2011-10-28 / Education

Local student to be awarded $25,000 as 2011 Davidson Fellow

Contributed by Widmeyer Communications

Arjun Aggarwal with Senator Lindsey Graham Arjun Aggarwal with Senator Lindsey Graham Producing highly-qualified professionals, including scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs is critical to maintaining economic productivity in the United States. Public discourse on our nation’s competitiveness tends to focus on the needs of low-performing students. As important to our country’s future success are the most capable of students, who are reaching high levels of academic excellence and deserve support.

Among these high achievers, 18 bright young people named as 2011 Davidson Fellows exemplify the extraordinary work that can be accomplished by U.S. students who are given opportunities to excel. One of these gifted students is 16- year- old Arjun Aggarwal, who created a robot economically efficient and functional for testing robotic algorithms.

In recognition of his accomplishment, Arjun will be honored as a 2011 Davidson Fellow. Ranging in age from 14 to 17, this year’s Davidson Fellows will receive $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 scholarships from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Reno, Nevada that supports profoundly gifted youth.

“The Davidson Institute is built on the belief that individuals, who have extraordinary intelligence and talents, when encouraged and supported, can improve the quality of life for us all,” said Bob Davidson, co-founder of the Davidson Institute. “We are delighted to recognize a group of resourceful and distinguished young people for their fascinating projects – projects that have the potential to benefit society.”

Arjun Aggarwal created GNut-III, an Anthropometric Interactive Robot with Vision, Intelligence and Speech. He found the lack of an economically efficient and functional human robot has prohibited researchers from continuing to expand the field of robotics. To counter this, the GNut-III is economically efficient and functional for testing robotic algorithms. In addition to the GNut-III, Arjun has outlined a scattered open source community to work on a standardized platform that could transform robotics in the same way it has transformed computing.

While Arjun has made significant strides in the field of technology, the 2011 Davidson Fellows can claim important accomplishments that are quite diverse:

 Examining the progression of musical performance preparation,

 Designing a seismoacoustic method for detecting landmines,

 Establishing the first nontrivial analytic lower bounds for odd perfect numbers, and

 Developing a predictive model to detect adolescent depression.

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