Nathan Han, 15, wins top award at international science fair

Nathan Han, son of Hsiu Han, senior staff in Lincoln Laboratory's Systems and Analysis Group, was awarded first place in the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), a program of Society for Science & the Public.

ISEF winners 2014 Nathan Han, 15, of Boston, MA (far right) won the 2014 International Science and Engineering Fair for developing a machine learning software tool to study mutations of a gene linked to breast cancer. Shannon Lee, 17, of Singapore and Lennart Kleinwort, 15, of Germany both won Young Scientist Awards of $50,000 for their research on a novel electrocatalyst and a mathematical tool for smartphones and tablets, respectively.

Nathan's project was the development of a machine learning software tool to study the mutations of a gene linked to breast cancer. The prize, the Gordon E. Moore Award, is a monetary award of $75,000.  The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), is the world's largest international pre-college science competition, providing an annual forum for more than 1,700 high school students from over 70 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research and compete for about $5 million in awards.

"The world needs more scientists, makers and entrepreneurs to create jobs, drive economic growth and solve pressing global challenges," said Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. "Intel believes that young people are the key to innovation, and we hope that these winners inspire more students to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math, the foundation for creativity."

Of his win, Nathan said, "I was absolutely thrilled – like a dream for high school came true in my freshman year. It was an incredible experience to see so many great projects and meet so many brilliant people at the Intel ISEF. My display booth was surrounded by projects of Intel Science Talent Search finalists and Research Science Institute alumni. I was deeply honored just to be among them. Also, I am very grateful to the Science Department of Boston Public Schools as well as Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair. Without their support over the years, I would not have been able to compete at the 2014 Intel ISEF."

The winner of this event usually has a minor planet named in their honor through the Laboratory's Ceres Connection program which honors science students by naming minor planets discovered by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research program, however Nathan has already received this honor in 2011 for qualifying as a finalist in a national science, technology, engineering, and math competition for U.S. 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars), for his middle-school project submission, "A Study of Somatic Sensory Receptive Fields in Human Skin."


Posted August 2014

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