The top award, a $100,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation, went to Mary Masterman, 17, who built an accurate spectrograph that identifies the specific characteristics – or “fingerprints” – of different kinds of molecules. Spectrographs have wide applications in research and industry and can cost as much as $100,000. Mary’s invention cost hundreds of dollars.
The rest of the top 10 winners are listed below:
Second Place: John Pardon, 17, of Chapel Hill, N.C., received a $75,000 scholarship for his project that solved a classical open problem in differential geometry. John showed that a finite-length closed curve in the plane can be made convex in a continuous manner, and without bringing any two points of the curve closer together.
Third Place: Dmitry Vaintrob, 18, of Eugene, Ore., received a $50,000 scholarship for his sophisticated investigation of ways to associate algebraic structures to topological spaces. Dmitry proved that loop homology and Hochschild cohomology coincide for an important class of spaces.
Fourth Place: Catherine Schlingheyde, 17, of Oyster Bay, N.Y., received a $25,000 scholarship for her research on microRNA repression, a basic mechanism that regulates cell function.
Fifth Place: Rebecca Kaufman, 17, of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., received a $25,000 scholarship for her study of the effects of male hormones in a model of schizophrenia.
Sixth Place: Gregory Brockman, 18, of Thompson, N.D., received a $25,000 scholarship for his mathematics project that provided a thorough analysis of Ducci sequences, also known as the “four number game.”
Seventh Place: Megan Blewett, 17, of Madison, N.J., received a $20,000 scholarship for her analysis of a protein that may be implicated in multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Eighth Place: Daniel Handlin, 18, of Lincroft, N.J., received a $20,000 scholarship for developing an accurate, low-cost method of determining the position of geo-stationary Earth-orbit (GEO) satellites.
Ninth Place: Meredith MacGregor, 18, of Boulder, Colo., received a $20,000 scholarship for her research on the fluid dynamics of the “Brazil Nut Effect,” in which shaken particles separate by size with the largest on top.Tenth Place: Emma Call, 18, of Baltimore, Md., received a $20,000 scholarship for the fabrication of 3-D microcubes, which have potential use as novel drug-delivery devices