2018 ISEF Newsletter #5 – from Keshav Vedula

Keshav Vedula

Senior, CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, Windsor

Today was the big day: judgment day. We woke up earlier than most of us would’ve liked to and dragged ourselves down for breakfast. Soon afterwards, we dressed up in the fanciest clothes we brought before racing to get in line for the judging to begin. The morning was one blur of anxiety and exhilaration.

Judging began at 8:00 am sharp, starting with the Special Awards judges. The first interview was rough. It took a few minutes for me to slow down and maintain an appropriate pace. I probably said “um” twenty or so times before realizing I should’ve taken a minute to think through a general plan. You would think that I had have figured that beforehand. But as the morning progressed, I began to develop a more systematic approach: introduce the motivation, describe the methods, summarize the results, note the potential applications, and answer any questions. By then the interviews started going more smoothly, and the feedback I received was increasingly positive.

At 11:45 am, we received a much a needed break, and dug into our food at August Henry’s. We resumed our interviews for the Grand Awards shortly afterwards back at the Convention Center. One judge was especially interesting, as he wrote two of the publications I reference in my work. Trying to explain my research to him was a particularly daunting task, but it was also a unique experience. Before long, 4:00 pm came around and we were finished. Each of us was exhausted, and capitalized on a much needed nap.

We later picked up dinner at Heinz Field, and spent the evening relaxing. We’re all anxious to hear the results of the Special Awards tomorrow.