Visible to the public NSA Research Directorate Awards at Intel International Science and Engineering FairConflict Detection Enabled

ISEF 2015  |  ISEF 2016  |  ISEF 2017  |  ISEF 2018  |  ISEF 2019 | ISEF 2020 | ISEF 2021


Science of Security first sponsored an award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in 2015. The award was created to encourage school students to pursue scientific research in cybersecurity and related fields. The award is open to high school students who are competition in the ISEF Finals. Students from all over the world, usually 70-80 countries are represented in the finals. In 2017, a new award was added to recognize outstanding mathematics contributions.

Looking to do a science fair project in cybersecurity? Visit the VO Page on getting started. 

ISEF 2021

Details about ISEF 2021 will be posted closer to the event.

ISEF 2020

Due to ISEF 2020 being canceled for corona virus, there was no NSA awards for ISEF 2020.

ISEF 2019

Adam's Blog | NSA Annoucment | SoS VO Article

At ISEF 2019, the NSA Research Directorate  judged projects for awards in Science of Security and Privacy, Mathematics, Material Science and Cyber Pioneers.

Handouts from the NSA Research Directorate Booth are here.

Science of Security

  • Suha Hussain of Ozone Park NY - 1st Place - $3,000 Prize (Abstract)
  • Alice Guo of Morgantown, WV - 2nd Place - $1,000 Prize (Abstract)
  • Divya Amirtharaj of Beaverton, OR - 2nd Place  - $1,000 Prize (Abstract)
  • Gabrielle Liu of Nashville, TN - 2nd Place - $1,000 Prize (Abstract)
  • Michael Brockman of Bartlesville, OK - Honorable Mention (Abstract)
  • Adam Kelly of Dubin Ireland - Honorable Mention (Abstract)
  • Advay Koranne of West Linn, OR - Honorable Mention (Abstract)

Cyber Pioneer

  • Kevin Meng of Plano, TX - 1st Place - $1,000 (Abstract)
  • Milidu Jayaweera of Albuquerque, NM - 2nd Place - $1,000 (Abstract)
  • Ryan McDowell of Annapolis, MD - Honorable Mention (Abstract)

Material Science

  • Kaitlyn Zuravel of Fayetteville, NC - 1st Place - $1,000 (Abstract)
  • Jacqueline Prawira of Mountain House, CA - Honorable Mention (Abstract)


  • Daniel Santiago of Anasco, PR - 1st Place - $1,500 (Abstract)
  • John Piwinski of San Antonio, TX - 2nd Place - $750 (Abstract)
  • AnaMaria Perez of Albuquerque, NM - 2nd Place - $750 (Abstract)
  • Aayush Karan of Muskego, WI - Honorable Mention (Abstract)
  • Breandon Matusch of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada - Honorable Mention (Abstract)

ISEF 2018

Adam's Blog | NSA Announcement | SoS VO Article | YouTube Video (Video Starts at 1:01:40)

ISEF 2018, in Pittsburgh, PA. Held May 13 - 18, 2018 in the convention center.

23 Students were recognized with 20 awards. Two projects were team projects. The award categories were: Science of Security, Mathematics, Material Science, Future of Computing, Physical Sciences, and Cyber Pioneer.

Science of Security

  • Vivek Bhupatiraju of Lexington MA - 1st Place - $3,000 Prize
  • Deepti Vaidyanathan of Baton Rouge, LA - 2nd Place - $1,000 Prize
  • Suha Hussain of Ozone Park, NY - 2nd Place - $1,000 Prize
  • Divya Amirtharaj of Portland, OR - 2nd Place - $1,000 Prize (Abstract)
  • Nicole Meister of Ellicott City, MD - Honorable Mention
  • Daniel Santiago of Anasco, Puerto Rico - Honorable Mention
  • Shrya Pingali of Salt Lake City, UT - Honorable Mention


  • Bryan Gopal of Chandler, AZ - 1st Place - $1,500
  • Franklyn Wang of Falls Church, VA - 2nd Place - $750 Prize
  • Jim Kong of Owings MD, William Longsworth, and Nathan Hayes of Dunkirk MD - $750 Prize
  • Isha Puri of Chappaqua, NY - Honorable Mention
  • Emil Geisler of Bountiful, UT - Honorable Mention

