Scholarship Opportunity: Davidson Fellows by Matt McGann '00
A look at a scholarship worth up to $50,000, and some past MIT winners.
Having read MIT applications for a long time now, I know that MIT applicants and students are quite a talented bunch. As such, I try to look out for good opportunities, and when one recently appeared in my inbox, I wanted to share it with you:
Davidson Institute Seeks Extraordinary Achievers to Receive $50,000, $25,000 And $10,000 Davidson Fellow Scholarships
The Davidson Institute for Talent Development is offering high achieving young people across the country the opportunity to be named as 2009 Davidson Fellows, an honor accompanied by a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Mathematics, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box.
To be eligible, applicants must be under the age of 18 as of Oct. 1, 2009, and a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident residing in the United States. There is no minimum age for eligibility. The deadline to apply is March 4, 2009. Applicants must submit an original piece of work recognized by experts in the field as significant and it must have the potential to make a positive contribution to society. The scholarship must be used at an accredited institute of learning. For more information on the Davidson Fellows scholarship, or to download an application, please visit www.DavidsonFellows.org.
The winners in past years have ranged in age from 6 to 17, and have written, composed, invented, and discovered some pretty amazing things.
A number of past winners are now MIT students or alumni, including:
Graham Van Schaik ’12
A 16-year-old young man from Columbia, South Carolina, Graham Van Schaik researched pyrethroids, chemicals found in common household and agricultural pesticides. More than 30 commercial crops are treated with pyrethroids and they have been found in meats, seeds and baby food. Graham determined the residual amounts of pyrethroids found in tomatoes and possible inhalation when used in a home environment. By extrapolating human consumption and inhalation, he found pyrethroids were retained in both cases and promoted statistically significant cellular proliferation in human breast cells, a sign of cancer, and significant neurite retraction in neurons, a sign of neurodegenerative diseases.
Nimish Ramanlal ’10
A 16-year-old young man from Winter Springs, Florida, Nimish Ramanlal studied quantum computing, a computer that performs multiple computations simultaneously and exponentially faster than a conventional computer. Currently quantum computer limitations include both the lack of standardized programming and a generalized methodology for arbitrary search algorithms. Nimish overcame these limitations by developing a von Neumann-type architecture for writing algorithms. His findings could lead to the advancement of quantum computing, which could aid scientists in a number of fields such as advanced physics, medical research and nanotechnology.
Boris Alexeev ’08
A 17-year-old young man from Athens, Georgia, Boris Alexeev proved a theorem related to the theory of automata, the mathematical basis for the field of pattern matching. Boris worked to determine the easiest way to test divisibility by a number using automata. By studying the minimization of automata, programs can be simplified, thereby allowing them to use less memory and operate faster. Boris’ findings can be utilized in a range of fields, such as DNA research and computer science.
Jamie Rubin ’07
Jamie conducted in-depth research into treating infections caused by the Candida albicans fungus with a combinatorial approach, cutting the time needed for future research from several years to less than a week. Jamie’s research, outlined in her project “Characterization of the Secreted Aspartic Proteinases of C. albicans Using a Combinatorial Approach,” could improve the quality of life for millions with compromised immune systems, including cancer, HIV and AIDS patients.
Daniel Kane ’07
Daniel explored the theory of partitions, a branch of additive number theory, and proved a conjecture posed by national experts in the field. Daniel’s work, titled “Two Papers on the Theory of Partitions,” makes a significant advancement in number theory with far-reaching applications in many other areas of mathematics, including the fields of coding theory, representation theory and algebraic geometry.
This is a great opportunity; I hope many of you will consider applying!