ISEF – ASA Award Winners through the years

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) began participating at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in 1978 in order to promote acoustics and recognize the accomplishments of high-school students. ASA’s long-time participation in the ISEF recognizes the importance of promoting STEM education and generating interest in acoustics among all students. 

The ASA awards four finalists with cash prizes for themselves, their schools, and their mentors as well as financial support to attend the next ASA meeting. These meetings offer opportunities for students and young researchers as well as experienced acousticians to share information.

Current Awards Offered 
  • First Award of $1,500 and free registration for the next ASA Meeting. The student’s school will be awarded $200, and mentor awarded $500. 
  • Second Award of $1000 and free registration for the next ASA Meeting. The student’s school will be awarded $100 and mentor awarded $250.
  • Third Award of $600.00 and free registration for the next ASA Meeting. The student’s mentor will be awarded $150. ASA Meeting registration fees waived.
  • Honorable Mention receives free registration for the next ASA Meeting.

Below are winners of the ASA awards through the years. Click the titles in blue to read the project abstract.

2021 – Virtual

From May 16-21, the world’s best and brightest young scientists will showcase their research. We invite the public to join us at this free virtual event. Register here:

ASA judging team: Laurie Heller (Chair) Inder Makin, Xin Luo, and Thomas Kaufmann

  • First Award: Wanjia Fu, Why Do Beginners Produce Noise Instead of Music When They Play Musical Instruments? —Taking Erhu for Example
  • Second Award: Eugene Choi, Irfan Nafi, and Raffu Khondaker, SoundScape: Real-Time 3D Sound Localization and Classification with Sensory Substitution for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Third Award: Govardhan Poondi and John Rho, A Non-Invasive Ear-EEG Hearing Aid to Address the Cocktail Party Problem via Cloud-Based Deep Learning
  • Honorable Mention: Chinmayi Ramasubramanian, Diagnosing the Stage of COVID-19 using Machine Learning on Breath Sounds

2019 – Phoenix, AZ

ASA judging team: Inder Makin (Chair), Julie Liss, Xin Luo, and Thomas Kaufmann

2017 – Los Angeles, CA

ASA judging team: Roman Vinokur and Marshall Long (Chair)

2016 – Phoenix, AZ

ASA judging team: Inder Makin (Chair), Julie Liss, Paul Sakion, and Bruce Towe

2014 – Los Angeles, CA

2013 – Phoenix, AZ

ASA judging team: Inder Makin (Chair), Bruce Towe, and Yi Zhou

  • First Award: Myles Mitchell, Misbehaving Waves: The SurReal Thing
  • Second Award: Ivan Seleznov, An “EXTRA” Sense: Ultrasound Glove Assisting Spatial Orientation of the Visually Impaired
  • Honorable Mention: Akshat Boobna, Finding Best Speaker Position Using New Algorithms to Determine Acoustic Properties of a Room
  • Honorable Mention: Tomohiko Sato and Takahiro Yomono, ‘V-shaped Wave’ Generated by a Moving Object: Analyses and Experiments on Capillary Gravity Waves

2012 – Pittsburgh, PA

ASA judging team: Richard Stern, Matthew Poese, and Frederick Poese

  • First Award: Savanah Frisk, Who Do You Listen To? An Exploration on the Effects of Age and Gender on Listening Comprehension
  • Second Award: Hawraa ALQallaf, (BAS) Bracelet Alarm System for the Hearing Impaired Parents
  • Honorable Mention: Nofoume Ben Ahmed Aly, Alban Teytaud, and Paul Chassagne, Setting Up a Measuring Protocol of the Reverberation Time of a Room to Improve Its Soundscape Quality
  • Honorable Mention: Bridget Mary Oei, Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) Piezoelectric Generator: A Novel Approach to Harvesting Vibrations from Human Respiration to Power Biological Implant Devices

2011 – Los Angeles, CA

ASA Judging team: Roman Vinokur, Neil Shaw (Chair), and Steven Martin

  • First Award: Andrew Beekman Feldman, Acoustic Imaging Using Optimized Beamforming Techniques
  • Second Award: Kelles Diane Gordge, Critical Point of View: A System for in vivo Monitoring of Lung Sounds in Critical Care Patients
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Kyong-Doc Chung, Note to Self: A Transcriptional Study of Audio Files Using Fourier Transformation and New Applications
  • Honorable Mention: Konstantin Slavnov and Ilya S. Shoshin, Sound Wave Propagation: 3D Premises Model
  • Honorable Mention: Alexander Nathan Finney, Precision Location of Acoustic Sources

2010 – San Jose, CA

ASA judging team: Nick Maltsev (Chair), Robert Showen and Jie Sun

  • First Award: Marian Joan Bechtel, Developing a process for seismo-acoustic imaging applied to humanitarian demining
  • Second Award: David C. Liu, Continual adaptation of acoustic models for domain-specific speech recognition
  • Honorable Mention: Alexander M. Atkinson, The effect of relative drag on sonic sled velocity
  • Honorable Mention: Ellen Marie Price, Hidden sounds: Harmonic symmetry of human voices

