Nathan Han, 15, has developed a
machine learning software tool to study mutations of a gene linked to breast
year, around 7 million high school students across the globe develop and submit
original research for the Intel ISEF competition. Over 1,700 participants from
more than 70 countries, regions, and territories were selected to join this
year's "week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math".
Last year's competition was won by Romanian teenager Ionut Budisteanu who
designed a low-cost self-driving car.
year, over 500 finalists were rewarded for their research,
including 17 "Best of Category" winners who each received a US$5,000 prize. Two
Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of $50,000 were awarded and the top
prize of $75,000 was given to Han as the winner of the the Gordon E. Moore
Award, named after the Intel co-founder and scientist.
software developed by Han, who is from the US, sourced data from publicly
available databases to examine characteristics across different mutations of
BRCA1, a gene that helps to suppress tumors. Han's software was able to "learn"
how to differentiate between mutations that cause disease and those that do not
with an 81 percent accuracy rate.
the two Young Scientist Awards, Lennart Kleinwort, also 15 and from Germany,
developed an app that lets users hand-draw curves, lines, and geometric figures
and then render them "into shapes and equations that can then be manipulated at
will." The second Young Scientist Award went to 17-year-old Shannon Xinjing Lee
from Singapore. Lee developed an electrocatalyst made entirely from
carbonized Chinese eggplant. It
outperformed a more sophisticated commercial catalyst and could be used in the
batteries of the future.
contest was judged by more than 1,200 scientists with either a Ph.D. or the
equivalent of six years of professional scientific experience. More than $5
million in prizes was awarded at this year's contest.
world needs more scientists, makers, and entrepreneurs to create jobs, drive
economic growth, and solve pressing global challenges,"
says Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. "Intel believes
that young people are the key to innovation, and we hope that these winners
inspire more students to get involved in science, technology, engineering, and
math, the foundation for creativity."
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