August 20

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20 Students Named 2013 Davidson Fellows and
Receive $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 Scholarships

(Reno, Nev.) – Producing highly-qualified professionals, including scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs is critical to maintaining economic productivity in the United States. Public discourse on our nation’s competitiveness tends to focus on the needs of low-performing students. As important to our country’s future success are the most capable of students, who are reaching high levels of academic excellence and, if given the proper support, can help propel the U.S. forward in an ever-competitive world.

Among these high achievers, 20 bright young people named as 2013 Davidson Fellows exemplify the extraordinary work that can be accomplished by U.S. students who are given opportunities to excel.

The Davidson Fellows program offers $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships to students 18 or younger, who have created significant projects that have the potential to benefit society in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, music and philosophy. The Davidson Fellows scholarship program has provided nearly $5.3 million in scholarship funds to 226 Fellows since its inception in 2001, and has been named one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships by U.S. News & World Report. The Davidson Fellows is a program of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Reno, Nev. that supports profoundly gifted youth.

“The Davidson Institute is built on the belief that individuals, who have extraordinary intelligence and talents, when encouraged and supported, can improve the quality of life for us all,” said Bob Davidson, co-founder of the Davidson Institute. “We are delighted to recognize this group of resourceful and distinguished young people for their fascinating projects – projects that have the potential to benefit society.”

Positive contributions to society made by the 2013 Davidson Fellows include:

  • Classifying fusion categories of rank 4.
  • Developing an affordable arsenic water filter and test that is exponentially cheaper than current methods.
  • Developing Celloidosomes®, a cell self-assembly process for bioengineering 3-dimensional tissues in a core-shell structure.
  • Building a multi-mode 24/7 generator that is powered by any heat source – stove, flame, sun, etc
  • Creating a device that can simultaneously produce electricity and hydrogen gas from wastewater using anaerobic bacteria.
  • Developing miRNA prognostic signatures as a diagnostic tool for breast cancer.
  • Assembling musical pieces representing the evolution of 20th century jazz and its diversity as a global musical genre.

The 2013 Davidson Fellows Award Ceremony is scheduled for Sat., Sept. 28 in Washington, D.C. with all scholarship recipients attending.

2013 Davidson Fellow Laureates

$50,000 Scholarships

  • Miss Hannah Larson, 18, Eugene, Ore.; Classification of Some Fusion Categories of Rank 4
  • Miss Samantha Marquez, 18, Midlothian, Va.; Celloidosomes®: A New Paradigm in the Bottom-up Assembly of Multicellular Architectures

2013 Davidson Fellows

$25,000 Scholarships

  • Miss Ankita Ghoshal, 18, Austin, Texas; Sustainable 100w Portable Generators for 24/7/365 Power Demand
  • Mr. Coleman Hughes, 17, Montclair, N.J.; The Rhythm of Free Expression: Honoring the Great Jazz Masters
    Mr. Harrison Li, 15, Dix Hills, N.Y.;
    Determining Interannual and Spatial Trends in Convective Frequency over the Northeastern United States Based on Reanalysis of Convective Parameters
  • Miss Aashna Mago, 17, Newtown, Pa.; A Novel EZH2 Histone Methyltransferase Inhibitor: Potential Advancement in Epigenetic Cancer Therapy
  • Miss Natalie Ng, 17, Cupertino, Calif.; MicroRNA Prognostic Signatures and Prediction Models for Distant Metastasis-Free Survival (DMFS) in Breast Cancer
  • Miss Kailee Pedersen, 17, Lincoln, Neb.; The Transliteration of Flesh
  • Miss Lilia Popova, 18, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Elucidating Environmental and Genetic Mechanisms of Magnetically Altered Plant Growth
  • Mr. Thabit Pulak, 17, Richardson, Texas; Home-based Arsenic Bio-sane Water Filter and Rapid Arsenic Water Test using Nanotechnology
  • Mr. David Steinberg, 16, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.; The Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project

$10,000 Scholarships

  • Mr. Joshua Brakensiek, 17, Phoenix, Ariz.; Bounds on the Size of Sound Monotone Switching Networks Accepting Permutation Sets of Directed Trees
  • Mr. Alec Brenner, 17, McLean, Va.; Viscoelastic Modeling of Tidal Heating in Terrestrial Exoplanets
  • Mr. Michael Janner, 17, Redlands, Calif.; Magnetic Manipulation of Nanoscale Mirrors and Photonic Crystals
  • Mr. Ajay Krishnan, 17, Portland, Ore.; Optimizing the Microbial Fuel Cell-Microbial Electrolysis Cell Coupled System for Sustainable Hydrogen Gas Production, Electricity Generation, and Improved Wastewater Treatment
  • Mr. William Kuszmaul, 17, Lexington, Mass.; Equivalence Classes of Permutations Created Under Pattern-Replacement Relations
  • Miss Emily Lipstein, 17, Port Washington, N.Y.; An Analysis of the Genetic Variation of Monachus monachus and Its Implications for Conservation
  • Miss Jiayi Peng, 18, Chappaqua, N.Y.; A Cellular Automaton Model for Critical Dynamics in Neuronal Networks
  • Mr. Vinay Sriram, 17, Boyds, Md.; Quantitative Modeling of Processing Cost and Energy Consumption for Cryptographically Enhanced Secure Internet Routing Protocol
  • Mr. Vaibhav Vavilala, 18, Indianapolis, Ind.; Neural Networks: Raising the Storage Capacity

About the Davidson Institute
Founded by Bob and Jan Davidson in 1999, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development recognizes, nurtures and supports profoundly intelligent young people, and provides opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference. For more information about the 2013 Davidson Fellows, please visit


Click here to visit the Davidson Fellows Press Room.

High-resolution photos are available at
Coordinate interview opportunities with the Davidson Fellows and their nominators by emailing


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