Doing Science | Student Science

Support Strong Science

Be a champion now for the

next generation of science leaders.

Doing Science

A blog for students who compete

Doing Science

Alumni, Intel ISEF, Intel STS

There’s an app for that: These 4 alumni are blazing new trails with their amazing apps

11:15AM, February 15, 2018
Doing Science

Smartphone technology and apps have revolutionized how we work, study, and even date. It's not surprising, therefore, that Society alumni are on the forefront of this revolutionary technology, developing new cutting-edge apps that can help in every aspect of daily life.

Read on to learn about four alumni (including the Father of Google Apps) who have created mobile apps for efficient studying, easy coding.

Shiv Gaglani and M. Ryan Haynes with the Osmosis team.

Shiv Gaglani (Intel ISEF 2004-2006) and M. Ryan Haynes (Intel ISEF 2002) are the cofounders of Osmosis Knowledge Diffusion, a health sciences education tech company. They met in medical school and created Osmosis after struggling to retain material they’d mastered weeks before. Osmosis revolutionizes the way clinicians learn and retain information, through free educational resources available worldwide.

Ultimately the companies that succeed do so because they do one thing really well.

“We started Osmosis as a platform to help students manage their studying with techniques that had supporting scientific evidence,” Shiv said. The most common methods of studying include re-reading text, note taking, and highlighting, but Shiv and his colleagues say these are not the most efficient methods for retaining information. His team believes that spaced repetition — a technique where a student increases intervals of time between subsequent review of learned material, and memory palaces — a visual filing system using mnemonics, are far more effective.

Ryan and Shiv in front of the Osmosis presentation at the World Innovation Summit.

According to Shiv, the biggest challenge in starting an app is focus. It’s best to stay within your area of expertise, instead of branching off in the beginning. “Ultimately the companies that succeed do so because they do one thing really well,” said Shiv, who also wrote Success with Science,” a guide for how to hone high school research, with several Society alumni, including Scott Kominers and Carol Suh.

The practice Shiv obtained with written and oral presentations at Intel ISEF now helps him present to clients and investors. He also met long-time Society advocate and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Professor Dudley Herschbach at Intel ISEF 2004. He became Shiv’s mentor and wrote the foreword of his book.

Both Shiv and Ryan were inspired to enter STEM fields through childhood exposure in astronomy and medicine. Growing up in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Shiv witnessed many shuttle and rocket launches. At home, he was regularly exposed to biological sciences — his father, a physician, and his mother, a physical therapist. Similarly, when Ryan's parents took him to see the space shuttle Atlantis on his 6th birthday, he was hooked. And with the advent of the Internet, Ryan started coding at 11 years old.

Shiv’s advice to young people interested in STEM is to focus on developing skills instead of receiving awards. Ryan suggests interning or working at a startup to learn about career possibilities. “In college, you mostly see academia as the main path to creative work in the sciences,” he explained. “I wish I had been more aware of all the possible career paths in science and technology.”

With your support, we can nurture the next generation of tech inventors.

Param Jaggi (Intel ISEF 2010-2011) is the CEO of Hatch Technologies, an automated app creation platform. Driven by his motivation to give everyone, regardless of technical ability, the opportunity to create and launch an app, Param started Hatch. “Many organizations and entrepreneurs have good ideas, they just lack the resources to deploy high-quality software,” Param said. “That’s where Hatch comes in.”

Twice listed in the Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Param’s always had a knack for inventing. In high school, he became interested in STEM through science fair competitions. At Intel ISEF, “my judges were scientists from NASA, founders of large companies, and inventors of common household items,” he said. “It really inspired me when I realized the same people I look up to see value in the projects I was working on as a teenager.”The Hatch Apps team hold up an award.

You have the opportunity to become the next Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs.

Param encourages other young people by telling them that they have the potential and opportunity to become the next Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs. "They all started off just like you,” he said.

Rajen Sheth (Intel ISEF 1992-1994, Intel STS 1994) is known as the Father of Google Apps and is responsible for the development of Google Chrome. A 14-year Google veteran, Rajen is the company's Director of Product Management. He cofounded and led the Google Apps product line and the company’s efforts to bring cloud computing to universities and businesses. He currently works on AI and machine learning technologies.

“We have managed to change how schools, especially K-12, operate and use technology,” Rajen said. “A vast majority of schools in the U.S. are now using Google Apps and Chromebooks. It’s possible to get tech into the hands of kids and change curriculum.” 

Last year Rajen Sheth gave the keynote address at an education conference.

With Chromebooks and other Google technology in schools, Rajen explained that kids can go at their own pace. “I think that’s really how education should be done,” he said.

It’s possible to get tech into the hands of kids and change curriculum.

It was challenging at first to get people into a new mindset, Rajen explained. “It sounded pretty outlandish to a lot of folks, the concept of the cloud,” he said. “We were pitching this idea that businesses and schools should bring their data to Google’s data centers, and it would help them manage their systems and servers. Many businesses actually kicked us out of the room after five minutes of hearing what we were asking.”

Rajen's innovative spirit comes from his parents, who were both computer scientists. When he was five, his dad had a computer he plugged into the TV so Rajen could play games and learn to program, inspiring an early interest. Also, his school had Apple computers, which is where he learned to code.

Rajen also got involved in science research and fairs at school. According to Rajen, the skills he learned in STS and ISEF still help him today. “Science fairs give people a way to get fascinated by science at an early age. If I hadn’t done science fairs, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today,” Rajen said.

11:05am, February 1, 2018

One thing that’s remarkable about so many students who participate in our science competitions: they are using science to find a solution to a problem, be it environmental, societal or medical. It's not surprising, therefore, that so many go on to do remarkable things.

These alumni are using their passion for science and research for social good. Whether inventing an innovative device, writing a book, or founding a company, these social entrepreneurs are making a positive difference in the world.

3:50pm, January 23, 2018
Regeneron and Society for Science & the Public today named 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.
2:29pm, January 11, 2018
In addition to being among the nation’s top students in STEM, the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2018 scholars have a variety of hobbies and interests! Now you can learn more about the 300 students named as this year’s scholars in the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.
The Regeneron Science Talent Search 2017 finalists at the awards gala.
12:30pm, January 9, 2018

Today we are thrilled to announce the 2018 Top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. The scholars were selected based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists.

4:42pm, January 3, 2018

Completing an application for the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors, is no easy task! All students who applied to Regeneron STS 2018 should be proud.

7:00am, December 29, 2017

The Intel ISEF 2017 finalists and other young scientists traveled on a boat during the Nobel festivities in Stockholm.It's not every day that a college freshman gets to dine with Nobel Laureates.

1:08pm, December 19, 2017

At times, science research projects can be challenging. That’s where the Society for Science & the Public’s Advocate Grant Program comes in. The program helps mentors guide a group of three to five underrepresented students as they complete science research projects and apply to participate in science competitions.

A student works on her scientific research.
11:54am, December 8, 2017

We've seen some incredible teen scientists in 2017. This year, Science News for Students(SNS) reported on student scientists who are inventing better ways to detect blood type, buoys to alert swimmers of deadly rip tides, and more.

12:02pm, December 7, 2017

What does it mean to be a young woman in STEM? For some of the Society for Science & the Public alumni, it might mean going out in the field to study glaciers. For others it might mean encouraging other young girls to code or enter computer science. It means being an Olympic athlete and biology professor. It means having the power to change the world.

Below, read stories about incredible women in STEM.

Subscribe to RSS - Doing Science

From the SSP Newsroom

Science News


Science News for Students


Eureka! Lab