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Pune girl bags international awards

Hamsa Padmanabhan has won three prizes for a research paper in physics.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 19:58 IST

Hamsa Padmanabhan, a 16-year old from Pune, has bagged three prestigious international awards for her research project in physics.

The Class XI student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pune, won the awards for the same paper May 12 from three different US organisations.

Her 15-page research paper, titled 'Physics of a simple prototype for static magnetic levitation', won the $1,500 second prize in physics at the Grand Awards by the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Indianapolis in the US on May 12.

About 1,500 students from 47 countries competed for nearly $4 million in scholarships and prizes at the fair.

The teenager also bagged the first prize award of $2,000 in physics from United Technologies Corp for excellence in the science and engineering category. The corporation gave a total of eight prizes in various science categories.

Further, the American association for physics teachers and the American physics society jointly awarded Hamsa the third prize of $300 for her paper.

"We are very thrilled with the awards and we hope she pursues her interest in physics," Thanu Padmanabhan, Hamsa's father, proudly said.

Padmanabhan is the dean of the core academic programme at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA).

"It is indeed a great feeling and a moment of happiness when one's child has won awards in a world competition," said her mother Vasanthi, a physicist with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

Hamsa was one of the eight students from India in the final contest at the world's pre-college science competition in the US. They were selected out of 150 short-listed students at the Intel science talent discovery fair held in December 2005 at Bangalore.

This is not the first time that Hamsa, who dreams of becoming a top physicist, has won such awards.

In 2004, she won the gold medal at the prestigious All India Test for Class IX students, conducted by Educational Initiatives - an organisation started by IIM-Ahmedabad alumni to bring about qualitative improvement in school education.