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Madhushalini Balaji selected for Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

MADISON – Madhushalini ‘Madhu’ Balaji, a junior at James Clemens High School, has advanced with her project from state competition to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Dallas, Texas on May 13-19.

On April 1, Balaji entered the Alabama State Science and Engineering Fair or ASEF at Auburn University, after qualifying at the regional science fair at the University of Alabama in Huntsville earlier this year. ASEF is an affiliate of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition.

ASEF officials selected the top four projects across Alabama to advance to the Regeneron fair at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Contestants will compete against the top 1,500 students in the world for approximately $4 million in prizes and scholarships.

At the state fair, Balaji won second place in her category for her project, “Development of a Simulated Platform that Replicates the Visual System Using Large Scale Neural Modeling and Performs Deep Brain Stimulation Using the Virtual Brain to Produce Synthetic Sight for the Visually Impaired.”

In addition, Balaji’s work has received special awards:

* Regeneron Biomedical Science Award – Sponsor, Society for Science. Given to an exceptional student scientist who not only demonstrates impressive command of biomedical science and research but also embodies Regeneron’s core values and behaviors, known as “The Regeneron Way.”

* HudsonAlpha Creative Computation Award – Sponsor, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Celebrates a project that illustrates a student’s knowledge of computational tools in science research.

* Innovation in Science Research Award – Sponsor, Associate Dean for Research, College of Sciences & Mathematics. Recognizes innovative topic or approaches in research methodologies for a science project.

* Provost Award Honoring ISEF Finalists at ASEF – Sponsor, Office of the Provost at Auburn University. This office is proud to support the four ISEF Finalists from Alabama Science and Engineering Fair.

“Madhushalini was ecstatic upon learning that she had been chosen to represent James Clemens School and the State of Alabama in a prestigious event,” her mother Subashini Gopalakrishnan said. “Madhushalini has been actively involved in projects related to visual impairments. She developed a sensory substitution device that she presented at a GenCyber Summer Camp for visually impaired students; she received valuable feedback.”

“Madhushalini eagerly looks forward to international competition and building meaningful connections. She also expressed deep gratitude towards her teachers, who have supported and encouraged her throughout her academic journey,” Gopalakrishnan said.

Madhushalini’s father, Balaji Purushothaman, works as a Principal Product Manager at ADTRAN. Her mother, Subashini Gopalakrishnan, is employed by Siemens as a Software Engineer.

Undecided about which college, Madhushalini does know her major — computer science and a minor in neuroscience.

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