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The 2014 Schwartz-Reisman Competition for Scientific Excellence

The Schwartz-Reisman Competition is now in its second year. Prizes are awarded to the winning projects held in the annual competition between students’ original projects from the Excellence classes.

This year nine teams from the Computational Science classes (10th-12th grades) submitted their papers to the panel of judges comprised of leading scientists from academe and hi-tech.
On the evening of January 7, 2015, students representing the nine groups presented their projects (5 min. each) to the panel and the audience.

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Our panel of judges for 2015

Prof. Daniel Zajfman, Professor of  Physics, President of the Weizmann Institute of Science and Chairman of the  Executive Council of the Schwartz-Reisman Center.

Prof. Roee Ozeri, Researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science and member of the Executive Council of the Schwartz-Reisman Science Education Center.

Mr. Meni Barzilai, strategic technology consultant, Member, Yuval Neeman Forum.

Prof. Eshel Ben-Jacob, Professor, Sackler School of Physics, Tel Aviv University; past president of the Israel Physics Society; Member of the Executive Council of the Schwartz-Reisman Science Education Center.

Prof. Ben-Jacob is one of the world’s leading scientists in research on inter-bacterial communication, and holds the Maguy-Glass Chair in Physics of Complex Systems, Senior Investigator at the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP), Rice University, Fellow of the American Physics Society

The Projects

10th Grade

Computational Model of a Power meter for Cyclists (First place)

Submitted by: Nadav Halahmi, Ironi Yod Dalet, Schwartz-Reisman Class in Computational Science guided by Shlomo Rosenfeld

Student Nadav Halahmi attempted to respond to the issue of frequent concern to cyclists and mountain bike riders: Can we calculate the cyclist’s output power without using actual cyclist’s power meter? The proposed computational model was applied to a specific cyclist then compared to the measurement obtained with a cyclist’s power meter.

A computational model of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. (Second place)

Submitted by: Hadas Yaron Goldhersch and Dana Rosen. Ironi A High School. Computational Science class at the Schwartz-Reisman Center, guided by Shlomo Rosenfeld.

The work on modeling leukemia’s process. There are about 4 types of leukemia, but the work focuses on chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), cancer of the “parent cell” in the bone marrow from which all blood cells are created. Normally, cells are produced in an orderly, controlled manner, but in CML the process becomes uncontrolled and cells divide uncontrollably. Using the Model the work tried to estimate the period needed between two successive chemical treatments.


Computational model of the shape of a rope hanging in a non-uniform gravity field (Third place)

Submitted by: Yaniv Shor, Ironi Yod Alef High School, Schwartz-Reisman class in Computational Science guided by Shlomo Rosenfeld

The project attempted to find the shape of a rope suspended between two poles in a non-uniform field of gravity. Finding the form took place randomly by modeling the rope as a group of weights connected by springs. The locations of the weights were changed randomly and only  the changes that minimizing the   potential energy of the  was kept

The model facilitated finding the shape in a revolving system representing an uneven gravitational field. The project used computational methods to solve this problem, which, as far as I know, has no analytical solution. The model can help solve similar problems dealing with an uneven gravity field by changing the model.

11th Grade

Computational model simulating the 6 degrees of freedom of the surveillance satellite in space (First place)

Karni Lev Bar-Or, Gymnasia Herzliya, Schwartz-Reisman class with Idit Grumann.

The students constructed a simulation model of a surveillance satellite orbiting Earth, and a control system whose goal is to direct the satellite so that the fixed camera is trained on Earth, able to take a photograph at any moment the satellite moves.

The project was based on applying Centrifugal Force, laws of impulse and momentum and angular momentum, spatial coordinates systems, and 3-D altitude control methods.Simulation of the movement of a ball bearing chain

Simulation of the movement of a ball bearing chain (Second place)

Submitted by: Uri Peleg, Tichon Hadash High School, and Rona Yaniv, Alliance High School, in Schwartz-Reisman’s Excellence Class guided by Idit Grumann

The project studied the movement of a chain made of ball bearings attached to each other with rods without mass, with the movement of each of the ball bearings impacted by the previous ball. The lowest ball on the chain is impacted by external movement, while the topmost ball is fixed in place. The goal was to examine the impact of the balls on each other, and the movement of the entire chain as a whole. The students studied whether the chain’s movement was chaotic or periodic.

The first stage involved constructing a computerized simulation of the system using the Python software. They generated equations describing the movement of the balls in the chain. The equations are second-order nonlinear differential equations that can be solved only numerically. The students used Python to solve it in a numerical form, and obtain a good approximation the reality.

After constructing the simulation, the team examined the model’s action in a variety of starting positions, and monitored the results obtained. The results of the model showed that the movement of the chain is chaotic. In the final stage, the students compared the results of their model with an experiment they conducted with a chain of ball bearings whose movement was captured in a rapatronic camera.

After processing the results of the experiment, it was found that there is a very good match with the results obtained from the computational model.

Simulation of Brownian movement of a particle in an optical trap (Third place)

Submitted by: Omri Citrin, Ironi Dalet, and Itamar Baron, Alliance High School, who were in Yossi Cordova’s class in Computational Science at the Schwartz-Reisman

A Brownian particle trapped in an optical trap is a probe sensitive to molecular and nanoscopic forces. Understanding the phenomenon of the movement caused by random, deterministic contributions can lead to a deep physics-based understanding of stochastic behavior and processes, which are processes whose development depends on a continuum of random variables whose results are not deterministic. This means that the system can reach several different states. Modeling of the realistic stochastic processes usually requires an in-depth understanding of mathematics and vast knowledge of advanced mathematical instruments for their calculations.

In this project, students used an algorithm which used a differential equation to describe the computation of the Brownian movement of the particle trapped in an optical trap and the numerical reference of the phenomenon to “white noise.”

12th Grade

The impact of various characteristics on dementia risk (First place)

Roni Yitzhaki and Noga Mudrik, Ironi Dalet Shlomo Rosenfeld’s Excellence Class at Schwartz-Reisman center.

The paper examined the extent to which various factors impacted the risk of falling ill with dementia. The students used a system they constructed to compute the probability of suffering from dementia, including its degree of severity, based on only 8 characteristics.

The students discovered that the various characteristics have great impact on the risk of dementia; however, the system hinted that gender has less impact than thinking currently prevalent in the scientific literature.

Identifying lymphocytic leukemia through neural networks (Second place)

Uri Shavit, Lady Davis High School, in Eyal Cohen’s class at.

The paper presents an original approach to diagnosing chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) using an algorithm of artificial neural networks. The system analyz photographs of blood cultures and classifies the input as a picture of the blood of a sick or healthy person.

The research results confirm that it is possible to use artificial neural networks to classify photographs of blood cultures; the system classified isolated white blood cells with a precision of identification of 81%.

The project presents a model of the processing of the photograph and the processing of the neural networks, model results, study of the findings, and a prototype of an application for evaluating blood samples in real time.

Teenage Drinking (Third place)

Tamar Mashiach and Tom Winitzky Shlomo Rosenfeld’s Computational Science Class at Schwartz-Reisman center.

This project studied the phenomenon of teen drinking. A questionnaire was prepared, and the data was analyzed by an I.T. system which found the factors impacting the tendency for drinking among adolescents.

The conclusion stated that legislation prohibiting alcohol for those younger than 18 would have the most impact on the phenomenon. Parental prohibitions do not have a great impact.



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