Davidson Fellows - 2002

Seventeen 2002 Davidson Fellows were recognized for their achievements at a special awards reception sponsored by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Harry Reid in Washington, D.C. on September 25, 2002.

2002 Davidson Fellow Laureates

Wenyi Cai, 17
Naperville, Ill.
Category: Technology
Award: $50,000 scholarship
Wenyi prodigiously explored mathematical modeling and numerical analysis of X-radiography to deconvolute the mass density of highly transient gasoline hollow-cone sprays in the near-nozzle region, and to reconstruct the cross-sectional fuel density distribution. Wenyi’s analysis reveals never-before-seen structural characteristics of the gasoline spray while paving the way for drastic improvements in direct-injection technology, significantly affecting the automobile industry as well as the global economy and environment.

Sebastian Chang, 14
Trabuco Canyon, Calif.
Category: Music
Award: $50,000 scholarship
Sebastian, who at age nine performed one of his original compositions with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, impressively composed and performed five innovative orchestral, chamber and solo works of music filled with self-discovery, complexity and depth of emotion. Thrilling audiences with an impressive aptitude for improvisation, Sebastian excels as a poised performer and as a composer whose works have been broadcast on Japanese national television and America’s National Public Radio.

Allan Chu, 17
Saratoga, Calif.
Category: Technology
Award: $50,000 Scholarship
Allan brilliantly invented a dictionary-based universal lossless data compression algorithm, LZAC, which has broad implications and applications in the modern age. LZAC is suitable for use on the Internet to ease traffic congestion and increase the rate of data transmission, as well as in handheld and wireless devices to increase their application domain and performance within a limited amount of storage space and bandwidths. Derived from the popular and widely used LZ77 family concept, Allan’s discovery employs new concepts in the competitive field of lossless compression research and improves the compression ratios while retaining the necessary components of being simple, universal, fast in decoding, and economical in terms of memory consumption.

Jason Chu, 16
Hockessin, Del.
Category: Science
Award: $50,000 scholarship
Jason had an original idea that he innovatively translated into an experimental laboratory procedure. Through scientific research and logical progression, Jason proved that the addition of fibroblast growth factor antibodies retard the spread of a malignant tumor by restricting formation of blood vessels essential for continued cancerous growth. With high relevance in today’s context of medical research, Jason’s results could revolutionize cancer treatment and extend the life of a terminal cancer patient by several months, if not years.

Marcin Mejran, 16
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Category: Mathematics/Science/Technology
Award: $50,000 scholarship
Marcin created a mathematical model, algorithm and a computer program to measure transcriptional states with a highly parallel single molecular resequencing approach with error models, probabilistic analysis and algorithms based in computational mathematics, statistics, genomics and bioinformatics. With the possibility of displacing the ubiquitous technology of gene-chips, Marcin’s work is an innovative breakthrough in the direct formulation of the Optical Sequencer used in human genome research, and presents a solution for general genomics problems in terms of Information-Based Complexity.

2002 Davidson Fellows

Jennifer Alyono, 17
Silver Spring, Md.
Category: Science/Technology
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Jennifer developed a nanotechnology project in which an electrochemical biosensory coating can detect changing membrane permeability for any type of molecule. As a student intern in the Biotechnology Division of at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Jennifer researched the biosensory coating based on supported hybrid lipid bilayer membranes used to detect the presence of specific biomolecules and phospholipase. The results of her project have practical applications in medicine, national security and life science research.

Christopher Falzone, 16
Richmond, Va.
Category: Humanities-Music
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Christopher performed an impressive portfolio of piano pieces to express his prodigious understanding, sensibility and profound love of music in a way that was meaningful both to himself and the audience. Hoping to inspire others through collaboration and performance, Christopher continues to make an incredible impression on the music world with his talent, stage presence and poise, and has been featured on National Public Radio’s From the Top. Christopher’s prodigious music portfolio demonstrates a wide-range of material representing his life work as a concert pianist, chamber player, composer and improviser.

Sheel Ganatra, 17
Newark, Del.
Category: Mathematics
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Sheel proved a conjecture in combinational geometry through intense research and problem solving. During his work, which focused on a set of finitely disjoint circular mirrors in a plane, Sheel answered whether or not one light ray from a source at any point in the plane could escape. The highlight of Sheel’s research lies not only in his solution, but also in his methods as he presents a novel approach to the problem using topology--the study of the abstract shape of space. In taking a creative new approach by applying topology to a 10-year-old, unresolved problem, Sheel opened a number of avenues for further research, and his results have broad implications in the study of illumination.

Jennifer Hall, 17
Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Category: Humanities-Literature
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Jennifer writes about the ordinary aspects of life in an extraordinary style filled with original plots, intriguing characters and fresh images all focused on the goal of capturing her reader. Using observation as a key component, Jennifer transforms the mundane into the extraordinary, as she did throughout her portfolio entitled "Afloat." Jennifer’s work is insightful as it leads the reader to experience powerful emotions through her expressive and oftentimes surprising descriptions.

Louis Malcom Hutson, III, 17
Mandeville, La.
Category: Technology
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Malcolm developed a computer application that uses evolutionary logic and techniques to “evolve” the framework of a computer database with practical applications in the business world. Using processes modeled after those found in nature, Malcolm devised a program to systematically manipulate algorithms within the database to determine how each piece of data should be stored and accessed. By testing the algorithms against one another and evolving new “child” algorithms from successful “parent” algorithms, the program itself engineers databases tuned for specific purposes.