Material Science

  • Kevin Meng of Plano, TX - 1st Place - $1,000 Prize
  • Jacob Wu of Princeton, NJ - Honorable Mention

Cyber Pioneer

  • Eshan Chhabra of Plano, TX - 1st Place - $1,000 Prize
  • Aditya Singh of Ponte Vedra, FL - Honorable Mention

Physical Science

  • Sharmi Shah of Colonia, NJ - 1st Place - $1,000 Prize
  • Carissa Wu of Potomac, MD and Abhishek Allamsetty of Herndon, VA - Honorable Mention

Future of Computing

  • Swagat Bhattacharyya of Morgantown, WV - 1st Place - $1,000 Prize
  • Cade Brown of Knoxville, TN - Honorable Mention

ISEF 2017                                                    

Adam's Blog | NSA Announcement | SoS VO Article | YouTube Video (Video Starts at 1:24:04)

ISEF 2017, in Los Angeles, California. Held May 14 - 19, 2017 in the convention center.

1st Place in Science of Security - $3,000

  • Rucha Joshi from Westwood High School, Austin, TX for Power-efficient, Delay and Spatial Error Tolerant, Dynamic 3D Network Analysis

2nd Place in Science of Security - $1,000

  • Holly Jackson from Notre Dame High School, San Jose, CA for Unlocking History: An Algorithm to Virtually Unfold 3D Computed Tomography Scans of Unopened Historical Documents
  • Mihir Patel & Nikhil Sardana from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA for Automating Identification of Terrorist Recruitment on Social Media Platforms

Honorable Mentions in Science of Security

  • Nicky Wojtania from Plano West Senior High School, Plano, TX for Cellulose Nanocrystals for Security Applications: Embedding Non-Optical Signatures Provided by Nanoparticles into Cellulose Nanocrystal Chiral Nematic Films
  • Mary Catherine Lorio from St. Joseph's Academy, Baton Rouge, LA for Quantum Eraser with Applications to Optical Quantum Information Processing of Polarization-Encoded Qubits
  • Michael Litt from Orange High School, Pepper Pike, OH for MATCHLESS: A Linear Algebraic Approach to Duplicate File Identification

1st Place in Mathematics - $1,000

  • Shobhita Sundaram from Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT for Detection of Premalignant Pancreatic Cancer via Computational Analysis of Serum Proteomic Profiles

Honorable Mentions in Mathematics

  • Carson Cato from Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, Hot Springs, AR for Optimizing the Search for Mersenne Primes
  • Tassilo Schwarz from Johannes-Heidenhain-Gymnasium Traunreut, Traunreut, Bayern Germany for Done Defense System: Detection, Tracking, Classification and Targeting of Flight Objects in 3D and Real Time

Picture of WinnersISEF 2016

Adam's Blog | NSA Announcement | SoS VO Article

ISEF 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona. The theme was Think Beyond.

1st Place - $3,000

  • Charles Noyes from Villa Park, California for Efficient Blockchain-Driven Multiparty Computation Markets at Scale

2nd Place - $1,000

  • Karthik Yegnesh from Lansdale, Pennsylvania for Cosheaf Theoretical Constructions in Networks and Persistent Homology
  • Rucha Joshi from Austin, Texas for Determining Network Robustness Using Region Based Connectivity

Picture of WinnersISEF 2015

Adam's Blog | NSA Announcement | SoS VO Article | SSP Page

First year with sponsoring the award. Location was Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the theme was The Future is Bright.

1st Place - $3,000

  • Elliot Gorokhovsky from Boulder, Colorado for A Novel Algorithm for #SAT Using the Inclusion-Exclusion Principle and Memorization

2nd Place - $1,000

  • Sarayu Caulfield and Alexandra Ulmer from Portland, Oregon for Capacity Limits of Working Memory: The Impact of Multitasking on Cognitive Control in Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants
  • Cherry Ying Zou from Poolesville, Maryland for Development of an Authorship Identification Algorithm for Twitter Using Stylometric Techniques

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