Davidson Fellows - 2004

Sixteen 2004 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 29, 2004.

2004 Davidson Fellow Laureates

Nicole Ali, 16
Saint Paul, MN
Category: Science
Project Title: Twisted Gastrulation and Chordin Can Aid Primitive Human Hematopoietic Cell Expansion Ex Vivo
Award: $50,000
A 16-year-old young woman from St. Paul, Minnesota, Nicole Ali worked to develop a process to grow blood-forming stem cells outside the body. Nicole worked with cells from umbilical cord blood, instead of embryonic stem cells. By helping to curb the controversy associated with stem-cell research, Nicole’s work with ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic cells could open the doors to more rigorous medical study that could help treat blood disorders, such as leukemia. Nicole also developed statistical software for more efficient analysis of data related to her research.

Jerry Guo, 16
Greer, SC
Category: Technology
Project Title: Development of an Advanced Bayesian Statistical Spam Filter
Award: $50,000

A 16-year-old young man from Greer, South Carolina, Jerry Guo created a program to reduce unwanted e-mail or spam. Tackling one of today's biggest problems in the growing e-world, Jerry took a novel approach to spam filtering using an advanced Bayesian statistical method to develop a more robust, adaptive and accurate filter. Jerry's anti-spam program is more than 99 percent effective, far exceeding current systems which are not only inaccurate, but also delete legitimate e-mail in the process.

Rachel Naomi Kudo, 17
Northbrook, IL
Category: Music
Project Title: For the Love of Music
Award: $50,000
A 17-year-old young woman from Northbrook, Illinois, Rachel Naomi Kudo has been playing concertos and concertinas on the piano since the age of four. A fluent speaker of Japanese, Korean, and English, Rachel realized early that her music had the ability to touch people in ways words could not. At the age of 16, she performed Tchaikovsky's Concerto No.1 with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall playing Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain. She has performed for audiences in Belgium, Italy, Japan, Poland and Russia.

Shuyu Wang, 17
East Lansing, MI
Category: Science
Project Title: Statistical Mechanics of DNA Bending
Award: $50,000
A 17-year-old young woman from East Lansing, Michigan, Shuyu Wang discovered how DNA “bends” under certain circumstances to form RNA, an intermediary nucleic acid that is formed during the transcription and translation of DNA to protein. Shuyu’s findings have led scientists to further understand one of the biggest questions in biophysics: how simple molecules work to create a larger being. Her work provides a foundation for future research in nanotechnology and biocomputation.

2004 Davidson Fellows


Athena Adamopoulos, 17
New York, NY
Category: Music
Project Title: Expressing the Voice of the Individual in Music
Award: $25,000
A 17-year-old young woman from New York City, Athena Adamopoulos’ musical portfolio includes five orchestral compositions she created during the past two years. She began studying at Juilliard at the age of eight and, when she was 15, one of her compositions was performed by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Christopher O’Riley on National Public Radio’s “From the Top.” Athena has performed at the United Nations, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. In addition to conducting her own compositions at Juilliard, she is currently composing the score for an independent film.

Boris Alexeev, 17
Athens, GA
Category: Mathematics
Project Title: Minimal Space DFA's for Testing Divisibility
Award: $25,000
A 17-year-old young man from Athens, Georgia, Boris Alexeev proved a theorem related to the theory of automata, the mathematical basis for the field of pattern matching. Boris worked to determine the easiest way to test divisibility by a number using automata. By studying the minimization of automata, programs can be simplified, thereby allowing them to use less memory and operate faster. Boris' findings can be utilized in a range of fields, such as DNA research and computer science.

Molly Carr, 17
Reno, NV
Category: Music
Project Title: Music: "Heaven Breaking In On Us"
Award: $25,000
A 17-year-old young woman from Reno, Nevada, Molly Carr is a nationally recognized violist. At the age of 14, Molly became the youngest musician to become a member of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed at the Kennedy Center as well as on National Public Radio's "From the Top." She was also selected to participate in the highly-regarded music programs offered by Itzhak Perlman. Representing a new generation of string players, Molly shares the beauty and grace of the viola to the world.

