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Waves of Change (part two): From Exoplanets to Robots and Electroactive Bandages

It is inspiring to see the huge breadth of projects presented at this year's International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) competition for high school students. Besides the outstanding projects already described in part one, here is a partial list of top winners this year.

Dr. Daiga Helmeste—Associate Adjunct Professor (R) at the University of California, Irvine and science news editor for the Institute of Brain Medicine

(Read part one here.)

The George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award ($75,000) winner was Kaitlyn Wang (CA) for her project "PHYS056: Ultra-Short-Period Planets Discovered by ExoScout". She developed "an efficient way to identify certain exoplanets that orbit very closely around their stars." Previous techniques used to detect these ultra-short-period planets required enormous computational power but were not as effective at identifying these planets. Kaitlyn surmounted that problem by creating a special algorithm that runs on cheap hardware and results in much faster and higher-precision findings. Using her research, she says she found "the smallest of these planets ever discovered."

An image of Exoplanet Transit (the subjec...

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