Five Indian American students were among the 20 bright young people named as Davidson Fellows for 2013, a program that offers $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships to students 18 or younger who have created significant projects that have the potential to benefit society in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, music and philosophy.
Receiving $25,000 scholarships are Ankita Ghoshal, 18, of Austin, Texas, for her project, “Sustainable 100w Portable Generators for 24/7/365 Power Demand”; and Aashna Mago, 17, of Newtown, Pa., for a project on “A Novel EZH2 Histone Methyltransferase Inhibitor: Potential Advancement in Epigenetic Cancer Therapy.”
Ghoshal attends Princeton University and studies chemical and biological engineering. She hopes to go to business school and eventually start her own technology company. She won the 2012 Outstanding Sustainability Award at I-SWEEEP and won first place in the 2012 ExxonMobile Texas Science and Engineering Fair.
Mago is a freshman at Stanford University and is considering a major in biology with a focus in molecular and cellular biology while also exploring more unfamiliar areas, like computer science and “Symbolic Systems,” an area of study at Stanford that encompasses artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and the human-computer interface.
Receiving $10,000 scholarships are Ajay Krishnan, 17, Portland, Ore., for “Optimizing the Microbial Fuel Cell-Microbial Electrolysis Cell Coupled System for Sustainable Hydrogen Gas”; and Vinay Sriram, 17, of Boyds, Md., for “Quantitative Modeling of Processing Cost and Energy Consumption for Cryptographically Enhanced Secure Internet Routing Protocol.”
Also receiving a $10,000 scholarship is Vaibhav Vavilala, 18, of Indianapolis, Ind., for “Neural Networks: Raising the Storage Capacity Production, Electricity Generation, and Improved Wastewater Treatment.”
Krishnan is a rising senior at the Oregon Episcopal School. His dream career would be to develop efficient and environmentally-friendly energy technologies to help make our planet more sustainable. He won the 2012 U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition, was the gold medalist at the 2012 ISWEEEP competition, and was a regional finalist in the 2013 Google Science Fair.
Sriram is a rising senior in the accelerated science, mathematics, and computer science magnet program at Poolesville High School and plans to major in either computer science or electrical engineering in college. He was a finalist at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where he won a third place grand award in the Computer Science category.
Vavilala is a freshman at Columbia University planning on studying computer science. He has been named a National Merit Finalist, a National AP Scholar, an Intel STS Semifinalist, a Siemens Regional Finalist, an Intel ISEF Finalist, a three-time AIME qualifier, a Congressional Award Gold Medalist and a United Way Outstanding Service Award recipient.