Last week we ran one of our most popular PandoLists yet: Teenaged Entrepreneurs. (If you haven’t already taken a look at the list, you should.) Two of the audience favorites were Laura “I laser off worms’ gonads” Demming, and Taylor “I developed a nuclear reactor when I was 14” Wilson. Laura is part of the Thiel Foundation’s first class of “20 Under 20” winners from 2011, and Taylor will be apart of the second, as the foundation has just announced their class for 2012.
The Thiel Fellowship, formed by PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel raised quite a bit of controversy last year.  Commonly referred to as an “anti-college” scholarship, the Thiel Fellowship is a two-year program where each Fellow receives $100,000 from the Thiel Foundation to pursue their own entrepreneurial project in lieu of a university education.

Don’t worry, the Thiel fellows of 2011 have been very productive with their fellowship money over the past year. “They’ve started and sold companies, closed million-dollar funding rounds, won international entrepreneurship and scientific awards, spearheaded innovative social movements, and begun to transform fields like education, software development, clean energy, electric vehicles, robotics, medical technology, and finance,” says Thiel Fellowship co-founder Jim O’Neill.

With mentorship and access to the Foundation’s network of tech entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, thought leaders, and innovators, I think it’s safe to say that the 2012 class isn’t hurting for resources and likely has a very promising future.

Now for the exciting part, the newest batch of the where-the-hell-did-you-come-from teen geniuses. (Disclaimer: you might feel badly about your own accomplishments after reading this)

A few of the most astonishing include Anand Gupta (20, Palo Alto, CA) and Tony Ho (19, San Jose, CA) who are using biology and computer science to speed up analysis of biomedical images, revolutionizing the accuracy and diagnosis of patients with complex diseases. Also, Kettner Griswold (19, Bethesda, MD) and Paul Sebexen (19, Staten Island, NY) are working on a bench-top genome synthesis device that allows both medical practices and laboratories to cost effectively synthesize large genetic constructs. This technology will have a major impact on biotechnology and healthcare.

Below is a full list of the 2012 class:

Clay Allsopp (20, Raleigh, NC) started a company called Apptory, which helps individuals and businesses to develop content for easy to use interfaces and touch-screen devices.

Dylan Field (20, Penngrove, CA) wants to recreate the way people define themselves making creativity the focal point, rather than consumption. He will work on making better creative tools while taking a leave from Brown University.

Spencer Hewett (20, Bryan Mawr, PA) is an inventor who wants to eliminate checkout lines and shoplifting. He is focusing on No-Q, a fusion of radio — frequency identification (RFID) and mobile payment technology.

Yoonseo Kang (18, Mississauga, ON, Canada) wants to use open-source hardware that will enable communities worldwide to increase their productivity potential by engaging in strategic economic collaboration.

Jimmy Koppel (20, St. Louis, MO) is a software engineer who wants to make modern software development more efficient (which normally takes a very long time) by developing new tools to automate the process.

Ryan Lelek (19, Schererville, IN) wants to disrupt the computer industry through advances in hardware, software, and network technology.

Ritik Malhotra (19, San Jose, CA)  wants to focus on user growth to build a platform that provides a streamlined way of discovering, sharing, and distributing content over Facebook, Twitter, and other social media services.

Chris Olah (19, Toronto, ON, Canada) wants to use 3D printing to make educational aids and basic scientific equipment. His project ImplicitCAD uses math to reinvent computer-aided design making it more cost effective.

Semon Rezchikov (18, Hillsborough, NJ) will be using synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and social network dynamics to expand upon bioautomation technologies.

Omar Rizwan (18, East Hanover, NJ) wants to use artificial intelligence to analyze big data sets.

Tara Seshan (19, New Fairfield, CT) will be using technology (specifically data analysis), simple solutions, and community-based change to improve worldwide public health in low resource environments.

Noor Siddiqui (17, Clifton, VA) wants to give students and industries worldwide access to the untapped workforce, increasing upward mobility and opportunity.

Charlie Stigler (19, Pacific Palisades, CA) is working to solve problems in the education system through Zaption, an application that integrates video into the interactive Web experience in hopes of improving the workflow of educators and collaborators.

Ilya Vakhutinsky (20, Fair Lawn, NJ) wants to lower the cost of health care by changing the way technology and health care communities work together.

Taylor Wilson (18, Texarkana, AR) created nuclear fusion at the age of 14 (youngest person in history) and wants to revolutionize counter-terrorism technology in addition to creating cost effective medical isotopes for the detection and treatment of cancer.

Connor Zwick (18, Waukesha, WI) wants to transform our country’s education system through a mobile educational platform, Flashcards+. This platform allows you to learn about anything from crowd-sourced generated content.

[Disclosure: Peter Thiel is an investor in PandoDaily]