Illinois Institute of Technology has named three finalists for its Nayar Prize II, a package worth more than $1 million for breakthrough projects that can produce meaningful, impactful results within three years.
The Nayar Family Foundation created the prize for students, faculty and staff to recognize problem-solving capabilities and to help implement significant innovations that positively impact society, the economy and the environment.
"The projects selected for the Nayar Prize represent the incredible work, and creative and critical innovations, coupled with the ambitions of the university," provost Frances Bronet said. "The array of entries crossed all disciplines and embodied a commitment to solving difficult and pressing large-scale issues through technological and social analysis that offers clear and applicable action plans."
The three finalists for the Nayar Prize II are working on:
1) A data-driven crime prevention program that can be used in communities around the world. The model project will be used in partnership with the Elgin Police Department. Team members include Miles Wernick, Lori Andrews and Yongyi Yang.
2) A cyber-bullying early warning and response system that forecasts immediate cyberbullying threats and vulnerabilities on social media networks. Team members include Libby Hemphill and Aron Culotta.
3) A drug interaction platform based on intestinal microbiota. Microbiota affect health by changing the metabolism of drugs, which can make the drugs less effective. A tool to measure the interactions, based on a model of the intestine, will create a better understanding of intestine/drug interactions. Team members include Abhinav Bhushan, Genoveva Murillo and Rajendra Mehta.
The finalist teams will each be granted $100,000 to spend within one year to work on forming solutions to the problems they are exploring. After one year, one or two teams showing the most promise will receive an additional $100,000 each. The finalist team will receive $100,000 for a third year to complete the project.
For more information, please visit web.iit.edu/nayar-prize.