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Local Girl Scout wins $8,500 at the Intel International Science and Talent Search


By Pascaline Umulisa

Congratulations to Girl Scout Ambassador Anika Raghuvanshi, 17, a student at Jesuit High School in Beaverton, who recently won a scholarship of $8,500 during the International Science and Talent Search (Intel ISTS) held in Washington D.C!

The annual Intel ISTS encourages students from across the US to tackle challenging scientific questions and create technologies and solutions that will make people’s lives better.

In January, Anika, along with another female student from Catlin Gabel School in Beaverton, was selected to compete for the Intel ISTS Medal of Distinction Awards March 5-11 in Washington D.C. About 40 national finalists competed in three categories: basic research, global good, and innovation. Each category comes with a $150,000 award.

Anika presented a project entlitled Logic Synthesis and a Generalized Notation for Memristor-Realized Material Implication Gates. She designed and tested algorithms for the memristor, which is a new technology that can be implemented in computer chips with space and power benefits. Anika’s study focuses on examining how the memristor could be used for memory storage.

Despite not winning a Medal of Distinction Award, Anika found the competition to be a very rewarding experience. “The judging was pretty intense, but sparked up many very interesting scientific discussions with the other finalists which got me to think outside the box,” Anika says. With an award of $8500, Anika is planning to invest in her education.

She hopes other girls will be interested in pursuing STEM and being curious. Girls are very creative and have the potential to make big discoveries in the field, she says. She adds that Girl Scouts gives girls a chance to gain leadership experience and be more confident in themselves, and with this confidence they can go into male-dominated fields like computer science without being intimidated. 

In May 2014, Anika participated in a similar competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), held in Los Angeles, California. Her project Generalized Decision Functions for Synthesis of Multi-level Logic Circuits Realized by Memristor Imply Gate won the second place award worth $1,500.

The Intel ISTS is an annual research-based science competition in the United States for high school seniors. Each year, approximately 1,700 papers are submitted. The top 300 applicants are announced in mid-January and March, the finalists fly to Washington, D.C. where they are interviewed for the top ten spots, which have awards ranging from $35,000 to $150,000 for the medal winners.