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May 20, 2011

Sigma Xi Awards at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC –Sigma Xi presented special awards for interdisciplinary research at ther 2011 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles.

The First Place Award of $2,500 went to the team of Arianne Elizabeth Papa and Jane Elizabeth Smyth of Lido Beach, New York, for their project "Mussels, A Natural Approach to Sewer Treatment: Evaluation Geukensia Demissa as Biofilters of Local Bay Pollution." This team also won an award in the Environmental category.

The Second Place Award of $1,500 went to the team of Mike Wu and Stephen Yu of San Diego, California for their project "Position and Vector Detection of Blind Spot Motion with Horn-Schunck Optical Flow."

And the Third Place Prize of $1,000 went to sisters Lisa and Tess Michaels of Plano, Texas for a project titled "Neuroscience of Longevity: Effects of Stress and Antioxidant Genes on the Lifespan of Transgenic Drosophila Melanogaster." This team also won an award in the biomedicine category. (A video of Lisa and Tess Michaels experience at Intel ISEF, Sigma Xi award presentation is at the 7 minute mark.)

Matthew Feddersen and Blake Marggraff from Lafayette, California were awarded the top prize at the ISEF, a program of Society for Science & the Public. They received $75,000 and the Gordon E. Moore (SX 1953) Award, in honor of the Intel co-founder and retired chairman and CEO, for developing a potentially more effective and less expensive cancer treatment that places tin metal near a tumor before radiation therapy. Taylor Wilson from Reno, Nevada was named an Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award winner and received $50,000. Taylor developed one of the lowest dose and highest sensitivity interrogation systems for countering nuclear terrorism.

The team of Pornwasu Pongtheerawan, Arada Sungkanit and Tanpitcha Phongchaipaiboon from Thailand also received an Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award. This team determined that a gelatin found in fish scales could be successfully used in modern day fish packaging—an invention that could have positive, long-term effects for the environment.

"The innovation, the methodology, the quality of research—I am so encouraged when I see how bright these young people are. I can only be optimistic about our future with these students as the next generation of leaders in science," said Sigma Xi Executive Director Jerry Baker.

Along with Jerry Baker, four Society members volunteered to be judges for the Sigma Xi Special Award for "Best Demonstration of Interdisciplinary Research"

  • Anne Rosenwald - Georgetown University
  • Kam Dahlquist – Loyola Marymount University
  • Stan Tahara – University of Southern California
  • Suzanne Nicholas – University of California, Los Angeles

In addition to the winners mentioned above, more than 400 finalists received awards and prizes for their groundbreaking work. Awards included 17 "Best of Category" winners who each received a $5,000 prize. The Intel Foundation also awarded a $1,000 grant to each winner's school and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair-affiliated fair they represent.

This year, more than 1,500 young entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists were selected to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world's largest high school science research competition. They were selected from 443 affiliate fairs in 65 countries, regions and territories, including for the first time France, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Macao SAR of the People's Republic of China.

About Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society of research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters at colleges and universities, government laboratories and industry research centers. Membership is by invitation, in recognition of research potential or achievement. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist, the non-profit Society awards hundreds of grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.


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