Following a week-long celebration of science at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public announced the top award winners for 2013.
Ionut Budisteanu, 19, of Romania, received top honors with the Gordon E. Moore Award and a USD 75,000 prize. Eesha Khare, 18, of Saratoga, California, and Henry Wanjune Lin, 17, of Shreveport, Louisiana, each received an Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and a USD 50,000 scholarship.
In addition, more than 400 Intel ISEF competitors received scholarships and prizes for innovative research presented at the competition. This included 17 "Best of Category" winners, as well as grants to the winners' schools and their Intel ISEF-affiliated fairs.
Intel ISEF awards included more than USD 4 million in scholarships and prizes.
Ionut Alexandru Budisteanu, 19, of Romania, won the Gordon E. Moore Award for using artificial intelligence to create a viable model for a low-cost, self-driving car. Ionut’s research addresses a major global issue. Annually, car accidents cause 1.24 million deaths worldwide1, 90 percent of which result from driver error2. With 3-D radar and mounted cameras, Ionut created a feasible design for an autonomously controlled car that could detect traffic lanes and curbs, along with the real-time position of the car. And the cost: only $4,000. The Gordon E. Moore Award, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and retired chairman/CEO, includes USD 75,000 in scholarship funds.
Runners-up honors went to two individuals named as Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award winners. Each of these students received USD 50,000 in scholarship funds for their ground-breaking projects.
With the rapid adoption of portable electronics, Eesha Khare, 18, of Saratoga, California, recognized the crucial need for energy-efficient storage devices. She developed a tiny device called a supercapacitor, which allows an LED to fully charge within 20 – 30 seconds. The project builds on existing research in the area, and specifically aims to create an improved supercapacitor with increased energy density, while maintaining power density and long life cycle. Eesha’s invention has potential applications for car batteries and cell phone batteries.
By simulating thousands of clusters of galaxies, Henry Wanjune Lin, 17, of Shreveport, Louisiana, has provided scientists with valuable new data, allowing them to better understand the mysteries of astrophysics, including dark matter, dark energy and the balance of heating and cooling in the universe’s most massive objects.
The Davao Region in the Philippines produces one of the country’s main export products: bananas. One of the primary challenges to the banana industry, not only in the Philippines, but globally, are disease-causing fungi that can wipe-out entire plantations, and with it, the livelihood of the entire community. In 2012, Judel Tabsing, a senior high school student at the Panabo National High School, Davao del Norte began to investigate a possible solution to the problems caused by the fungus, Fusarium Tropical Race 4. He wanted to kill the dangerous fungi without causing harm to the environment, as the popular chemical-based fungicide used by the plantations was doing. His study on the use of the leaves of a local plant called Kamantique (Impatiens Balsamina) demonstrated an effective alternative fungicide that did not cause damage to the environment.
After besting competitors at the Regional and National Science Fairs, he represented the country as one of the Philippine delegates to the 2013 Intel ISEF in Phoenix, Arizona, where he won the 4th Grand Award for the category on Plant Sciences.
According to Judel, “my experience in the Intel ISEF was really amazing - absolutely incredible. You can meet other young scientific minds from different countries and share your innovation, and also learn more from their projects - particularly on how they contribute to the world. Personally, it gave me a good sense of direction for the future and I have learned many scientific things. My curiosity deepened and my confidence was boosted. My patience and maturity were also developed. I feel so proud of being honored for my work at Intel ISEF. This is my first time in a world-class science competition and getting the 4th Grand Award is a highlight of my life, it’s one of my greatest achievements. This once-in-a-lifetime experience has been nothing but outstanding. I will cherish these moments for the rest of my life and I hope to share my experiences with the next Intel ISEF Finalists from Philippines!”
1World Health Organization
2International Organization for Road Accident Prevention