Stav, Mahdi, Ben and Viraj Earn Gold Medals at Long Island Mathematics Fair!

Last month, four Wheatley students submitted original research papers and virtual presentations to the 2022 Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair. All four students earned Gold Medals for their work! Congratulations to Stav Agajan (Class of 2023), Mahdi Bhalloo (Class of 2023), Benjamin Casella (Class of 2023), and Viraj Pahuja (Class of 2025) on their impressive research! 

Stav Agajan’s paper, titled “Underlying Variables’ Impact on SAT Scores,” studied the effect that non-cognitive factors, such as minority percentages, family income, and student-teacher classroom ratios, have on the SAT scores of students who attend high school on Long Island. Data for average SAT scores of Long Island students were available for 98 school districts. Using statistical regression models with the data from these districts, Stav successfully drew valid conclusions linking students’ SAT scores to non-academic, confounding variables. 

Mahdi Bhalloo’s paper, titled “The Effect of Various Genetic, Demographic, and Physiological Factors on Glioblastoma Multiforme Formation and Survival: A Statistical Analysis,” studied the most aggressive form of brain cancer. Mahdi performed eight different hypothesis tests where he connected survival rates to patient characteristics, such as gender, age, and type of medical treatment received. Mahdi’s research supports the notion that looking at multiple factors together can build a greater understanding of how various external factors contribute to Glioblastoma formation and survival.

Benjamin Casella’s paper, titled “Investigating the Impossibility of an Integer Cuboid,” studied the existence of a perfect integer cuboid. Integer cuboids are right rectangular prisms with integral dimensions. The question as to whether an integer cuboid that contains integer edges, face diagonals, and space diagonals exists has occupied the minds of mathematicians for centuries. Currently, there is no formal mathematical proof confirming the impossibility of a perfect integer cuboid. Although Ben did not establish this proof by the end of his research, progress in defining the limits for what possible groups of integers are within the bounds of possibility was achieved through his thorough mathematical exploration. Ben’s findings can, therefore, aid other mathematicians in their research on the existence of integer cuboids.

Viraj Pahuja’s paper, titled “The Hidden Deadweight Loss of Gift Giving,” studied the most efficient method of gift-giving and how this method could dramatically help thousands of Americans facing economic challenges. Viraj examined three methods: the popular yet inefficient method of giving presents that recipients often do not want, gift cards that are generally well-received yet impersonal, and the simple yet efficient process of providing cash. Viraj used economic models to examine the deadweight loss of all three methods and made valid conclusions that could ultimately help financially challenged Americans.

Special thanks to their mentor, Ms. Danielle Calvagno, and Director of Mathematics Dr. Robert Teseo for their unwavering support of our students.

[Thanks to Dr. Teseo for the write-up!]

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