Future Lab: Intel Science Talent Search 2011
Every year, finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search gather in Washington, DC, to share their research. This year, finalists Ryan Lee and Laurie Rumker, and winner Evan O’Dorney, spoke with Future Lab radio about their work, and what it could mean for the world.
Ryan Lee is a student at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. His research deals with the formation of protein shapes in the human body. “Our genes express themselves through proteins,” said Lee, explaining to Radio Lab that this work has real implications for the study of human health and how diseases like Alzheimer’s operate on the human body.
Laurie Rumker‘s research focuses on Organoclay, which is widely deployed in environmental cleanup projects, including Superfund sites. Rumker, a student at the Oregon Episcopal School, queries whether the material may not have some negative side-effects. Her work on bio-degradation suggests that, although it may generally be safe to use in river systems, but not without some risks that may need greater consideration. (You can see Laurie in a presentation from 2010, here at the 27th annual Research Science Institute Final Presentations.)
Evan O’Dorney, of Danville, Calif., was the winner of the top prize at the Intel Science Talent Search, 2011, and a $100,000 prize from the Intel Foundation. His research – highly technical mathematical work – looks at alternative methods for approximating the square root of integers.