Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Intel's $100,000 prize winner

Shivani Sud, 17, of Durham, submitted a bioinformatics and genomics project to the Intel Science Talent Search that focused on identifying stage II colon cancer patients at high risk for recurrence and the best therapeutic agents for treating their tumors. The standard method of characterizing tumors relies on visual information, including size, degree of metastasis and microscopic structure. Shivani's 50-gene model for predicting the recurrence of colon cancer instead uses gene expression profiles to link multiple genetic events that characterize various tumor types. She created her model using two public data sets containing 125 patient samples and coupled it with clinical data to plot statistically significant survival curves. She then used her model to identify drugs that may be effective in treating stage II colon cancer. The daughter of Ish and Anu Sud, Shivani is first in her class of 358 at Charles E. Jordan High School and represents the students at school board meetings. She is a Teen Court student attorney, a Durham Rescue Mission volunteer and performs classical and modern Indian dance. Shivani plans to attend Princeton or Harvard, earn an M.D./Ph.D. and have a career in research.
The March 2008 top 10 college scholarship awards for the Intel Science Talent Search (STS)
link here . 17!! I'd be really interested how she learnt how to do the model. This is the great thing about open source, open data - you can throw it out to the world, and get huge payback - A case in point is the open sourcing of gold mining data that is an example in Clay Shirky's here Comes everybody - the concept works well for a lot of the time - offer a bounty, a decent prize fund for the top 1/5/10 or so, then give them the raw data - by not constraining them, they'll probably have a much bigger view outsiede the box of how to get to the final result wanted.

There are some other great and "they can do that at their age - I need to get my scientific act together" feel:

Brian Davis McCarthy, 18, of Hillsboro, focused his research on developing new types of solar cells for his Intel Science Talent Search project in chemistry. Brian synthesized extremely thin and fragile films and verified his results using scanning electron microscopy techniques. His films consisted of interfacially polymerized combinations of porphyrins and phthalocyanines - plant-like photosynthetic materials found in nature that are photoactive and photoconducting - both properties of functioning solar cells. Brian's novel polymer films responded electrically to light indicating that they could act as solar cells and may be a less expensive option to today's silicon-based solar cell technology, and help meet increasing demands for renewable energy. A Rensselaer Medal award winner, Brian hopes to attend MIT or Harvard and one day join a research team developing new sources of energy. He is first in his class of 293 at Liberty High School and belongs to the varsity track and field team. In his spare time, Brian works with the community emergency response team and enjoys strategy games, Legos and studying aviation history. He is the son of Brian and Karen McCarthy.
A lot of them seem to have a finger in Intel's work previously, or had help, and also debate a lot - they're polymaths even as Minors.

Prediction - the first decent stab at making an iPhone app that interacts with IP enabled power switches/plugs/products etc is going to make a killing. iControl is probably the closest to it currently - but this is merely security. We're talking anything chip and net enabled that needs to plug in the wall for power.

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