A Michigan teen has taken home the top prize in the nation's most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

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Neel Moudgal is a 17-year-old senior at Saline High School. Moudgal won the $250,000 top prize for the national Regeneron Science Talent Search.

This Kid Has a Huge Brain

According to the Michigan Education Association, Moudgal created "a computer model that can rapidly and reliably predict the structure of RNA molecules solely with the use of easily accessible data." Moudgal believes his computer model will make it easier to diagnose and treat certain diseases.

The outline of Moudgal's project is published here. (It contains a lot of words I recognize, but not necessarily in that order.)

He carries a 4.71 weighted grade point average at Saline High School, and is currently dual enrolled, taking math and statistics classes and the University of Michigan.

Recognition for State Superintendent

Dr. Michael Rice is the Michigan School Superintendent. He praised Moudgal for his outstanding accomplishment.

“This is a phenomenal academic achievement for Neel and is indicative of some of the great student talent we have in Michigan’s public schools,” Dr. Rice said. “Neel sets a wonderful example for students to reach higher and challenge themselves to excellence. We are proud of Neel and his accomplishment.”

Moudgal was among 40 finalists honored in Washington DC last week. Approximately 1,900 students entered the prestigious competition.

Moudgal says he was surprised to learn that he had won the top prize.

“It was surreal,” he said. “I didn’t expect my name to be called. There were 40 finalists, and I got to know them. Everything was impressive. Everyone did an amazing job.”


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