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May 16, 2014

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Sigma Xi Selects Special Award Winners at Intel ISEF 2014

Los Angeles, California — Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, recognized excellence in pre-college scientific research this week by awarding $7,000 to teams at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Nineteen Sigma Xi members served as judges May 13-14 at Intel ISEF in Los Angeles, the largest international pre-college science competition. They selected five teams to win Sigma Xi's Special Awards. The teams they selected were announced May 15 during a reception in the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The teams are comprised of students in ninth through twelfth grade who earned the right to compete at Intel ISEF by winning a top prize at a local, regional, state, or national science fair.

Sigma Xi members judged the teams’ abstracts, posters, and oral presentations to select the winners.

“I would describe the selection process to be one of identifying the ‘best’ examples of pre-collegiate companions in zealous research,” said Jerry Baker, Sigma Xi’s executive director and one of the members judging. “The judging focused on teams of two to three students that worked together to solve problems or new discoveries. They demonstrated innovation and dedication to the research efforts needed to be successful.”

The Sigma Xi contingent selected first place and second place winners in the physical and life sciences categories, with a tie for second place in life sciences.

The judges had a challenge in making their selections because so many projects were very high in quality, said Baker.

"These ISEF finalists are some of the really smart, young scientists and engineers in the world," he said.

The Sigma Xi Special Awards selections are:

First Physical Science Award, $2,000


Observational Detection of Solar g-mode Oscillations Using Doppler Velocity Signals


Min Sung Kim, 16, Maui High School, Kahului, Hawaii
Matthew Thomas Sturm, 17, Maui High School, Kahului, Hawaii

First Life Science Award, $2,000


Production of Bioplastic by a Bacterium Isolated from Waste Treatment Facility (from Lignocellulosic Glucose, Abundant Sucrose, Byproduct of Biodiesel & Spent Coffee Grounds Extract)


Gi Na Lee, 18, Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hoengseong-gun, South Korea
Dong Il Je, 17, Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hoengseong-gun, South Korea

Second Physical Science Award, $1,000


The Dark Matter inside of Early Type Galaxies


Angel Alejandro Martinez Jimenez, 18, Preparatoria del Tecnológico de Monterrey, Guadalajara campus, Zapopan, Mexico
Omar Perez Alvarado, 17, Preparatoria del Tecnológico de Monterrey Guadalajara campus, Zapopan, Mexico

Second Life Science Award (tie), $1,000


Novel Analysis of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation on Amyloid-beta, Tau, and Motility in Transgenic C. elegans models: Targeting Potential Therapeutics for Alzheimer's Disease


Kimberly Alexis Te, 16, Manhasset High School, Manhasset, New York
Austen Gregory Te, 17, Manhasset High School, Manhasset, New York
Jinyu Wu, 17, Manhasset High School, Manhasset, New York

Second Life Science Award (tie), $1,000


Walnut: Sustainable Solution to Halitosis


Eveshorhema Sophia Samuel-Alli, 14, Doregos Private Academy, Lagos, Nigeria
Ibukunoluwa Ruth Oladeinde, 15, Doregos Private Academy, Lagos, Nigeria

The following Sigma Xi members served as judges:


Area of Expertise

Farzad Ahmadkhanlou

Math and Engineering

Jerry Baker

Animal Husbandry/Animal Science and Genetics

Margarita Curras-Collazo

Neurosciences and Physiology

John Goodman

Physics and Materials Science

Ching-Ling Huang


Stephen Hurlock

Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physics

Kamran Iqbal

Electrical, Electronics, Communications Engineering

Myrna Jacobson-Meyers

Marine Biology and Microbiology

Matthew Kirby

Geology and Atmospheric Sciences/Meteorology

Chetan Kulkarni

Engineering and Materials Science

Yan Liu

Analytical Chemistry and Biotechnology

Yong Liu

Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering and Aerospace, Aero- and Astronautical Engineering

Donald Lucas

Analytical Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering

Donald Mayer

Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering

Jason Miller


Susanne Nicholas


Mahmudur Rahman

Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering

Tieli Wang

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Mingjie Yang

Medicine and Molecular Biology

Read a blog post by Sigma Xi member Don Mayer about his experience of judging at Intel ISEF. Mayer is the director of the Electrical Systems Assurance Department at The Aerospace Corporation.

See the list of all Special Award winners from Intel ISEF 2014.

About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, is the international honor society of science and engineering. One of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world, Sigma Xi has a distinguished history of service to science and society for more than a century. Scientists and engineers, whose research spans the disciplines of science and technology, comprise the membership of the Society. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Noble Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. www.sigmaxi.org.

About Intel ISEF: The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the world's largest international pre-college science competition, providing an annual forum for more than 1,700 high school students from over 70 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research and compete for more than $5 million in awards. Society for Science & the Public partners with Intel, along with other sponsors, to provide the support and awards for Intel ISEF. Learn more about Intel ISEF.

Updated: May 30, 2014.

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