists of two main partsthe barrel & the plunger. The barrel of the syringe is a uniform hollow cylinder having a cone-shaped head. At the base of the cone-shaped portion there is an inner lining that bulges out to form a ring-like rounded-surfaced projection that acts like a barrier for the plunger. Slightly above the ring-like projection and very close to the nose of the outlet, there are angular projections on the inner wall within the cone-shaped zone. The plunger of our syringe has a small hollow cylinder at the top containing two latching window slots in its wall. A rubber gasket is fitted around it to make it air-tight. A conical cap-like structure having two legs is inserted into the cylinder such that it passes beyond the latching window slots. When the plunger is pulled to draw medicine, the conical cap of the plunger gets obstructed with the ring shaped barrier of the barrel thereby increasing the length of the plunger as the medicine gets into the syringe. During injection of medicine the plunger moves till the head of the barrel & the conical top of the elongated plunger gets locked at the angular projections provided at the top of the barrel. Now any effort to pull the plunger back for re-use will break the cap off the plunger and the barrel will get clogged with the broken cap inside it, thus making the syringe non-reusable. Compared to other expensive one-time use syringes, our design principle is simple, low-cost and extremely easy to use.

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Manosij Ghosh Dastidar South Point High School Kolkata West Bengal Mathematical Sciences Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: Naming Process Under Way Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1,500 First Award of USD 1, 000 American Mathematical Society

Integer Partitions and Sequences


This project presents an extension of Stanleys theorem related to partitions of positive integers. Stanleys theorem states that the total number of distinct members in the partitions of a positive integer n is equal to the total number of 1s that occur in the partitions of n. My generalization states a similar relation between the total number of distinct members in the partitions of n and the total number of 2s or 3s or any general integer k that occur in the partitions of n and the subsequent integers. More precisely, the total number of distinct members in the partitions of a positive integer n is equal to the total number of ks that occur in the partitions of n, n+1, . . . , n + k -1. To the best of my knowledge, this result is a new extension of Stanleys theorem. This is applied to obtain an array of interesting corollaries, including alternate proofs and analogues of some well-known results in the theory of partitions. I extend Ramanujans results on congruence behavior of the `number of partition function p(n) to get analogous results for the number of occurrences of an element k in partitions of n. Further, I provide an alternate proof of Ramanujans congruence identities related to integer partitions.

2011
Finally, I have proposed a general structure of adding points to existing partitions in the Ferrers diagram and have formulated and proved a combinatorial result for adding k points to partitions of n and count the number of resultant partitions.

Diksha Gupta Maharaja Agarsain Public School New Delhi Microbiology Recognition at Intel ISEF Fifth Award of USD 250 American Society for Microbiology 208

An Eco-friendly Antifungal Agent: Leaf Extract of Girardinia Diversifolia


Cajanus cajan is one of the most important legumes in the world. Wilt caused by Fusarium udum is the most menacing fungal disease of C cajan. Chemical control methods are in practice to control Fusarium-wilt. But, the indiscriminate use of synthetic fungicides is causing health problems, environmental pollution and pathogen resistance. Utilization of plants and their products for pathogen management has become the demand of this century. So far no work has been done to explore the antifungal activity of leaves of G diversifolia, an annual herb of the family Urticaceae, growing abundantly in India. Thus in my research project, I have studied the efficacy of leaf extracts of G diversifolia on F udum. Antifungal activity of the aqueous and organic extracts of leaves of G diversifolia was studied following poison food technique. The aqueous extract showed complete inhibition of fungal growth at a concentration of 1,500 g/ml and inhibition of 95% spore germination at 2,000 g/ml. Moreover, it appeared to be fungicidal at concentrations >4,000 g/ml. The aqueous extract also caused significant reduction of wilt incidence in field conditions largely comparable to the systemic fungicide carbendazim. Phytochemical analysis of the extract confirmed presence of flavanoids, tannins, saponins and anthraquinone. The aqueous extract also showed insecticidal property causing 97% mortality in Helicoverpa armigera. Thus, aqueous extract of G diversifolia leaves possesses high fungi-toxicity and can be used as an eco-friendly, cost-effective and non-toxic alternative to harmful chemical fungicides.

