Romanian student to have asteroid named in his honor after winning Intel science prize
The 19-year-old Romanian student who won the grand prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (INSEF) last week, is to have an asteroid named after him. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA, will name an asteroid after Ionuţ Budişteanu from Râmnicu Vâlcea (in picture, middle), as part of his prize in the competition. He also picked up a USD 75,000 cash prize for his project that uses artificial intelligence for a self-driving car that reads the car’s position and irregularities in the road.
Budişteanu said he was pleased that an asteroid would be named in his honor, but that for now his main priority is preparing for examinations. “I do what any normal teenager does,” he said.
The high number of deaths from road traffic accidents, some 2.5 million in 2004, inspired Budişteanu to create the automatic driving system. More than 85 percent of accidents are reportedly caused by driver errors.
Budişteanu received the Gordon E. Moore prize, named after the co-founder in Intel, worth USD 75,000. After winning the competition, Ionuţ Budişteanu received a message of congratulation from Romania's Education Minister Remus Pricopie.
This year, approximately 1,600 young scientists were chosen to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. They were selected from 433 affiliate fairs in more than 70 countries, regions and territories.
500 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research. Awards included 17 “Best of Category”winners who each received a USD 5,000 prize. The Intel Foundation also awarded a USD 1,000 grant to each winner’s school and to the affiliated fair they represent.