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Positive Contributions to Society

Davidson Fellows are students under the age of 18 who have completed a significant piece of work in science, mathematics, technology, music, literature, philosophy or outside the box.  The work of a Davidson Fellow must have the potential to make a positive contribution to society. Since 2001, 127 Davidson Fellows have been recognized by the Davidson Institute and each Fellow has received a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship.

Positive contributions to society made by the 2008 Davidson Fellows include:

  • Inventing a new type of solar panel;

  • Designing a computer model to aid physicians in patient diagnosis;

  • Bridging the relevance of classical music to younger generations;

  • Improving the mathematics of digital signal representations used in cell phones and music players;

  • Tapping our history to explore themes of freedom, power and duty;

  • Proposing modified national education policy; and

  • Debating the role of science in our society.

Contributions of Davidson Fellows recognized since 2001 include:

  • Research in the field of number theory, with results that have broad implications in cryptography, specifically to protect against identity theft.

  • Used antimicrobial properties from bees’ honeystomachs to create a preventative measure protecting honeybees from the fatal American Foulbrood Disease (AFB), which affects the pollination of billions of dollars in agriculture crops worldwide.

  • Developed a new drug delivery method to increase the efficiency of chemotherapy treatments, thereby controlling tumors in areas where surgery is not an option.

  • Developed an effective method of treating malignant glioma, the deadliest form of brain cancer, combining chemotherapy and gene therapy.

  • Researched the physics of dust particles to aid in the design of exploration and support systems for Martian spaceflight missions.

  • Investigated the relationships of specific proteins in the human immune system in order to develop more effective treatments for HIV patients.

  • Researched the effects of residual pesticides on human breast cells and neurons

  • Performed advanced musical compositions for piano, cello and violin at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center

  • Created a literary portfolio focused on deepening our understanding of human responses to grief

  • Discovered new insights in how DNA “bends” under certain circumstances to form RNA, providing a foundation for future research in nanotechnology and biocomputation.

  • Confirmed the existence of a super-massive black hole in a neighboring galaxy found by analyzing NASA data studying the amount of radiation emitted from Centaurus A.

  • Discovered a biological connection as to why people gravitate toward religion.

  • Developed mathematical modeling of gasoline sprays to reduce automobile emissions.

  • Utilized the herb fenugreek as a cost-effective, safe and natural way to preserve fruits and vegetables, and as a non-toxic water purifier.


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Davidson Institute for Talent Development
9665 Gateway Drive, Suite B
Reno, Nevada 89521
Fax: 775-852-2184