Jefferson students succeed at science fair


Chopra received a second place award in the Computer Science category at Intel ISEF. Photo courtesy of Parth Chopra.

Yena Seo

Several Jefferson students attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) from May 11-16 in Los Angeles, Ca. Students were able to attend the science fair as finalists after succeeding at both the school-wide and the county-wide science fairs earlier on in the year.

The students representing Jefferson were junior Matt Park and seniors Archis Bhandarkar, Manotri Chaubal and Parth Chopra, and over 1700 participants from over 70 different countries attended the science fair.

“ISEF was an absolutely fantastic experience,” Chopra said. “The organizers pulled out all the stops and we were treated to a week of exciting activities and entertainment, from pin exchanges and Nobel laureate panels to renting out Universal Studies for all finalists. We even had time to hit up a beach!”

The Jefferson student finalists performed well, receiving awards and placing in their respective categories. Chaubal placed fourth place in the Cellular and Molecular Biology category, while Bhandarkar received an award from the World Economic Forum. Chopra’s project, “A Novel Computational Agent-Based Model for the Outbreak, Spread, and Containment of Tuberculosis,” received second place in the Computer Science category. Chopra also won a first place award from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

“In a nutshell, I developed a computer simulation to understand the epidemology of tuberculosis, which affects a third of the world’s population in some way,” Chopra said. “It is the first large-scale model of its kind, and can easily be incorporated into current health policies to make a difference today.”