Dobyns-Bennett senior named Regeneron Scholar in national Science Talent Search


KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)- Out of thousands of applicants, Dobyns-Bennett senior Arnab Dey’s research has been recognized in a national STEM competition.

Dey’s studies relating to soil erosion in East Tennessee landed the student as an official scholar in this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search – “the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.”

“People’s livelihoods are directly affected by what happens with soil,” Dey said. “It’s such an interesting, unusual, weird – however you want to put it – concept.”

Arnab Dey shows a presentation he made for his project

During his junior year, Dey began work on his research project, “Assessing the Accuracy of Various Models in Predicting Soil Loss for a Landsite in Gray, TN.”

“There’s like 2,000 applicants, and then from there, they get around 300 people that are named scholars. So I was lucky enough to be one of those people,” he said.

With permission from ETSU’s Geosciences Department, Dey studied soil erosion pins at a site in Gray. His goal was to determine what algorithmic model is best for predicting soil erosion in the region. He hopes the knowledge can help both the agriculture and construction industries.

“I thought, in my mind, if there was a way we could predict areas that are very high risk of erosion, and areas that are not so high risk of erosion, then we could focus our conservation efforts to the areas that are high at risk,” he said.

On January 22, Dey will find out if he’s chosen as one of Regeneron’s 40 finalists who will present their findings in Washington D.C. But no matter what, his supporters couldn’t be more proud.

“I could write a whole novel on Arnab,” said Dobyns-Bennett chemistry teacher Ushma Kothari. “He’s beyond compare. He’s par excellence, among the very few I have encountered in 22 years of my teaching career.”

Dey received a $2,000 scholarship for his achievement. He plans to go to college next fall and potentially study biomedical engineering.

“Now being named a Regeneron scholar, I sort of have this duty to tell people – younger, aspiring scientists – follow your heart,” he said. “Follow your dreams. And together we can make a difference.”

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