CMHS Students Awarded Top 3 Places at 2022 Louisiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

Caddo Parish Magnet High School is proud to announce that three students have placed in the top three positions of the 2022 Louisiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.  Ashini Modi, senior, placed first and received a $2000 scholarship; Nhi Dao, junior, placed second and received a $1500 scholarship; and Raj Letchuman, junior, placed third and received a $1000 scholarship.  All three students will be attending an all-expenses-paid National JSHS in Albuquerque, April 20-23, 2022.


Modi’s research is titled “An Evolutionary Model for Stellar Wind-Induced Atmospheric Escape of Small Exoplanets.”  Her project created a model for the effect that high-speed ions from stars can have on the atmospheres of planets. She found that two of the planets in her study were predicted to completely lose a Hydrogen-Helium atmosphere due to interactions with these ions. However, current observations show the existence of an atmosphere on these two planets, meaning that the atmosphere we are seeing today could be secondary, or re-established. She hopes her model will aid in the search for life beyond Earth and shed some light on the evolution of Earth-like planets.


Dao’s research is titled, “Functional Analysis of Parameterized Torus Knots.”  Her research provides a comprehensive study of the geometric and topological properties of torus knots, a special type of knot within knot theory. The torus knots were first defined by standardized parametric equations. Interactive plots for each knot were created using Mathematica, and their dynamic properties—the first and second derivatives, curvature, and torsion—were calculated. A program within Mathematica was also developed to visualize the tangent, normal, and binormal unit vector (TNB) frame for the knots in conjunction with plots of their curvature and torsion. The results of this project could be used in understanding the intrinsic properties of torus knots and applying their characteristics to analysis of dynamic systems. 


Letchuman’s research is titled, “Identifying Promising Drug Candidates Against SARS-CoV-2 Using CADD Methodology and Drug Repurposing.”  The coronavirus pandemic continues to negatively affect the livelihoods of people across the world. The goal of his project is to identify promising antiviral drugs against the novel coronavirus using computational tools. In the end, he found three potential antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 and would like to further validate these compounds in the future. The power of computational modeling is immense, and using it to combat a global pandemic proves to be effective.

Below: Ashini, Nhi, and Raj.