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Teenage Girl Explores Algae-Powered Biofuel, Wins Intel Science Talent Search

Other top honors from the competition include:

Fourth Place: Hannah Larson of Eugene, Ore., received a $40,000 award for her research of an abstract mathematical structure that’s important in many areas of theoretical physics and computer science.

Fifth Place: Peter Kraft of Munster, Ind., received a $30,000 award for his synthesis of 10 new coordination polymers, which are massive molecules with complex network structures that have applications in gas purification and the storage of hydrogen in fuel cells.

Sixth Place: Kensen Shi of College Station, Texas, received a $25,000 award for his development of a computer algorithm that makes it easier for a robot to avoid colliding with obstacles in its path.

Seventh Place: Samuel Zbarsky of Rockville, Md., received a $25,000 award for his math research that could improve the efficiency of 3-D computer networks.

Eighth Place: Brittany Wenger of Sarasota, Fla., received a $20,000 award for her development of an artificial neural network to help diagnose breast cancer using data from fine needle biopsy samples.

Ninth Place: Akshay Padmanabha of Collierville, Tenn., received a $20,000 award for his development of an algorithm that detects oncoming epileptic seizures.

Tenth Place: Sahana Vasudevan of Palo Alto, Calif. received a $20,000 award for her math research that proved a new, generalized way to minimize an important function of arithmetic.

In total, the Intel Foundation awarded $1.25 million for the Intel Science Talent Search 2013. When Intel assumed the title sponsorship 15 years ago, it increased the annual awards by more than $1 million.

This year's finalists hail from 20 states and represent 40 schools. Of the 1,712 high school seniors who entered the Intel Science Talent Search 2013, 300 were announced as semifinalists in January. Of those, 40 were chosen as finalists and invited to Washington, D.C. to compete for the top 10 awards. These finalists join the ranks of other notable Science Talent Search alumni who, over the past 72 years, have gone on to win seven Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals, five National Medals of Science, 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships and even an Academy Award for Best Actress.

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