THE BEST OF TIMES
Spelling Bee queen Snigdha Nandipati
The reign The reign
Indian-American kids, who have virtually
taken ownership of the National Spelling
Bee, also dominated the National
Geographic Bee and the Intel Science
ALEX WONG/GETT Y IMAGES
; Economist Raj Chetty, who at age 29, just eight
years after graduating summa cum laude from
Harvard College, became one of the youngest tenured
professors at Harvard University, won a MacArthur
Foundation Fellowship, nicknamed the genius grant.
Of the nearly 900 MacArthur Fellows over four
decades, less than 12 have roots in India.
Indian-American kids came roaring back in this
year’s Intel Science Talent Search, dubbed the junior
Nobel Prize in science. Nithin Tumma, 17, took the
top slot for his research on breast cancer treatments.
He is the second Indian American to win the competition since its inception in 1942. The sixth place went
to Neel Patel, 17, and the seventh to Anirudh Prabhu,
; At the National Geographic Bee, Rahul Nagvekar,
14; Vansh Jain, 13; Varun Mahadevan, 13; and Raghav
Ranga, 14, bagged the top four positions respectively.
; Snigdha Nandipati clinched the 2012 Scripps
National Spelling Bee, becoming the fifth consecutive
Indian American to win the title, and the 10th in the
last 14 years.
; Deepika Kurup, 14, was named the winner of the
2012 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist
Challenge or simply put America’s Top Young
Scientist for her innovative, cost effective and sustainable water-purification system. Among the winners
were Anin Sayana in third place and Anishaa
Sivakumar in fourth place.
; In the Geography Bee, this was yet another desi
steamroller performance, with Stuti Mishra coming
in second and Arvind Mahankali finishing third.
; After having none among the top 10 last year,
; Manoj Kanagaraj, Saumil Bandyopadhyay, Naomi
Shah, Anand Srinivasan and Vaishnavi
Lakshminarasimha Rao bagged the Davidson
Fellowships and 12 of this year’s Presidential Scholars
were Indian Americans.
S TEPHANIE MI TCHELL/HARVARD S TAFF PHO TOGRAPHER
MacArthur Genius Raj Chetty