The dominance of Indian origin students was evident at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) here with more than 30 students from different parts of the world bagging awards while the Indian contingent of eight students could not impress the judges with their innovations.

The lone exception was Akshat Boobna from New Delhi who received the ‘Certificate of Honorable Mention’ for his project on finding best speaker position using new algorithms to determine acoustic properties of a room.

The special awards in different categories were given away in a glittering ceremony at the Phoenix Convention Centre. These awards are sponsored by various institutions, universities and research organizations carrying cash prizes ranging from US $ 300 to 15,000. However, the grand prize would be announced on Friday.

The cynosure of all eyes was Vinay Iyengar from Portland Oregon who bagged three awards – a full scholarship to the Florida Institute of Technology, a fully paid summer internship at the FBK Research Lab in Italy, and a US $ 3,000 award from Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society.

These awards mean a lot to me given the immense value they are attached with, and that my work has been recognised by the best brains in the world,” said Vinay, a 11th grade student at the Oregon Episcopal School in Portlan. His project was titled “Efficient Characterstic 3 Galois Field Cryptographic Applictions.”

His father Sridhar Iyengar, Director of a research lab at Intel and his mother Veena Iyengar, an administrative assistant at the Oregon Episcopal School couldn’t conceal their happiness at their son’s achievement. “He should hog all the limelight now and not us,” his mother told The Hindu even as participants congratulated her.

Neha Reddy gasped in amazement when her name was called for a US $ 60,000 scholarship at the University of Science, Philadelphia. Born and brought up at Fort Pierce, Florida, this16-year old was a personification of confidence as she walked to receive her prize amidst a thunderous applause.

“In my research, I found an environmentally friendly, safe, specific solution to the international and expensive problem of citrus greening, which affects numerous countries including India and the USA,” she said. Her father, an anesthesiologist and her mother, a bio-chemist hail from Hyderabad.

A Hyderabadi, but now representing Singapore, Prithvi Gundlapalli won a US $ 4,000 scholarship from American Chemical Society for his work on high performance anodes for Lithium ion batteries using Cobalt compounds obtained by bulk preparation methods. His ambition is to do research in Particle Physics.

Other Indian origin students who received awards include Niyanthesh A. Reddy from Ocala, Florida; Raghav Tripathi from Portland, Oregon; Eesha Khare from San Jose, California; Shilpa Iyer and Shweta Iyer fro Port Jefferson Station, New York; Simanta Gautam from Charlottesville, Virginia; Akhil Nistala from Novi, Michigan; Jay Kumar from Louisville, Kentucky ; Avinash Kumar Pandey from Waterloo, Canada; Tejas Dharmaraj and Manav Ajay Sevak from Chandler, Arizona and Anuush Krishna Vejalla from Beverly Hills, Michigan.

(The journalist is at the event on the invitation of Intel)

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