Google Names Its 2013 Science Fair Winners

The Google competition, for students aged 13 to 18, had three winners for amazing work in the sciences.


Google's team of judges selected three students, one each from the United States, Canada and Australia, as the winners of its 2013 Google Science Fair competition.

The results were unveiled by Clare Conway of the Google Science Fair team in a Sept. 23 post on the Google Official Blog.

"The top 15 projects were selected from thousands of entries submitted by talented young scientists from more than 120 countries around the world," wrote Conway. "These projects were impressive and represented a vast range of scientific ingenuity—from a multi-step system created for early diagnosis of melanoma cancers to the invention of a metallic exoskeleton glove that assists, supports and enhances the movement of the human palm to help people who suffer from upper-hand disabilities."

In January, Google asked student entrants, aged 13 to 18, to share their ideas for how to change the world, wrote Conway. The 15 finalists in the competition represented eight different countries, and the three winners were announced in ceremonies at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. "Attendees of the fair and judges alike were wowed by the finalists' passion for science and their drive to change the world," wrote Conway.

In the 13- to 14-year-old age category, Viney Kumar of Australia was named the winner for his project, called "The PART (Police and Ambulances Regulating Traffic) Program." "Viney's project looked for new ways to provide drivers with more notice when an emergency vehicle is approaching, so they can take evasive action to get out of the emergency vehicle's way," wrote Conway.

In the 15- to 16-year-old age category, Ann Makosinski of Canaada won for her "Hollow Flashlight" project. "Using Peltier tiles and the temperature difference between the palm of the hand and ambient air, Ann designed a flashlight that provides bright light without batteries or moving parts," wrote Conway.

In the 17- to 18-year-old age category, Eric Chen of the U.S. won for his project, a "Computer-Aided Discovery of Novel Influenza Endonuclease Inhibitors to Combat Flu Pandemic," which was also selected as the competition's grand-prize winner. "Combining computer modeling and biological studies, Eric's project looks at influenza endonuclease inhibitors as leads for a new type of anti-flu medicine, effective against all influenza viruses, including pandemic strains," wrote Conway.

The winners each received prizes from Google and from other science fair partners, including CERN, LEGO, National Geographic and Scientific American.

Another student participant, Elif Bilgin, of Istanbul, Turkey, was named as the winner of the competition's Scientific American Science in Action Award and of the Voter’s Choice award with her project creating plastic from banana peels, according to the post.

In August, Google named the winners of 105 Google Research Awards for computer science projects that will be conducted by graduate students around the world. The biannual Google Research Awards are presented for winning proposals on computer science-related topics, including machine learning and structured data, policy, human computer interaction and geo/maps. The grants cover tuition for a graduate student and will allow faculty and students to collaborate directly with Google scientists and engineers on their projects. Google received 550 proposals from 50 nations around the world for the awards, and from those, 105 projects were funded.

In June, Google announced the recipients of its 2013 Ph.D. Fellowship program, which the search giant promotes as a way to gain new insights and innovations from some of the best minds in colleges and universities around the world. Google launched its Ph.D. Fellowship Program in 2009 as a way of recognizing and supporting outstanding graduate students who were pursuing work in computer science, related disciplines or promising research areas.

In February, Google sought applicants for its sixth annual Google Policy Fellowship Program, which brings interested college and university students together to spend their summers immersed in the world of Internet policy as Google Policy Fellows.

Also in February, Google awarded its first-ever Google App Engine Research Awards to seven projects that will use the App Engine platform's abilities to work with large data sets for academic and scientific research. The new program, which was announced in the spring of 2012, brought in many proposals for a wide variety of scientific research in subject areas such as mathematics, computer vision, bioinformatics, climate and computer science.

Google had its ninth Summer of Code contest this summer. The program has involved some 6,000 college and university students from more than 100 countries since its start in 2005.