Palo Alto teen shines at annual Intel Science Talent Search


Sahana Vasudevan, 16, who is homeschooled at Gnyanam Academy, received a $20,000 award for placing in the annual contest for her math research that "proved a new, generalized way to minimize an important function of arithmetic," according to a statement released tonight by Intel.

Beyond her math research, Vasudevan is an award winning Carnatic vocalist and violinist and performed on tour in India in 2012.

Five Bay Area high school students were among 40 finalists vying for the $100,000 top prize in the contest, selected from a pool of 300 semifinalists for their scientific research in biochemistry, physics, math, engineering, medicine and health, among other topics.

As many as 1,700 students entered their research for consideration, program officials said.

Aside from Vasudevan, the four students representing the Bay Area in the final stage of the competition were Paulomi Bhattacharya of Cupertino from the Harker School; Fremont resident Kevin Chen from Mission San Jose High School; Jack Takahashi of Saratoga from Lynbrook High School; and Kelly Zhang of Orinda from College Preparatory School.

The finalists have been in the nation's capital since March 7 for an all-paid visit that included a presentation of their research at the National Geographic Society last Sunday.

Tuesday night's awards gala at the National Building Museum announced the top 10 winners and presented the $100,000 top scholarship prize and other monetary prizes totaling $630,000.

Last year Alissa Zhang, of Saratoga High School, won a $20,000 scholarship and took ninth place in the nationwide contest.

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