Fourteen-year-old Native American mathematician wins $ 25,000 Broadcom MASTERS award; Other STEM awards | Indian of the world

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A 14-year-old Native American mathematician from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Akilan Sankaran, won the coveted Samueli Foundation award of $ 25,000, the highest award from the Broadcom MASTERS.®, the premier national science and engineering competition for middle school students, the Broadcom Foundation and the Society for Science announced on October 28. Sankaran is the first student with a math project in the competition’s 11-year history to win the Samueli Foundation award, according to a press release.

Sankaran wrote a computer program capable of calculating “highly divisible numbers”, sometimes called anti-prime numbers, which have more than 1000 digits. He created a new class of functions – the smooth class – to measure the divisibility of a number. Its program has the potential ability to speed up and optimize the performance of software and applications, such as Shazam, the statement noted. By analyzing and developing smooth, highly divisible numbers, Sankaran’s goal was to speed up calculations, thereby speeding up countless everyday processes and tasks.

The other big winners, including several Native Americans, tackled issues ranging from forest fires and obesity to water pollution and light pollution.

The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program of the Society for Science, inspires college students to follow their STEM passions to exciting academic and professional paths. Thirty finalists, including Sankaran, won over $ 100,000 in prizes.

The competition took place virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Each of the 30 finalists took part in online team challenges in addition to being judged on their scientific research projects. The challenges leveraged project-based learning and tested their mastery of 21st Century-old skills in critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration in each of the STEM fields.

“The young people we celebrate today are striving to solve the world’s most intractable problems. The Broadcom MASTERS finalists are an inspiration to all of us, and I know they will all be immensely successful in their STEM journeys.

The Samueli Foundation Prize of $ 25,000 is a gift from Dr. Henry Samueli, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Broadcom Inc. and Chairman of the Broadcom Foundation and his wife, Dr. Susan Samueli, President of the Samueli Foundation.

The other American Indian winners were:

Camellia Sharma, 14, from Henrico, Virginia, won the $ 10,000 DoD STEM Talent Award for demonstrating excellence in science, technology, engineering or math, as well as the leadership and technical skills required to excel in the 21st Century STEM and build a better community for tomorrow. She built a 3D printed aerial drone / boat that can fly to a location, land on water, and take photos underwater. Its software can then count the fish that live there.

Prisha Shroff, 14, of Chandler, Arizona, won the $ 10,000 Lemelson Award for Invention, awarded by the Lemelson Foundation to a young inventor who creates a promising solution to a real world problem. Shroff has developed an AI-based forest fire prevention system that uses satellite and weather data to identify fire-prone locations and deploy drones to them.

Ryka C. Chopra, 13, of Fremont, Calif., Won the $ 10,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Advancement in Health, which recognizes the student whose work and performance are the most promising in health-related fields and demonstrates an understanding of the many social factors that affect the health of communities. Chopra geocoded the locations of fast food restaurants to see if they are built near populations of obese people, possibly contributing to the cycle of obesity.

The Broadcom MASTERS winners were chosen from 30 finalists selected from 1,841 applicants from 48 states, Washington, DC and three US territories (Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands). The winners were selected by a panel of eminent scientists, engineers and educators. Each finalist’s school will receive $ 1,000 from the Broadcom MASTERS program to benefit its STEM initiatives.

In addition to the top prizes, the Broadcom Foundation and the Society also announced first and second prize winners in each of the STEM categories of science, technology, engineering, and math.

The first and second prize winners of the STEM Awards have demonstrated insight and promise in science, technology, engineering and math. First place winners received $ 3,500 and second place winners received $ 2,500 to use for a STEM summer camp experience, with top math prizes sponsored by Robert John Floe, President of Floe Financial Partners.

American Indian students who were among the STEM Award winners included:

Scientific Prize:

  • First place: Atreya Manaswi, Finding the Best New, Safe, and Organic Treatment to Attract Small Beetles from Hives and Improve Honey Bee Strength (Year Two Study)

Technology Award:

  • First place: Ansh Sehgal, Bike-to-bike system for the visually impaired
  • Second place: Praneel Anil Shah, Using a bioelectrochemical system with phototrophic bacteria to generate clean water and electricity

Engineering Award:

  • First place: Avi Patel, Bike-to-bike system for the visually impaired

Mathematics Prize:

  • Second place: Sohan Govindaraju, A new mathematical approach to predict the spread of a forest fire using the SIR-based model

The organizations also named the team award winners, sponsored by TIES, Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM: Each team member who best demonstrates their ability to work together and solve problems through shared decision-making, communication, and scientific and technical collaboration will receive a gift card to one. science supply company to support its interests in STEM.

The Team Award winner is: White Team: Ryka C. Chopra, Atreya Manaswi, Avi Patel, Samhita Pokkunuri and Elizabeth Reilly.

Broadcom Leadership Award:

The Broadcom Leadership Award is presented to the Broadcom MASTERS finalist elected by his peers to speak on behalf of his class at the awards ceremony.

The winner of this award is Prisha Shroff.

Founded in April 2009, The Broadcom Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation with a mission to advance science, technology, engineering and math education by funding research , recognizing scholarships and increasing opportunities.

The foundation inspires young people to pursue careers in STEM and develop 21st century skills in critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity. He is a founding member of the National STEM Funders Network and plays a leadership role in the STEM Education Ecosystem Initiative in the United States and Israel.

The foundation’s flagship programs, the Broadcom MASTERS® and the Broadcom MASTERS® International, are the premier science and engineering competitions for college students in the United States and around the world.

Society for Science is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and public engagement in science. Founded in 1921, the Society is a non-profit organization whose vision is to promote understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human progress. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazine, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science is committed to inform, educate and inspire.


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