First place: “ Erika DeBenedictis, 18, of Albuquerque, N.M., (…) for her project developing a software navigation system to help improve spacecraft travel through the solar system. Erika’s research found that the gravity and movement of planets create “easy transit routes,” which will ultimately help spacecraft move faster and with less fuel.
Second place: David Liu, 18, of Saratoga, Calif., (…) for his work to develop a system to recognize and understand digital images. David’s work has already been used to examine aerial images to identify hazards to buried oil pipelines and could also be used to enable unmanned aerial vehicles and Web-based image searches.
Third place: Akhil Mathew, 18, of Madison, N.J., (…) for his math project on Deligne categories, a setting for studying a wide range of algebraic structures with ties to theoretical physics.
Other top honors from the competition include:
Fourth place: Lynnelle Ye, 18, Palo Alto, Calif., (…) for her project that provided strategies for winning at a computer game titled “Graph Chomp.”
Fifth place: Eric Brooks, 16, Hewlett, N.Y., (…) for his research studying racial genetic factors that may affect the spread of prostate cancer.
Sixth place: John Capodilupo, 18, of Grand Rapids, Mich., (…) for his project that used cluster analysis of objects in the night sky to study the structure and evolution of the early universe.
Seventh place: Benjamen Sun, 17, of Grand Forks, N.D., (…) for his work studying how sand, dust and other debris on city streets can adsorb pollutants from rain and, thus, contaminate city water sources.
Eighth place: Katherine Rudolph, 18, of Naperville, Ill., (…) for her math project that investigated dense packing of identical spheres, the results of which can be used in fields from chemistry to cryptology.
Ninth place: Yale Fan, 18, of Beaverton, Ore., (…) for his research that demonstrated the advantages of quantum computing in performing difficult computations.
Tenth place: Linda Zhou, 18, of River Edge, N.J., (…) for her project that researched how to reverse drug resistance in breast cancer cells.
The Intel Science Talent Search encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions and develop the skills necessary to solve the problems of tomorrow. Over the past 68 years, Science Talent Search finalists have gone on to win seven Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals, three National Medals of Science and 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.