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America’s Brightest Teens to be Honored in Washington D.C.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development will recognize 20 students across the country with the Davidson Fellows Scholarship on September 27 at a reception in Washington D.C. The recipients received $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 awards for projects in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature and Music.

“I am honored to be a Davidson Fellow Laureate,” said Rishab Gargeya, a $50,000 Davidson Fellow scholarship recipient. “This accolade further validates the work that I have done for the last few years and motivates me to continue innovating in the future.”

Gargeya, an incoming freshman at Stanford University, is just one of the 20 Davidson Fellows this year, receiving the largest award as a Davidson Fellow Laureate. He created a smartphone app that uses artificial intelligence to detect basic eye-care issues, circumventing clinicians and saving users costly medical bills. This app can help people diagnose themselves in seconds so they can accurately monitor their own vision health and get medical attention accordingly.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development has awarded more than $7.1 million over 17 years through the Davidson Fellows scholarships, recognizing more than 300 of the nation’s best and brightest young students.

“We are thrilled to recognize the 2017 Davidson Fellows not only for their incredible projects, but also for the journey they forged to reach this point,” said Bob Davidson, founder of the Davidson Institute. “Every year I am amazed by the depth of the Fellows’ accomplishments. Through encouragement and recognition, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development anticipates that gifted students like these will be among the pioneers who will solve the world’s most vexing problems.”

Davidson Fellows not only represent some of the brightest young minds in the country, but they also demonstrate a strong desire to improve the world around them. Many of the Fellows’ projects are inspired by personal experiences that drive them to find a solution to a problem, and each Fellow is driven to use their passion and intelligence to make the world a better place.

Irene Vasquez, 18, is one of these Davidson Fellows who has a passion to educate the world. Her writing portfolio discusses the need for translation in today’s increasingly diverse America. Her work implores people to reach across distances and break down barriers that separate communities.

“So many children in this country are growing up in bilingual worlds, whether they speak Spanish, Vietnamese, or Somali,” wrote Vazquez. “I think it’s important that we expose young immigrant and minority children to writers that look like them and reflect the worlds that they live in.”

The Davidson Fellows program seeks to recognize young people who have developed significant projects that have great potential to benefit society. This year’s Davidson Fellows exemplify the extraordinary work that can be accomplished by gifted young students who are given opportunities to excel.

Following are this year’s Davidson Fellows and their projects:

2017 Davidson Fellow Laureates

$50,000 Scholarships

  • Miss Carissa Chen, 18, Exeter, N.H.; Afterimages of Atrocity – Humanizing the Self and the State
  • Mr. Rishab Gargeya, 18, Saratoga, Calif.; EyeLogic: All-Purpose Vision Disease Detection in Clinic-Sourced and Low-Cost Smartphone-Based Retinal Images

2017 Davidson Fellows

$25,000 Scholarships

  • Mr. Benjamin “Benjy” Firester, 17, New York, N.Y.; Modeling the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Phytophthora infestans at a Regional Scale
  • Mr. Zlatomir Fung, 18, Westborough, Mass.; Folk Music Influence in the Classical Tradition
  • Mr. Alexander Kirov, 18, Evans, Ga.; Exosomes in Amyloid Aggregates Promote Neuronal Damage: A Mechanism of Alzheimer’s Pathology
  • Mr. Arjun Ramani, 18, West Lafayette, Ind.; Fast Sampling of Stochastic Kronecker Graphs
  • Mr. Manan Shah, 17, Los Altos, Calif.; Deep Learning Assessment of Tumor Proliferation in Histopathological Images for Categorical and Molecular Breast Cancer Severity Diagnosis
  • Mr. Arvind Sridhar, 18, Sunnyvale, Calif.; Engineering Injectable, Conductive Hydrogels Doped with Graphene and Graphene Oxide Nanoparticles for Post-MI Cardiac Tissue Engineering and Robust Drug Discovery: A Computationally-Aided Investigation for Enhancing Therapeutic Efficacy
  • Miss Maria “Irene” Vazquez, 18, Houston, Texas; Ebb and Flow: Translating Lives and Transition
  • Mr. Felix Wang, 18, Newton, Mass.; Functional Equations in Complex Analysis and Number Theory
  • Mr. William Yin, 18, Riverside, Conn.; Portable, Low-Cost Tattoo-Based Biosensor for the Non-Invasive Self-Diagnosis and Quantification of Atherosclerosis

$10,000 Scholarships

  • Miss Allison Huang, 18, Princeton, N.J.; Personal Culture: Voicing the Experiences of Postcolonial Youth Navigating Identity in a Globalized World
  • Mr. David “Davey” Huang, 17, Honolulu, Hawaii; A Noninvasive Morphokinetic Model For Aneuploidy Screening of Human Preimplantation Embryos
  • Mr. Anthony Kang, 16, San Diego, Calif.; New Antibacterials: Conjugation-Mediated Transmission of Cytotoxic Genes for Targeted Bacterial Cell Elimination
  • Miss Kathy Liu, 18, Sandy, Utah; Nature-Based Solid Polymer Electrolytes for Improved Safety, Sustainability and Efficiency in High-Performance Rechargeable Batteries
  • Mr. John Peter “J.P.” Redmond, 18, Yonkers, N.Y.; Literature and Landscape: Receiving and Giving Inspiration as a Composer
  • Miss Nishita Sinha, 18, Chatham, N.J.; Experimental Studies in Developing Safe Sanitation Solutions
  • Mr. Pranav Sivakumar, 17, Tower Lakes, Ill.; Searches for Almost Dark Galaxies in Blank Sky Fields with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
  • Miss Vera Zarubin, 16, Bronx, N.Y.; A Novel Methodology to Build Organic Thermoelectric Materials For Sustainable and Renewable Energy Applications
  • Miss Mary Zhu, 18, Nashua, N.H.; Impact of Carbon Tax Policies on the Global Agricultural Economy: A Computational Spatial Partial Equilibrium Modeling Approach

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