ISEF – Sr. Division

Click here to be directed to the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)

Meet our 2016 Intel ISEF Finalists!

Elan Filler from Palos Verdes High School with her project: A Novel Treatment for Candida glabrata Infection and Sanath Devalapurkar from West High School, Torrance with his project The Algebra and Geometry of Quasicategories. They were both chosen by the LACSEF to attend this amazing event in Phoenix, AZ on May 8-13, 2016. Benjamin Liu from Arcadia HS was the 2016 Alternate Candidate.

2016 Intel ISEF winners-web


Elan Filler

Senior: Palos Verdes HS, Palos Verdes Peninsula USD
Teacher: Julie Munoz
Project: Microbiology, Sr. Division:  A Novel Treatment for Candida glabrata Infection

Abstract: Candida glabrata is a fungus that causes life-threatening infection in humans. Recently, some strains have become resistant to current antifungal drugs such as Caspofungin, and new drugs are urgently needed. Last year, I discovered that the transcription factor Ada2 is required for C. glabrata to resist antimicrobial peptides and Caspofungin, and is necessary for virulence in Galleria mellonella (wax moth) larvae. My hypothesis was that a compound that inhibits Ada2 can potentially be used to treat C. glabrata infection. My objective was to discover a new drug to treat C. glabrata infection. I used computer-assisted modeling, docking, and screening to identify potential Ada2 inhibitors. Ten of these compounds were selected based on structural diversity and availability and were purchased from a commercial source. To test for toxicity, each compound was injected into G. mellonella, and survival was monitored over a seven-day period. Each non-toxic compound was tested for its capacity to protect G. mellonella from lethal C. glabrata infection using survival as the endpoint. The resulting computer modeling generated a list of 200 potential Ada2 inhibitors. Of the 10 compounds that were selected and tested, only three were non-toxic. Of these three, the compound 6-methyl-2-oxo-N-(pyridin-2-ylmethyl)-1,2-dihydropyridine-3-carboxamide significantly improved survival of infected G. mellonella in two separate experiments (p=0.011 as compared to control by the log-rank test). I concluded that the compound 6-methyl-2-oxo-N-(pyridin-2-ylmethyl)-1,2-dihydropyridine-3-carboxamide is a promising antifungal drug for treating C. glabrata infection.

Sanath Devalapurkar

Sophomore: West HS, Torrance USD
Teacher:  Mark Roulette
Project:  Mathematics & Computer Sciences, Sr Division:  The Algebra and Geometry of Quasicategories

Abstract: The inherent stability in algebraic K-theory proved in my previous paper suggests a general notion of stability in higher category theory. In this paper, I use the abstract notion of a scaled simplicial set to provide a definition of a stable (∞, 2)-category, an example of which is the (∞, 2)-category of stable ∞-categories. We establish the consistency of this definition. We also introduce the notion of an (∞, 2)-operad by generalizing Barwick’s definition of complete Segal operads to the notion of a 2-fold complete Segal operad. Using this, we study the notion of a 2-ring, which generalizes the notion of a ring spectrum, and, more importantly, sets a new foundation for a generalization of commutative algebra.

Ordinarily, ring spectra fit together into a very complicated category called the stable homotopy category, which is the main object of study in (stable) homotopy theory. We provide multiple ways of extracting incredibly important information about the stable homotopy category from stable (∞, 2)-categories by defining and studying a “derived” analogue of the moduli stack of formal groups. Many interesting results about the basic structure of this derived moduli stack are proved, which in turn leads to a lot of interesting venues for further research, including a possible “derived” version of the ring spectrum tmf and a possible definition of n-rings for n > 2.

Intel ISEF Phoenix, AZ: May 8-13, 2016

phoenix convThe Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition and will be held in Phoenix, AZ this coming May! It is the premier global science competition for students in grades 9–12. In 2015,  more than 1,800 high school students from an expected 85 countries, regions, and territories will display their independent research and competed for over $3 million in awards. More than 400 finalists will receive awards and prizes for their groundbreaking work. Awards include 17 “Best of Category” winners who will each receive a $5,000 prize. The Intel Foundation also will award a $1,000 grant to each winner’s school and to the affiliated fair they represent.

We encourage you to visit the Intel homepage to learn more and you can check out pictures from the 2015 event on Facebook.


Top winners in each Senior Division category will be considered by our judges to represent Los Angeles County at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  The Los Angeles County Science Fair is sending 2 candidates to the 2016 ISEF.  As always, the decision of the judges is final.

  • Winter 2016 (mid February) Intel ISEF registration materials available online.
  • Early April, 2016  Last day to submit paperwork. There will be no exceptions.  Click here to access the finalists information page.
  • May 8-13, 2016 Intel ISEF 2015 will be held in Phoenix, AZ