Research students present their projects at LISEF: Seniors Michael Nachman and Samantha D’Alonzo advance to the second round


Lauren Seidman

Senior Michael Nachman presents his research concerning the accuracy of presidential primaries in predicting the general election.

Emily Ma, News Editor

During the summer before senior year, students in math, science, and social science research worked on projects with experienced researchers who guided them through the process.

After logging hours of laboratory research, writing research papers, and displaying their findings on a board, students presented their projects to research teachers in preparation for the competition.

On Feb. 8, research students competed at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF)

“It was an exciting experience being surrounded by so many interesting projects and intelligent students,” said senior Katherine Melkonian.

LISEF was founded in 1986 by Charles Duggan in an effort to inspire Long Island students to excel in math and science.  As the number of research programs increased, school participation in LISEF has grown exponentially.  This year, approximately 600 students participated in the competition, and 30% of students advance to the second round.

Thirteen Schreiber students participated in LISEF, and two students advanced to the second round.  Seniors Samantha D’Alonzo from math research and Michael Nachman from social science research will compete in round two on March 10.

Nachman conducted his research project, “An Analysis of Presidential Primaries as General Election Predictors,” under the mentorship of political science professor Helmut Norpoth at Stony Brook University.  He analyzed the results of the US presidential primaries using linear regression analysis.  Based on his data, Nachman was able to correctly predict that Donald Trump would win the 2016 election.

“LISEF is definitely a rigorous competition, given that you sit by your board for 6-7 hours waiting for judges to come around and look at your project,” said senior Michael Nachman.  ”But the judges are all extremely nice, and I’m glad that I’m lucky enough to be going to the second round of judging in March.”

D’Alonzo completed her project, “Statistical Modeling and SIR Modeling in New York State Counties of Syndrome X Based on Text Based Indicators from Social Media and Food Environment,” under the mentorship of professors Mordecai and Kappagoda from NYU.

D’Alonzo used statistical modeling to determine if there a correlation between people’s behavior on Twitter and the prevalence of obesity in a county in New York.  She concluded that social media is a viable method for tracking obesity and many other diseases.

“I spent a lot of time working on my board and practiced my presentation many times before LISEF, so I was very happy and proud to have moved on to the second round,” said D’Alonzo.

The research teachers played an instrumental role in preparing students for the competition.  Mr. Schineller, Ms. Gallagher, and Ms. Dragos guided students through the process and made sure they were well prepared to present.

“Ms. Gallagher really helped us prepare; along with organizing the extensive paperwork, she knew how important it is to be confident in the presentations and really sell the work we’ve done,” said senior Maria Kogan.

If D’Alonzo and Nachman receive first place in their respective categories on March 10, they will have the opportunity to attend the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles.