ISEF – Sr. Division

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

Opening Ceremonies 2015

Opening Ceremonies 2015

ISEF collage22015 Intel International Science & Engineering Fair Finalists        Vick Liu from Flintridge Preparatory School and Sanath Devalapurkar from West High School, Torrance.  They have both been chosen by the LACSEF  to attend this amazing event in Pittsburgh, PA on May 10th through the 15th. Raymond Gilmartin from South Pasadena High School is the 2015 Alternate Candidate.

LA County Student Finalists Braeden Benedict and Shraya Ramayya attended through Palos Verdes Pennisula High School

LA County Student Finalists Braeden Benedict and Shraya Ramayya attended through Palos Verdes Peninsula HS

 2015 LA County Science Fair Intel ISEF FINALISTS

Sanath Devalapurkar    West High School

The K-Theory of Symmetric Monoidal Categories of Modules

The K-theory functor has been vaguely conjectured to preserve suitable algebraic structures. This paper studies the K-theory of a symmetric monoidal exact ∞-category of modules over an algebra over an ∞-operad, and shows, using ∞-categorical methods developed by Jacob Lurie and the higher categorical K-theory developed by Clark Barwick, that the K-theory functor preserves (up to an equivalence of ∞-categories) the structure of an ∞-category of modules (which, obviously, is an algebraic structure). This theorem also answers an ∞-categorical version of a question about the K-theory of a bipermutative category asked by Gunnar Carlsson, which is related to some fundamental properties of the K-theory functor. We also look at the other applications of this theorem, including the creation of a homotopical derived Morita theory of ∞-operads with a varying underlying ∞-category. We also show, using this theorem, that Barwick’s functor which resolves Deligne’s conjecture for K-theory can be uniquely factored into a composition of the K-theory functor on algebras and a fully faithful map between ∞-categories (where the uniqueness holds up to isomorphism), thereby refining Deligne’s conjecture.

Vick Liu   Flintridge Preparatory School

An Acoustic Enhanced Blood Smear Device

As the need for an accurate and complete blood analysis increases, there is a greater demand for micro devices that can perform such tasks. In my project, I developed a microfluidic enhanced blood smear device that can be used to concentrate and separate white blood cells (WBCs) from red blood cells (RBC) using acoustic microvortex induced by Lateral Cavity Stimulation, followed by automatic cell morphology recognition using a cell image analysis software. By teaching a computer how to differentiate blood cells, I created a database of cell images and increased the speed at which blood analysis occurs. With this database, the computer program can replace conventional manual cell counts and morphology analysis using microscopes which suffer from low reproducibility and is prone to human error.

2015 LA County Intel ISEF Finalists from Palos Verdes Penninsula HS

Shreya-web2Shreya Ramayya  Palos Verdes Peninsula High School

Synthesizing and Utilizing Difluoromethyl- & Trifluoromethyl- Artemisinins to Interrupt the Life Cycle of Malaria Parasites, Year III

Fluorine has allowed common therapies to become even more effective in treating many diseases because of the small size, low polarizability, and high electronegativity of the fluorine atom. Malaria could benefit from such an approach as drug resistance has drastically reduced the effectiveness of artemisinin, a common malaria drug. This study focused on developing the methodology to utilize both nucleophilic and electrophilic fluorination methods to incorporate fluorine into antimalarials.  In vitro drug assays were used to monitor the effectiveness of trifluoromethyl artemisinins in halting the growth of malaria parasites in their highly virulent gametocyte phase. High yields of very pure fluorinated artemisinin were synthesized, as confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry. Highly positive results have come from in vitro studies of parasitemia over time, indicating that the effects of fluorinated artemisinin last longer than those of traditional artemisinin.

Benedict-Braeden-webBraeden Benedict  Palos Verdes Peninsula High School

Pathology and Chemistry of the Brain in Sanfilippo Syndrome Type B

Sanfilippo syndrome is metabolism disorder passed down through families. It makes the body unable to properly break down long chains of sugar molecules formerly called mucopolysaccharides. There is currently no specific treatment available and the syndrome causes significant neurological symptoms, including severe intellectual disability. Most persons with Sanfilippo syndrome live into their teenage years. By studying the effects of Sanfilippo Syndrome Type B on the mouse brain it was hypothesized that affected mice would have lowered volume and/or neuronal density in the amygdala region of the brain. Also, it was hypothesized that the activities of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE), enzymes involved with the acetylcholine neurotransmitter pathway, would be lower in diseased mice. Observations made during that study led to discovering significant decreases in the activities of AChE and ChAT. The enzyme activity changes can provide an indicator of disease progression and could provide an indicator of the success of an attempted therapy.

Category Awards in 2015

  • Vick Liu was awarded 3rd place in Biomedical & Health Sciences, a highly competitive category                                                                                        $1,000
  • Sanath Devalapurkar was awarded 1st Place in Mathematics   $3,000
    Best in Category Award                                                                         $5,000

As a First Place winner, Sanath has had an asteriod named after him!

  • Shreya Ramayya was awarded 1st Place in Chemistry                  $3,000

As a First Place winner, Shreya has had an asteriod named after her!

Shreya Ramayya receives a 1st place in Chemistry!

Shreya Ramayya receives a 1st place in Chemistry!

 Special Awards in 2015

LA County Finalists at the Special Awards ceremony; Sanath meeting Nobel Prize winner Dr. Robert Horvitz

LA County Finalists at the Special Awards ceremony; Sanath meeting Nobel Prize winner Dr. Robert Horvitz

Sanath Kumar Devalapurkar, 15, West High School, Torrance, California

  • American Mathematical Society                   Certificate of Honorable Mention
  • European Union Contest for Young Scientists    Trip to Italy

Shreya Sundaresh Ramayya, 17, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Rolling Hills Estates, California

  • Patent and Trademark Office Society         First Award of $500
  • American Chemical Society                             Third Award of $2,000
Sanath Devalapurkar receives a European Union Contest for Young Scientists Award and a trip to Italy!

Sanath Devalapurkar receives a European Union Contest for Young Scientists Award and a trip to Italy!

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 Pittsburgh, PA 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 will send 2 or more  candidates to the 2016 ISEF, depending upon funding.  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