This image shows the top three winners of the 2022 Science Talent Search, Amber Luo, Christine Ye, and Victor Cai, from left to right. (Image Credit: Society for Science)
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Society for Science announced the top ten winners for the 2022 Science Talent Search, rewarding over $1.8 million to the finalists. Seventeen-year-old Christine Ye won the top award, while eighteen-year-old Victor Cai placed second for his radar system. Each finalist was judged based on their problem-solving skills and the potential to become scientific leaders.
The Regeneron Science Talent Search allows young and bright minds to showcase their innovative concepts to the world’s best scientists. Overall, the students come up with creative solutions to help solve global challenges through research and leading-edge discoveries. The judging panel takes into account how these efforts, innovative thinking, and leadership skills showcase their ability to move toward future STEM fields.
Ye won the first-place prize along with $250,000 for her physics project, which involved analyzing gravitational waves released from massive collisions occurring between neutron stars and black holes. She created a statistical model with data sourced from the Laser Interferometer Gravitation-wave Observatory (LIGO), where scientists measure astronomical objects. Her project, which underwent future observation simulations, showed that a rapidly spinning neutron star could have a larger size than an ordinary neutron star. Even then, it still wouldn’t be as large as a black hole. In addition, it implies that a neutron star’s spin must be taken into consideration when determining its maximum mass.
Victor Cai took home second place and a $175,000 reward for his short-range, narrow-bandwidth radar development. To reduce costs, he adopted the multiple frequencies continuous wave radar concept and created the system with “software-defined radio.” This setup makes it possible to control the radar through software rather than specialized hardware. The radar operates by transmitting simultaneous signals at varying frequencies and calculating the distance by measuring the phase difference between them. Cai also wrote two algorithms to prevent inaccurate readings from spectrum leakage and fix incorrect phase measurements. By doing so, his radar achieved 12cm accuracy with a few kHz bandwidths versus 1GHz from conventional radar.
“The Regeneron Science Talent Search winners give me hope for the future, and I congratulate them on their tremendous success,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science. “For the first time in two years, we have been able to gather in-person to celebrate the next generation of scientific leaders who are motivated by curiosity and inspired to solve the world’s most intractable problems. I am impressed by their scientific research and strength of character.”
“Congratulations to the winners of the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022 and to all our impressive finalists. Each of the students are brilliant scientists and mathematicians, and each has the power to bring real, positive change to society and help address future existential challenges, whether it be climate change, genetic-based diseases or understanding the universe,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. “Having been a winner of the STS back in 1976, I can say from first-hand experience that this is only the beginning of a great path forward for our winners, finalists and scholars. Never stop being curious, never stop exploring and never stop looking for answers.”
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