The Intel Foundation has announced top winners of the the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, selected from more than 1,550 young scientists from 51 countries, regions and territories.
- Natalie Saranga Omattage of Cleveland, Miss.
- Sana Raoof of Muttontown, N.Y.
- Yi-Han Su of Chinese Taipei.
Omattage developed a more efficient and less expensive way to screen for food additive contaminants, including those responsible for the recent deaths of many pets. By developing biosensors based on quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), Omattage's research provides a new way for ports and warehouses to more thoroughly screen for food additives and other contaminants that could be found in food imported into the United States.
Raoof's research provided new insight into how a better understanding of mathematical knot theory could help resolve classic biochemical problems. Specifically, her work focused on the Alexander-Conway polynomial invariant for chord diagrams to help prove how to classify molecules on a structural basis.
Su focused her efforts on identifying a high-activity catalyst that could improve methanol reforming reactions in order to generate hydrogen more efficiently. In doing so, Su has developed a method that can be used to improve the homogeneity of metal mixing and increase the surface area of catalysts which can also be used for the synthesis of other multi-composition materials with high homogeneity.
"To see young students from around the world develop innovative solutions to problems confronting society shows the true power of this international science fair," said Intel Corporation Chairman Craig Barrett. "Sana, Natalie and Yi-Han demonstrate that dedication to science inquiry can transcend boundaries and show what we can accomplish when we focus on education and science."
In addition to the three $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award winners, more than 500 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair participants received scholarships and prizes for their groundbreaking work. Intel awards included 18 "Best of Category" winners who each received a $5,000 Intel scholarship and a new laptop featuring the Intel Core2 Duo processor.