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Research On Infrared Photodetector And Cancer Suppression Pays Off For Virginia And Tennessee Students With Siemens Competition Regional Win At Georgia Institute Of Technology

"We were very impressed by his understanding of quantum physics and engineering," said competition judge Alenka Zajic, Assistant Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech.  "His research has potential applications in collision avoidance systems, buried mine detection and monitoring global warming, among others."

Saumil has applied for a US patent for his project.  He has had two papers published in peer-reviewed physics journals with a few more under submission.  Saumil, who has worked as a laboratory intern since the seventh grade, plans to major in electrical engineering in college towards a career as a scientific researcher.   A Davidson Fellows scholarship winner, he placed first overall in Research at the International Space Olympics and won second place in Physics and Astronomy at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair.  Saumil has mentored students in the laboratory through the Richmond Area Program for Minorities in Engineering.  In his free time he enjoys playing the violin.   His mentor on the project was Dr. Gary C. Tepper, Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Winning Team A.J. Toth and Jim Andress, seniors at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, won the team category and will share a $6,000 scholarship for their project entitled, Creating a Higher-Efficiency Machine Learning Algorithm to Facilitate the Development of Cancer Treatment Drugs.

The team used novel computational procedures with active machine learning to classify certain protein mutations important in cancer suppression.  This classification may lead to the development of new anticancer drugs with lower developmental costs.

"This team demonstrated strong problem solving skills, integrating computer science and biology to develop a cost effective approach for identifying novel anticancer drugs," said competition judge Tom Morley, Professor, School of Mathematics, Georgia Tech.

A.J. plans to study and pursue a career in electrical engineering.  He hopes to work in management and travel as much as possible.  He is an Eagle Scout, National Merit Semifinalist and AP Scholar who tutors algebra and trigonometry.  A.J. sings in his church choir and played piano in the ETSBOA Jazz Clinic Blue Band in 2010 and 2011.

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