Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search. But why all the hoopla? Such contests are fraught with misperceptions.
For instance, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said that the Intel competition "identifies and honors the top math and science students in America, based on their solutions to scientific problems." This isn't the case. The contest doesn't rank talent in the same way we identify the fastest hurdlers or longest jumpers.