Matthew Goldstein, 17
Delmar, NY
Category: Technology
Project Title: DoorManBot: Instant Message Relaying for Offline Users
Award: $25,000
A 17-year-old young man from Delmar, New York, Matthew Goldstein invented DoorManBot, the e-version of an answering machine for AOL's Instant Messaging (AIM) users. Instant messaging is a popular form of communication, but it only works when users are online at the same time. Matthew designed a complex system of connections and databases that enables users to leave a secure message for someone who is offline and then delivers an automatic confirmation once the message has been read.

Harish Khandrika, 17
La Jolla, CA
Category: Science
Project Title: Analysis of X-Rays from the Core of Radio-Galaxy Centaurus A
Award: $25,000
A 17-year-old young man from La Jolla, California, Harish Khandrika analyzed data gathered by NASA from Centaurus A, the closest radioactive galaxy, and proved the existence of a super-massive black hole. By devising a computer script to analyze NASA data, Harish studied the radiation emitted from Centaurus A to gain insight into the galaxy's composition. His work tested laws of physics that scientists are unable to replicate on Earth due to gravity and atmosphere. The computer scripts Harish developed can be used by astrophysicists to expedite future research.

Natasha Simonova, 17
Huntingdon Valley, PA
Category: Literature
Project Title: The Renaissance: But Victual of Voracious Change
Award: $25,000
A 17-year-old young woman from Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, Natasha Simonova crafted a portfolio, titled "The Renaissance: But Victual of Voracious Change" - comprised of an excerpt from a novel, a short story, and poetry that explores life in the 1500s. Natasha combined historical exploration with fictional characters to weave compelling backdrops and plots to educate her readers about this particular era, while providing thought-provoking parallels between the Renaissance and modern-day life.

April Wang, 17
Cincinnati, OH
Category: Literature
Project Title: Who Am I?
Award: $25,000
A 17-year-old young woman from Cincinnati, Ohio, April Wang is a budding author whose portfolio, entitled "Who Am I?", includes fiction, nonfiction and poetic works based on her life. Through her writing, April conveys the importance of following one's heart and exploring all the opportunities that life presents in order to discover individuality. She thoughtfully communicates her journey of self-exploration through characters that exhibit light-heartedness and humor while also invoking self-reflection in the reader.

Ann Chi, 17
Terre Haute, IN
Category: Science
Project Title: H2 and C2H4 Elimination Pathways in the Y + C2H6 Reaction
Award: $10,000
A 17-year-old young woman from Terre Haute, Indiana, Ann Chi used computer technology to study the fundamental reaction of metals with organic compounds and to identify a new way of understanding how and why these reactions take place. Ann's computational chemistry research builds on previous scientific research on transition metals and in hydrocarbon chemistry, a field important to many critical industries and in the production of a wide variety of commonly used products. Applications of Ann's work include the potential development of new metal catalysts.

Illya Filshtinskiy, 17
Westerville, OH
Category: Music
AProject Title: A Step Toward My Dream
ward: $10,000
A 17-year-old young man from Westerville, Ohio, Illya Filshtinskiy started playing the piano at the age of six in his native Ukraine. Impressing audiences with his fiery presentation and refined sound, Illya exhibits tremendous sensitivity, both musically and stylistically. In 2000, Illya moved to the United States where his passion and skill earned him both Young Artist Grand Prizes at the 2002 World Piano Competition. Illya will attend Juilliard this fall to study classical piano.

Lee Huttner, 15
Pittsburgh, PA
Category: Philosophy
Project Title: The Religio-Spiritual Impulse and Its Biological Inherence in Humans
Award: $10,000
A 15-year-old young man from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Lee Huttner's philosophy portfolio titled, "The Religio-Spiritual Impulse and Its Biological Inherence in Humans," proposes a biological reason why many people gravitate toward religion. Lee's work is based on his extensive research of existing data collected from neurology, endocrinology, sociology and evolutionary biology. Lee compiled his interdisciplinary findings to explain changes in brain activity during meditation, prayer, and other religious practices. Lee's project not only displays his deep intellectual curiosity, but also his hope to demystify the human condition.

Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, 17
Brewster, NY
Category: Science
Project Title: Disease Propagation Through Connective Paths
Award: $10,000
A 17-year-old young woman from Brewster, New York, Anna-Katrina Shedletsky created a computer model to better understand how diseases spread among different populations. Unlike previous strategies of quarantining and vaccinating all who are ill, Anna-Katrina's strategy takes into consideration how individual populations are structured and uses this knowledge to determine whether or not the population disbursement of an area is more or less likely to inhibit or facilitate the spread of disease. Her work helps our country become better prepared for potential bio-terrorist attacks.

Stephanie Tse, 17
Los Angeles, CA
Category: Science
Project Title: SNP Detection of a 410bp Region of the MTRR Promoter in Colorectal Adenoma Patients
Award: $10,000
A 17-year-old young woman from Los Angeles, Stephanie Tse's research could one day enable doctors to determine a patient's likelihood to develop colorectal cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. By isolating and testing the gene that is believed to cause colorectal cancer for mutations, Stephanie's work could potentially allow doctors to diagnose the condition years earlier and thereby treat the disease much more effectively.

2004 Davidson Fellows Press Kit Materials

Davidson Fellows Reception at the Library of Congress in September 2004
Video - 2004 Davidson Fellows Reception (YouTube)
National Press Release
Davidson Fellows: Positive Contributions to Society
News Articles

2004 Davidson Fellow Honorable Mentions

Mr. Hans Anderson
Evergreen, CO
Robots in Agriculture

Mr. Brendan Pawlowski
Tucson, AZ

Mr. Maneesh Sethi
Fair Oaks, CA
Game Programming for Teens

Mr. Daniel Graves
Milwaukee, WI
A Mathematical Model for B-DNA in a Nucleosome

Miss Victoria Chu
Hockessin, DE
Project Title: The Fourth State of Matter

Mr. Shiv Gaglani
Melbourne Beach, FL
The Holy Grail of Tissue Engineering: Rapid Angiogenesis for Effective Organ Perfusion

Miss Anjali Gupta
Hockessin, DE
Can the Rho-A Derived Peptide be Expressed on the Surface of Alfafa Mosaic Virus Particles

Mr. Vivek Kuncham
Old Westbury, NY
Development of an Optimal Polymer Coating through Crystalline Modification

Miss Jessica Meier-Peterson
Milwaukee, WI
Project Title: The Effects of H2O2 on HIF-1 Expression in Astrocytes

Miss Kelly Moltzen
Harriman, NY
DNA Repair Capacity of Oxidative DNA Damage in Sisters Discorant for Breast Cancer

Miss Anita Shankar
Houston, TX
The Effects of Modeled Microgravity on Protein Expression in MG-63 Bone Cells

Mr. Timofey Spiridonov
Bethesda, MD
Detection of Optimal Targets for Oligo-Probe and siRNA Design: Application for the SARS Coronavirus

Miss Allison Suarez
Valley Springs, CA
Solving the pH Mystery in the Penn Mine Wetland

Miss Mitali Thakor
Clarksville, MD
Stem Cell Tissue Engineering with a Nanowire-Hydrogel Matrix

Miss Katherine Van Schaik
Columbia, SC
Formaldehyde Emissions from Oriented Strand Board and Absorption by an Artificial Human Lung

Miss Marie Agnello
Snellville, GA
With Kisses From Cécile, A Young Adult Novel

Mr. Rohan Krishnamurthy
Kalamazoo, MI
Making Music with the Mridangam

Mr. Andrew Tyson
Durham, NC
From the Piano: Conveying Emotion and Beauty

Mr. Jourdan Urbach
Roslyn Heights, NY
Project Title: The True Gift of Music is in the Giving Back

Mr. Evan Ward
Fountain City, IN
Branching Out on the Banjo

NEXT - 2005 Davidson Fellows

PREVIOUS - 2003 Davidson Fellows

Email this Page Email this Page