ISEF – Sr. Division

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

2015 ISEF Candidates2015 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.

Intel ISEF Pittsburgh:  May 10-15, 2015

Pittsburgh Conf CntrThe 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 2014 event on Facebook.

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.

2014 ISEF Alternate

Raymond Gilmartin  South Pasadena High School

Magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) with high tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) are the basis for magnetoresistive random-access memory (MRAM) for computers. The purpose of this project is to characterize the relationship between RA and TMR to optimize MTJ performance. During the study, the MTJs exhibited single-peak maximum TMR values, indicating that optimal performance is related to insulator thickness, occurring when the MgO layer is oxidized and insulating and the CoFeB layers are un-oxidized and conducting. Nearly identical exponentially increasing RA values show that fabrication defects are minimal. Finally, while peak TMR values were too low, they did occur at sufficiently high RA values. Since the MTJs have high resistance and the potential for high TMR at high RA, the key to MeRAM development will be the fabrication of MTJs with improved TMR, and further research can focus on variables such as MTJ structure, materials, and fabrication techniques to optimize insulation and conduction.


The 1st Place winner in each Senior Division category will automatically be considered to represent Los Angeles County at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  The Los Angeles County Science Fair will send TWO  candidates to the 2015 ISEF.  As always, the decision of the judges is final.

  • Winter 2014 (mid February) Intel ISEF registration materials available online.
  • April 12, 2015 Last day to submit paperwork. There will be no exceptions.  Click here to access the finalists information page.
  • May 10-15, 2015 Intel ISEF 2015 will be held in Pittsburgh, PA