2011
Raghavendra Ramachanderan St Johns International Residential School Chennai Tamil Nadu Chemistry Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet: Naming Process Under Way Intel ISEF Best of Category Award of USD 5, 000 for Top First Place Winner Grand Award First Prize of USD 3,000

Drug Synthesis: Braving Legendary Challenges


Drug synthesis is the most challenging field for the organic chemists because of its most tedious synthetic route. My project deals with the synthesis of three such molecules, all of them, may be a challenge. Firstly, a glycoheterocycle which has an active core caged by carbohydrates. The challenge lies in working with carbohydrates. The implication of this molecule is that it is a potential drug. The synthesis of this molecule provides a concise path for creating other molecules as well which can be screened. The second is the route to taxoids, which are a set of molecules that have unbelievably high medicinal properties against tumor cells. The challenge which still yearns easy methodology, is of construction of its 6, 8 framework which is being tackled. My project applies powerful transforms to make this framework, with positive results. The work can be extensively applied in the synthesis of taxoids, where the framework is no more a challenge. The final challenge is in making a 4th generation -lactam Cephalosporin antibiotic, which is considered mans defenses against bacteria. Cefepime, one such antibiotic is being synthesized. The key points of this synthesis are that it is reasonably eco-friendly, it could be scaled, concise and can be adopted in the synthesis of other -lactam antibiotics as well, making up the largest set in the antibiotic-drug industry.

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Ankur Kanjibhai Vaishnav Shree P V Modi High School Rajkot Gujarat Hetal Kanjibhai Vaishnav Late Shree S G Dholakiya Memorial High School Rajkot Gujarat Environmental Management Recognition at Intel ISEF Minor Planet (for Ankur): Naming Process Under Way Grand Award Second Prize of USD 1, 500

Recycling Rexine Waste: A Novel and Economical Approach


We have developed a novel and economic way of recycling rexine waste material by separating the fabric and polymeric components using cryogenic grinding technique in a modified kitchen mixer. For this we had frozen the rexine waste in liquid nitrogen. Then it was grounded to separate the polymeric material and the cloth fibers. Later the polymeric material was used for making composite sheets and moulded articles. The cloth fibers can be used for several downstream applications. We took 100 g rexine waste, washed in hot water, dried in sunlight and cut into small pieces. Then it was taken in a thermocol box and treated with liquid nitrogen for 2-3 min with all possible precautionary measures to make the rexine hard and brittle. The brittle rexine pieces were ground using the modified kitchen mixer for 5 min and seived (20 meshes/inch) to separate the cloth fibers from the polymeric powder. The polymeric powder was introduced into moulds at 120-130C for 35-40 minutes and subsequently cooled to fabricate the composite sheets. Cloth fibers were sent for carding or making fiber boards.

2011
We have introduced different waste fibers like jute wastes, cloth fibers from rexine waste, along with fillers like wooden waste powder etc. to the polymeric powder for improvement of physical properties of the products. The finished products have been evaluated for mechanical and physical properties. Our product finds an immense application in furniture industry and also a substitute for MDF and plywood.

Pramoda Nekkare Vishnumurthy Bhargava C S Sri Ramakrishna High School Puttur Karnataka Environmental Management 210 Recognition at Intel ISEF Grand Award Third Prize of USD 1, 000

