Research on Infrared Photodetector and Cancer Suppression Pays Off for Virginia and Tennessee Students with Siemens Competition

    Research on Infrared Photodetector and Cancer Suppression Pays Off for
   Virginia and Tennessee Students with Siemens Competition Regional Win at
                       Georgia Institute of Technology

Young Scientists Gain Opportunity to Shine on National Stage

Saumil Bandyopadhyay of Glen Allen, Virginia, Wins Top Individual Prize; A.J.
Toth and Jim Andress of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Win Top Team Prize

PR Newswire

ATLANTA, Nov. 17, 2012

ATLANTA, Nov. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Months of dedication and hard work in
science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) paid off tonight for
three students named National Finalists in the Siemens Competition in Math,
Science & Technology, the nation's premier research competition for high
school students. Research on an infrared photodetector with potential
applications in car collision avoidance and mine detection earned top honors
and the $3,000 Individual scholarship for Saumil Bandyopadhyay of Glen Allen,
Virginia. Research that could help in the development of anticancer drugs won
the $6,000 Team scholarship for A.J. Toth and Jim Andress of Oak Ridge,

The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges from
Georgia Institute of Technology, host of the Region Six Finals. They are now
invited to present their work on a national stage at the National Finals in
Washington, DC, December 1-4, 2012, where $500,000 in scholarships will be
awarded, including two top prizes of $100,000. The Siemens Competition, a
signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College

"These students have invested time, energy and talent in tackling challenging
scientific research at a young age," said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of
the Siemens Foundation. "The recognition they have won today demonstrates
that engagement in STEM is an investment well worth making."

The Winning Individual
Saumil Bandyopadhyay, a senior at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for
Government and International Studies in Richmond, Virginia, won the individual
category and a $3,000 college scholarship for his project entitled, Universal
detector of light and b-radiation: multifunctionality enabled by
quantum-mechanical wavefunction and density-of-states engineering,
photomodulated electron tunneling, and quantum confined charge transport in

In his project, Saumil developed a novel universal light and beta-radiation
detector that has the capability to perceive infrared light at room
temperature, a problem with these detectors, with a rate at least 10 times
higher than other common detectors.

"We were very impressed by his understanding of quantum physics and
engineering," said competition judge Alenka Zajic, Assistant Professor, School
of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech. "His research has
potential applications in collision avoidance systems, buried mine detection
and monitoring global warming, among others."

Saumil has applied for a US patent for his project. He has had two papers
published in peer-reviewed physics journals with a few more under submission.
Saumil, who has worked as a laboratory intern since the seventh grade, plans
to major in electrical engineering in college towards a career as a scientific
researcher. A Davidson Fellows scholarship winner, he placed first overall
in Research at the International Space Olympics and won second place in
Physics and Astronomy at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair.
Saumil has mentored students in the laboratory through the Richmond Area
Program for Minorities in Engineering. In his free time he enjoys playing the
violin. His mentor on the project was Dr. Gary C. Tepper, Virginia
Commonwealth University.

The Winning Team
A.J. Toth and Jim Andress, seniors at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge,
Tennessee, won the team category and will share a $6,000 scholarship for their
project entitled, Creating a Higher-Efficiency Machine Learning Algorithm to
Facilitate the Development of Cancer Treatment Drugs.

The team used novel computational procedures with active machine learning to
classify certain protein mutations important in cancer suppression. This
classification may lead to the development of new anticancer drugs with lower
developmental costs.

"This team demonstrated strong problem solving skills, integrating computer
science and biology to develop a cost effective approach for identifying novel
anticancer drugs," said competition judge Tom Morley, Professor, School of
Mathematics, Georgia Tech.

A.J. plans to study and pursue a career in electrical engineering. He hopes
to work in management and travel as much as possible. He is an Eagle Scout,
National Merit Semifinalist and AP Scholar who tutors algebra and
trigonometry. A.J. sings in his church choir and played piano in the ETSBOA
Jazz Clinic Blue Band in 2010 and 2011.

Jim is a National AP Scholar, National Merit Semifinalist, and national winner
of the EnergySolutions Scholarship. He is the lead author of a paper
submitted to "Computational Mechanics" on the Boundary Integral Method. He is
vice president of his senior class and plays bass in the school jazz band and
a local jazz trio. Jim plans to major in math, physics or computer science
and would like to become a researcher or professor with the time and money to
travel. The team's mentor on their project was Chris Symons, Oak Ridge
National Laboratory.

Regional Finalists
The remaining regional finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship. Regional
Finalists in the individual category were:

  oAlexa Dantzler, Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School, Arlington, Virginia
  oJason Li, Blacksburg High School, Blacksburg, Virginia
  oJessie Li, Paul L. Dunbar High School, Lexington, Kentucky
  oBrittany Wenger, The Out-of-Door Academy, Sarasota, Florida

Team Regional Finalists were:

  oArchis Bhandarkar and Rohan Banerjee, Thomas Jefferson High School for
    Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia
  oHayes Griffin and Dalton Chaffee, Bearden High School, Knoxville,
  oNathan Kodama and Nipun Singh, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science
    and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia
  oYu Wang and Kyoung-A Cho, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

The Siemens Competition
Launched in 1998, the Siemens Competition is the nation's premier science
research competition for high school students. 2,255 students registered to
enter the Siemens Competition this year for a total 1,504 projects submitted.
323 students were named semifinalists and 93 were named regional finalists,
representing 25 states. Entries are judged at the regional level by esteemed
scientists at six leading research universities which host the regional
competitions: California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University,
Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
University of Notre Dame and The University of Texas at Austin.

Follow us on the road to the Siemens Competition: Follow us on Twitter
@SFoundation (#SiemensComp) and like us on Facebook at SiemensFoundation.
Then visit at 9:30am EST on December 4 for a live
webcast of the National Finalist Awards Presentation.

The Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of
educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and
mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the
Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced
Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages
K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues.
By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and
schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow's
scientists and engineers. The Foundation's mission is based on the culture of
innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens'
U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For more information,

The College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that
connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the
College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the
membership association is made up of more than 6,000 of the world's leading
educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity
in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million
students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and
services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT^® and
the Advanced Placement Program^®. The organization also serves the education
community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and
schools. For further information, visit

Video and photos of winners available on request.

SOURCE Siemens Foundation

Contact: Kiesha Boykins, Siemens Foundation, +1-732-321-3150,; Joseph Giumarra, Momentum Communications Group,
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