Neeyanth Kopparapu of Herndon and Siona Prasad of Vienna Win Davidson Scholarship

Neeyanth Kopparapu of Herndon and Siona Prasad of Vienna Win Davidson Scholarship


Neeyanth Kopparapu


Siona Prasad

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development has announced the 2019 Davidson Fellows Scholarship winners. Among the honorees are Neeyanth Kopparapu, 17 of Herndon, and Siona Prasad, 18 of Vienna. Only 20 students across the country are recognized as scholarship winners each year.

“I am incredibly grateful to the Davidson Institute for this recognition of my work in artificial intelligence,” said Kopparapu, a rising senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria. “I am looking forward to meeting other Fellows and becoming part of the Davidson Fellows Scholarship community.”

Kopparapu’s project, MRI Image Synthesis for the Diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease using Deep Learning, presents the first automatic diagnosis system for early-stage Parkinson's disease from an MRI scan with a 96.6 percent accuracy. Kopparapu was driven to tackle this problem after his grandfather was given a late diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease and is now unable to use common medication to treat the disease.

“I am deeply honored to be named a 2019 Davidson Fellow,” said Prasad, who will be attending Harvard University in the fall. “I am excited to join this incredible and inspiring group of peers and hope to continue my research pursuits in the future.”

Prasad’s project, Characterizing Uncertainty in Urban Inversions of Carbon Sources / Sinks using Low Cost Sensor Measurements, creates a comprehensive system to measure and monitor greenhouse gas emissions. Using carbon dioxide sensor technology, drone platforms and inversion modeling, Prasad successfully predicted an emission inventory for Washington, D.C. Her methodology takes a crucial first step towards enforcing mitigation strategies and government-set limits and, ultimately, combating climate change.

“We are proud to announce the 2019 Davidson Fellows Scholarship recipients and applaud them for their hard work and achievement in their fields of study,” said Bob Davidson, founder of the Davidson Institute. “By being awarded this recognition, these students have shown immense skill and work ethic, and they should be commended as they continue their educational and research journeys while continuing to work to solve some of the world’s most vexing problems.”

The 2019 Davidson Fellows will be honored at a reception in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.

The Davidson Fellows Scholarship program offers $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships to students 18 or younger, who have completed significant projects that have the potential to benefit society in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature and music. For more information about the 2018 Davidson Fellows, visit