Alexandra Morris, 10
Ventura, Calif.
Category: Humanities-Literature
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Alexandra penned an impressive portfolio of six pieces that included a thought-provoking essay entitled "Biodiversity: A Metaphorical Silkworm," and a dramatic script published last year in an anthology of “twisted fairy tales.” Alexandra’s clever fantasy fiction novel excerpt entitled, "The Archway of Silver Flame," is set in a mythological world with many new creatures and languages that are interwoven with historical themes and humorous practical jokes. Continuing to pursue her dream of one day publishing this novel, Alexandra exhibits impressive creative talent in the originality of her ideas and the fluency of her writing.

Ashvin Mysore, 17
Louisville, Colo.
Category: Technology
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Ashvin delved into the complex realm of computer graphics fractal terrain generation and succeeded in developing an innovative solution to generating very realistic terrains by applying a novel, recursive, random-altitude algorithm to a ROAM (Real-time Optimally Adapting Mesh)-inspired binary triangle tree structure. Geo-morphing and collision-detection techniques allow for terrain animation, including simulation of water scenes. Producing real-time terrain generation able to run on a desktop computer, Ashvin’s work has broad applications in scientific visualization terrain rendering, meteorology, geology, space science and military training.

Alexander Power, 15
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Category: Mathematics
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Alexander began exploring advanced graph theory and the properties of chromatic polynomials one year ago. Through chromatic graph equations that count the number of ways to color a graph with a specific number of colors, Alexander’s work focused on chromatic growth ratios and his results have significant applications in communication networks, robotic vision systems and the expansion of the Internet.

Britta Redwood, 14
Grapevine, Texas
Category: Humanities–Literature
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Britta composed an extraordinary collection of literary pieces entitled The Singing Earth comprised mostly of poems presenting human life as valuable, intense and beautiful. Demonstrating an astonishing knowledge of history and philosophy, Britta’s work is an argument for the validity of emotion while seeking to reconcile modern man with his humanity. Her project is meant to restore belief in life, and to inspire readers to live more actively during their time on Earth.

Benjamin Schwartz, 16
Westport, Conn.
Category: Mathematics/Science/Technology
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Benjamin developed a computer program, AFMetric, which uses data from Atomic Force Microscope to accurately measure grain boundary energy with a series of three-dimensional mathematical operations. An accurate measurement of grain boundary energy is necessary for the next generation of microchips, superconductors, corrosion-resistant alloys and materials with directional strength characteristics. Benjamin’s invention is a significant step forward in grain boundary analysis and materials science because it is the first to allow acquisition of data on curved and angled grain boundaries which are the ones most prevalent in nature.

Kavita Shukla, 17
Ellicot City, Md.
Category: Science
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Kavita recognized the antibacterial and antifungal properties of the herb fenugreek through acute observation and curiosity. She translated her inquisitiveness into a multidisciplinary science study that included testing several applications of the plant and resulted in a patent for a fenugreek food packaging paper. Kavita discovered multiple uses for the plant as a cost-effective, safe and natural method of preserving fresh fruits and vegetables, in addition to a non-toxic water purifier. With far-reaching implications, Kavita hopes to alleviate the worldwide problem of food preservation, especially in developing countries.

Amyie Vuong, 16
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Category: Science
Award: $10,000 scholarship
Amyie embarked on an advanced research project to determine whether or not a link existed between autoimmunity and cancer, while assessing the possibility that autoantigens may be responsible for an increased risk of cancer. Her discovery of a possible connection is beneficial not only in its interdisciplinary approach, but in its potential to lead researchers closer to viable treatments and a cure.

2002 Davidson Fellows Press Kit Materials

Video - 2002 Davidson Fellows Reception (YouTube)
National Press Release

News Articles

2002 Davidson Fellows Honorable Mentions

Mr. Jeff Binder
Cincinnati, Ohio
Discord -A Game Engine for MAC OS X

Mr. Derek Carr
Fox, Ark.
Online School Gradebook Network

Miss An Nguyen
Potomac, Md.
Palm Clinical Weblog: A Palm Pilot Application for Medical Students Recording Clinical Clerkship Experiences

Mr. Jean Otrakji
Rumson, N.J.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Project

Mr. Victor Hu
Bellaire, Texas
Optimizing Transportaion and Distribution

Mr. Ralph Stikeleather
Cincinnati, Ohio
The Divisibility Rule of the Numbers 10 through 19

Mr. Matthew Christiansen
Silver Spring, Md.
The Effects of Environmental Pollutants on Prokaryotes

Miss Heather Fenstemaker
Commerce City, Colo.
Herbicide's Effect in Rocky Mountain National Park

Miss Marlise Hofer
Tallahassee, Fla.
Alcohol and Nicotine: Effect on Embryonic Development

Miss Georgina Lau
Dallas, Texas
nNOS and Muscular Dystrophy

Mr. William Mahon
Las Vegas, Nev.
The Fungus Among Us in the Las Vegas Wash

Miss Lindsey Weinstock
Smithtown, N.Y.
Laser Light Scattering Studies on the Physicochemical Properties of the Double-Chained Anionic Surfactant AOT and Its Interactions with Polyvinylpyrrolidone

Miss Monika Wieland
Portland, Ore.
Beneath the Waves: A Study of Boats and Orca Vocalizations


Mr. James Dees
Macon, Ga.
Gauguin's Mirror and Poems

Miss Katie Gutierrez
Laredo, Texas
Perfection and Hairline Cracks

Miss Joy Harrigan
Miami, Fla.
A Voice Amid the Noise

Miss Jung Min Cho
Cresskill, N.J.
Dostoevsky and Nietzche: Man and His Consciousness

Miss Natasha Sinha
Milton, Mass.
Music Composition and Performance: Building Communities

Miss Ruth Youn
North Potomac, Md.
A Collection of Ruth Youn's Performances: A Journey into Music Making

Mr. Roger Zare
Sarasota, Fla.
Compositions Dealing with the Human Condition

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