Eco-Friendly Ink from Terminalia Chebula


Ink is a vital educational writing/drawing material which is used to keep records since ancient civilization. A variety of inks available in the market are usually prepared by hazardous chemicals. Extensive research has been carried out to develop eco-friendly and non toxic ink from natural resources. Fruits of Terminalia chebula, a giant tree growing abundantly in Western Ghats of India have been explored for production of natural ink. The fruits of T chebula have been powdered (1. 5 kg) and treated with water (1. 25 L) and ferric alum (100 gm) for 8 days. The mixture was then filtered, glycerol (5 ml) and acetone (5 ml) were added to the filtrate to obtain the complex dye as the black ink. It was found to be equal or better when compared to the standard writing inks. The ink is non-toxic, clear and hue, non-clogging and with good flow property. It is indelible in water, alcohol and acetone, does not fade under sunlight and maintained constant optical density. Additionally, we have added extracts of Bixa orellana fruits and Clitoria ternatea flowers to the preparation which resulted red and blue inks respectively. The ink thus obtained from is an eco-friendly natural product. The ingredients are easy to procure and can be scaled up in an industrial setup. It adds to the low cost natural product and finds application in fountain pens, screen printing, gel refills, ink-jet printing, ball pens, wall painting, coloring, xerox toners and preparation of indelible ink.

Scientific Review Committee


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The Scientific Review Committee (SRC) is a critically important part of the Initiative for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS), the single largest science initiative in India. It includes many eminent scientists, researchers and academicians. They are from various research institutes and scientific organisations, and are very committed to mentoring the student participants. They have been a constant source of inspiration and support to all the students, and have contributed greatly towards the success of the program. In this section, we profile the current members of the SRC. We owe them, and all those who were part of the SRC in earlier years, a huge debt of gratitude.

Dr Amal Kanti Paul


Professor Department of Botany University of Calcutta Research Interest Concentrates on the physiology and biochemistry of synthesis and accumulation of biopolyesters, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) by diverse heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria isolated from natural environments. Efforts are being made to develop cost effective method for production of novel PHAs with improved properties from renewable resources and to link PHA synthesis with bacterial metabolism and differentiation. There is a strong interest in studying intracellular utilisation and mobilisation of accumulated PHAs by intracellular PHA depolymerise (i-PHA depolymerise) as well as in vitro degradation of homo- and copolymers of short-chain-length hydroxyalkanoic acids (scl-PHAs) with emphasis on isolation and characterization of extracellular PHA depolymerises (e-PHA depolymarase). Studies are also conducted on microbial ecology of serpentine soils, a naturally occurring metalpercolated ecosystem inhabited by endemic nickel hyperaccumulators. Diversity, metabolic physiology and metal resistance in serpentine and non-serpentine microflora are compared. Metalmicrobe interactions in rhizo-microflora of metal hyperaccumulating plants are also studied for application in bioremediation approaches.

Microorganisms in chromite mining biotopes are another new field of research for exploring their potentials in metal prospecting and bioremediation. Bioleaching of metals from mine overburden and biosorption of metals help in removal and recovery of toxic metals. Chromium-resistant bacteria ubiquitous in chromite mine environment show bioreduction and bioaccumulation potential. Search for chromium reductases in bacteria from anthropogenic and geogenous sources are under progress. Teaching Microbiology: fundamental and applied aspects of microbiology including Microbial Biotechnology Awards Visiting Professor in the University of Yangon, Myanmar, under the Tripartite Agreement between the Union of Myanmar, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, and EdCil in 2005 and 2006 Professional Membership Biotech Research Society Association of Microbiologists of India Indian Mycological Society

Dr Arundhati Pal
Assistant Professor Department of Botany Serampore College Area of Specialisation Microbiology, Microbial Biotechnology Research Interest Diversity, metabolic physiology and metal resistance profile of serpentine microbiota from ultramafic ecosystem of Andaman, India. Bioremediation studies using nickel-resistant rhizobacteria underneath Ni-hyperaccumulating plants. Chromium reduction by whole cells, immobilised cells and cell-free extract of Cr-resistant bacteria from serpentine outcrops. Production of polyhydroxyalkanoates by rhizobacterial strains underneath Ni-hyperaccumulators. Microbial endophytes from medicinal plants: exploitation for bioactive compounds Selected Publications 1. Pal, Arundhati, and Paul, A K (2008), Microbial extracellular polymeric substances: Central elements in heavy metal bioremediation. Indian Journal of Microbiology 48: 49-64 2. Pal, Arundhati, Wauters, G, and Paul, A K (2007), Nickel tolerance and accumulation by bacteria from rhizosphere of nickel hyperaccumulators from serpentine soil of Andaman, India. Plant and Soil 293: 37-48

