DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Vishnu Dantu, a second-year student in the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at the University of North Texas, has been named a 2015 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. UNT leads Texas universities in the number of Goldwater Scholars in math, science and engineering with 55 Goldwater Scholars named since 1996.
In his research, Dantu created a smartphone application for people with diabetes in which a smartphone camera analyzes the intensity of light wavelengths transmitted through a person's fingertip to measure real-time glucose levels.
"I wanted to create a convenient, painless and cost effective way for diabetics to measure their blood glucose levels," Dantu said. "Being able to explore my interests in science at UNT has been a great opportunity. It's very rare for a high school-age student to be able to take the types of classes that UNT offers. Whatever your interest is, UNT has something for you."
Goldwater awards are considered to be among the country's most prestigious scholarships awarded to students planning careers in mathematics, science and engineering. All college sophomores and juniors are eligible to compete for the scholarships, which will provide a maximum of $7,500 each year for one or two years to cover tuition, fees, books and room and board. Universities may nominate up to four students for the award, and students are chosen on the basis of their scientific research, grade point averages and other achievements.
Three UNT TAMS students also were named 2015 Goldwater Honorable Mentions:
- Anushree Agrawal researched p53, a mutated tumor suppressor found in the majority of cancers. Agrawal's research could lead to better and more individualized treatments for patients who have cancers with certain mutations.
- Michael Hashe designed a flow cell to deposit corrosion-resistant coatings for use in anaerobic environments. These coatings could protect metal components in bridge supports, docks and other under-water structures.
- Tiffany Jiang researched bone powders, via X-ray analysis, to help examine ancient human remains that have been contaminated by heavy metals. Her work can help investigators collect DNA that otherwise would have been uncollectable.