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Source: University of Toronto

Student inventor competes for top prize

October 18, 2006

Medical student
has many talents
Oct 18/06
by Mary Alice Thring (about) (email)

University of Toronto medical student Andrew Deonarine is one of 11
finalists for this year’s Collegiate Inventors Competition, a program of the
U.S-based National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. The competition
rewards and recognizes students and advisers for innovation, discoveries and
research on projects with the potential to be patented.

Deonarine was nominated, along with his adviser Sarah Teichmann, for a
project entitled An Alignment-Based Method for Searching Text Based on
Meaning – essentially a more efficient way to do Internet searches by
examining the meaning of a phrase rather than individual key words. For
example, applied to the search phrase "dog chases man," his program could
return the news headline Angry Pitbull Runs After Grandfather. The invention
relies on a combination of historical linguistics and bioinformatics, using
the bioinformatics algorithms to help examine language.

Deonarine, 28, grew up in Winnipeg, the son of safety and health officer and
a registered nurse. In addition to his medical school studies, he is also
working on developing a chemical polymer that will preserve lab samples in
glass, he is mapping the proteome and he is also trying to decipher the
language of the ancient South Asian Harappa people. After graduation he
plans to pursue either a PhD in computational biology or a residency program
in community health.

The competition finalists, chosen from colleges and universities across
North America, present their inventions to a panel of judges Oct. 18. Each
entry is judged on the originality of the idea as well as its potential
value and usefulness to society. The winners will be announced Oct. 19 at
the U.S Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va. The undergraduate
prize (for which Deonarine is competing) is $10,000 US; the graduate prize
is $15,000; and the grand prize is $25,000. Each winning adviser also
receives recognition and a $3,000 prize. The National Inventors Hall of Fame
is based in Akron, Ohio.



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