3. Pal, Arundhati, Ghosh, S, and Paul A K (2006), Biosorption of cobalt by fungi from serpentine soil of Andaman. Bioresource Technology 97: 1253-1258 4. Pal, Arundhati, Dutta S, Mukherjee, P K and Paul, A K (2005), Occurrence of heavy metal-resistance in microflora from serpentine soil of Andaman. Journal of Basic Microbiology 45: 207-218. 5. Pal, Arundhati, Dutta, S, and Paul, A K (2005), Reduction of hexavalent chromium by cell-free extract of Bacillus sphaericus AND 303 isolated from serpentine soil. Current Microbiology, 51: 327-330

Fluorescence behaviour of enzymes and how their function/activity are affected under various experimental (e.g. drug induced) conditions Mechanism of regulation of transport enzymes by protein kinase (through phosphorylation), endogenous stimulator and/or inhibitor proteins (to explore their role not only in cell regulation but to study them in detail in order to examine if they have any phamacological importance and to use these modulators as drugs particularly as contraceptive drugs ), determination of amino acid sequence of the regulator proteins, synthesise peptides corresponding to the sequence, examine the effect of the synthetic peptides and compare with the parent protein. Regulation of ATPases by synthetic compounds analog to certain know stimulators/inhibitors of the ATPases and study their possible use as anticancer agent.

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Dr Parimal C Sen
Professor Division of Molecular Medicine Bose Institute Kolkata Academic Qualifications Ph D, University of Calcutta (1977) Research Interest Different biochemical aspects of various transport enzymes e.g. Na+, K +-ATPase, Ca2+, Mg 2+-ATPase, Ca2+-ATPase, etc, and their interactions with different drugs (contraceptive and amphiphilic) and lipids in natural and model membranes

Dr C S Yogananda
Head of the Department Department of Mathematics Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering Mysore Academic Qualifications B Sc, M Sc, Ph D Research Interests Include number theory, arithmetic, and mathematics education Achievements & Interests 214 Obtained his Ph D in Mathematics in 1990 from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai He has been involved in the Mathematical Olympiad Programme at different levels since 1989. His research interests lie in number theory. His other interests include classical music and mountaineering.

Dr A Srinivasan
Professor Department of Physics Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati Academic Qualifications Ph D (Physics), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (1992); Thesis title: Investigations on the mechanical threshold in IV-V-VI glasses M Sc (Engg), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (1989); Thesis title: Some studies related to quasicrystalline materials M Sc (Physics); Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli (1985) B Sc (Physics), Madras University (1983) Research/Academic Experience (Post-Ph D) Visiting Scientist, Magnetic Materials Center, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Japan, from January 2009 to December 2009 Professor, Physics Department, IIT Guwahati, from July 2004 onwards Associate Professor, Physics Department, IIT Guwahati, from June 2001 to July 2004 Assistant Professor, Physics Department, IIT Guwahati, from February1997 to June 2001 Reader, Physics Department, Assam University, Silchar, from April 1996 to February 1997 Visiting Scientist, Solid State Physics Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, from October 1995 to April 1996

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Instituto de Estructura de la Materia, CSIC, Madrid, Spain, from October 1993 to September 1995 Scientist Fellow, Length Standards Section, National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, from November 1992 to September 1993 Awards/Honours Received: Department of Atomic Energy (Government of India) Young Scientist Research Award in Physics for the year 1996

Dr Hemant Pande
Professor of Chemistry Hislop College Nagpur Research Interests Engaged in research fields like: Analytical Chemistry Water Pollution Polymer Chemistry With over 30 years of teaching experience to undergraduate and post graduate students, his works include his research in natural adsorbent materials for purifying water.

