Ward Melville High School seniors Albert Liu, Kirti Nath, Kavya Tangella and Nestor Tkachenko captured top science accolades this January and were named 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholars in recognition of their work on complex science research topics.
Only 300 students were selected from a pool of 1750 as 2017 Scholars; each of who were awarded a $2,000 scholarship and a matching $2,000 donation per student was donated to their school.
From the pool of scholars, 40 student finalists will be selected later this month and invited to Washington, D.C. in March to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists and compete for awards, including the top award of $250,000.
The Regeneron Science Talent Search, a program of the Society for Science and the Public, is the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition. It was formally known as the Intel Science Talent Search and, under that name, recognized students at this level as Intel Semifinalists.
“These students are highly deserving of our accolades, as are all of the InSTAR seniors who submitted their research to this prestigious science competition,” said Principal Dr. Alan Baum. “Congratulations to the mentors and teachers of these students as well.”
Albert, whose project was titled “Anomaly Detection in Time Series of Dependent Stochastic Block Model Graphs,” worked under the direction of a mentor at Johns Hopkins University. He is planning to study computer science at Carnegie Mellon University this fall. The other three scholars worked under the tutelage of mentors at Stony Brook University. Kirti, whose project was titled “Assessing the Developmental and Metabolic Toxicity of Neuroactive Pharmaceuticals Using Early Life Stage Zebrafish (Danio rerio),” is planning to study economics and life science at the University of Pennsylvania. Kavya, whose project was titled “Hearing Sounds, and the Illusion of Seeing Longer-Lasting Shapes,” will be attending Johns Hopkins University and is leaning toward studying neuroscience. Nestor, whose project was titled “Can Cars Fly? Eddy Current Levitation as Viable Technology,” is undecided on which college he will attend but is looking to explore the field of engineering physics.
Upon hearing the news, the students were filled with a wide array of emotions. “I was really surprised, very happy and proud when I heard my name announced,” said Albert. “It is really such a blessing to get to do this type of work at such a young age. I am truly grateful for all that helped me to do it,” said Kirti.
Both Nestor and Kavya see their projects as a source of inspiration for the future. “I look forward to using advancing technologies to have this concept become a reality in the future,” said Nestor. “The work that I completed was so rewarding as it exposed me to a field that inspired what I wanted to study in college and what career path I want to take in the future,” said Kavya.