Achievements & Interests He has been: Co-opted Member of the Executive Committee of Indian Association of Chemistry Teachers Governing Council Member of the Central India Research Institute, Nagpur Executive Member of Swadeshi Vidyan Sanshodhan Sanstha, Nagpur Vice President of Bharatiya Yatri Kendra, Nagpur Resource person, for over 8 years, for the residential campfor the National Talent Search Examination, organised by State Institute for Science Education, Nagpur Involved in Olympiad activities for many years He has been associated for over 5 years with IRIS.

Dr Kishore Amin
Cancer Research Institute Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai Academic Qualifications M Sc degree in Life Science Ph D in Biochemistry Achievements Produced a number of monoclonal antibodies using Hybridoma technology against cancer antigens Awarded research grants to conduct research in diagnosis and solutions related to combating cancer Trained students and scientists in Hybridoma technology and Flow cytometry He holds MSc degree in Life Science, PhD in Biochemistry.

Dileep Paruchuri
IA Senior Software Engineer Intel Technologies India Pvt Ltd Bangalore 13+ years of industry experiencewith Intel for the last 11+ years Responsible for Software Architecture, Planning and Execution for Innovative Products Team Academic Qualifications Masters in Software Systems from BITS, Pilani B Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from Pondicherry Engineering College, Pondicherry Experience Summary Extensive experience in System Software, Performance Optimisation, Data Networking, Embedded Systems and Virtualisation domains spanning Linux, VxWorks, Moblin, and MeeGo Operating Systems For the last three years, Mr Paruchuri is part of the Intel Innovation Team, developing products for local Indian markets. The team looks at opportunities for creating new products that have the potential to directly and significantly make a difference to people in India and worldwide by their unique usefulness and value add. These products can be very new with radically different ideas or enhancements over existing products. Mr Paruchuri developed the Software for the SmarTV, Universal Handheld Device, a dual screen Student Education/Study Deviceall based on Intel Architecture. He has significant experience on IA and embedded devices platforms. 215

Dr Harish Bhat
Active Environmentalist Indian Institute of Science Bangalore Dr Harish Bhat is an active environmentalist and is involved in a lot of Science popularisation programmes. He has conducted the maximum number of workshops for IRIS in South India and has inspired many students to understand research and innovation. He has also visited rural areas and has helped children there develop a scientific bent of mind.

He has published research papers in national and international journals. Dr Amin has been associated with Intels science programs in India for over 5 years now: Has conducted various workshops and delivered lecture regarding initiating research in schools and colleges Trainer for teachers in research programmes in Intels science initiatives

Anuprita Rajesh
Executive Assistant to the President Intel India Bangalore Anuprita Rajesh is Executive Assistant to the President Intel India since 2007. She has been responsible for general management of the Presidents Office, and also supports the Intel India Operations Team, which includes internal business-enabling operations. Academic Qualifications Bachelors degree in Life Sciences from Ram Narain Ruia College, Matunga, Mumbai (1994) 216 Masters degree in Neurobiology from Mumbai University (1996)

Led projects technically and from the project management perspective. Currently, he manages programs and products that deliver innovative products to the market.

Ajit Mutlenchera
Project Management Professional Intel Technologies India Pvt Ltd Bangalore Academic Qualifications Masters in Information Technology (MIT) from MATS School of Information Technology, Bangalore BBA from University of Madras, Chennai Diploma in Sales and Marketing from Pentagon Academy, Chennai Experience Summary Manages projects and provides System Analysis support to the business. He has overall work experience of 10 years. Successfully managed several projects within the organisation and created project plans to monitor project schedule and scope. Manages projects involving cross-functional teams focused on their delivery into a finished state Monitors the assigned task to project resource personnel, such as business analysts and programmers through frequent follow up

Sachin Chaubey
Senior Program Manager Intel Technologies India Pvt Ltd Bangalore Academic Qualifications Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Telecommunications Experience Summary Intel certified Project Management Professional (PMP), with experience in project planning, execution, monitoring and resource balancing skills, with ability to support multiple simultaneous projects in a matrix organisational structure: more than a decade of experience in this area.

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