2009 – Reno, NV

ASA judging team: W. Patrick Arnott, Katherine McCall, and Timothy Darling

  • First Award: Jordan D. Zesch and Angad Jolly, Engineering a system to record head related transfer functions of sound from various directions
  • Second Award: Nicholas M. Christensen, Do you ‘ear Wha’ I ear? II. Lowering voice frequencies in real time to revolutionize hearing assistance technology
  • Honorable Mention: Skye N. Singleton, Violin or voice… brain food for Alzheimer’s patients
  • Honorable Mention: Chaneg Torres, Hey, Can you hear me? Using Isobel contour mapping to determine acoustically optimum seating positions in a given classroom

2008 – Atlanta, GA

ASA judging team: James M. Sabatier (Chair), Alexander, and Zhiqu Lu

  • First Award: Lyric Elizabeth Gillett, Intensity and Temperature Variance in Sonoluminescence
  • Second Award: Nicholas Mycroft Christensen, Do You ‘ear Wha’ I ’ear? Redigitizing Voice Signals into Lower Frequencies to Revolutionize Hearing Assistance Technology

2007 – Albuquerque, NM

ASA judging team: Amy T. Neel and Gregory Kaduchak

  • First Award: Michael Tyler Wham, Calls in the Wild: Vocalizations of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker
  • Second Award: Aman Sarup and Palak Patel, A Novel Method to Measure the Speed of Sound in the Cornea
  • Honorable Mention: David C. Liu, Acoustic Music Similarity Analysis
  • Honorable Mention: Douglass Charles Niemann, Manipulating the Diffraction of Traffic Noise

2006 – Indianapolis, IN

ASA judging team: Diane Kewley-Port (Chair), Robert Port, and Elliott Berger

  • First Award: Caroline Elizabeth Pietsch, A Novel Approach to the Automatic Recognition of Emotions in Natural Speech
  • Honorable Mention: Jonathan Blake Sellon, Modeling Auditory Attention by Implementing IHC Movement into Frequency Selectivity of the Inner Ear: A Novel Approach to Stimuli Separation
  • Honorable Mention: Joseph Anthony Crivello, Acoustic Localization, Detection, and Identification: A System for More Effectively Utilizing Sound as a Tool
  • Honorable Mention: Courtney Anne Rafes, Tracking the Sound: A Second Year Study on an Ultrasonic Train Wreck Avoidance System

2005 – Phoenix, AZ

ASA judging team: Duane Reynolds, Michael Dorman, and  Charles E. Wallace (Chair)

  • First Award: Pen-Yuan Hsing and Wei-Kang Huang, Enhanced Cooling of Microelectronic Devices by Using the Thermoacoustic Effect
  • Honorable Mention: Courtney Anne Rafes, An Ear to the Track: An Ultrasonic Train Wreck Avoidance System
  • Honorable Mention: Jhe-Rhong Wu, Phylogeneic Analysis of Crickets by Acoustic Behavior and Mitochondrial Sequencing

2004 – Portland, OR

ASA judging team: Alfred L. Nuttal, Charles Oppenheimer, and Kerrie G. Standlee (Chair)

  • First Award: Joline Marie Fan, Acoustic Excitation for Enhancing Interfacial Dynamics of Mesobubbles
  • First Award: Benjamin Alexander Schmidt, ASMART: Static Microphone Arrays for Robot Tracking
  • Honorable Mention: Alison Karee Slowey, Sound Wave Propagation in Brine Pools
  • Honorable Mention: Jonathan Brooks Bell, Dampening the Modes of Vibration of Multistory Scale Models Due to Seismic Waves
  • Honorable Mention: Alexander William Dillard, The Effects of Acoustic Pressure Disturbances on Refraction of Visible Light in Gases

2003 – Cleveland, OH

ASA judging team: Osman Mawardi, Jack Mowry, David Proctor, and Peter Hoekje

  • First Award: Sita Chandrika Palepu, Absolute vs Relative Pitch: It’s Music to My Ears! Or Is It to My Mind?
  • Honorable Mention: Elisabeth Lee Crabtree, The McGurk Effect: Does Age Matter?
  • Honorable Mention: Samrat A. Amin, Sonoluminescence
  • Honorable Mention: Ashley Renee Woodall, Physics of Mallet Percussion

2002 – Louisville, KY

ASA judging team: Christopher Richards, Tim A. Hamel, and Alvin B. Broderson

  • First Award: Naveen Sinha, Bubble-Based Resonance-Doppler Sensor for Liquid Characterization
  • Honorable Mention: Yin Nee, Using Hidden Dynamic Models to Predict Pitch in English and Mandarin
  • Honorable Mention: Bryce Kittinger Campbell, Vortex-Induced Vibrations on Flexible Cylinders
  • Honorable Mention: Giselle M. Torres, Effect of Vibration and Calcium on Bone Density

2001 – San Jose, CA

ASA judging team: Doug Corl, Larry Crosby, and Steve Baker.

  • First Award: Naveen Sinha, Interaction Between Sound and Liquid Crystals
  • Honorable Mention: Josh Borts and Josep Lallouz, Stop, Look, and Listen
  • Honorable Mention:  Roman Eskue, Star in a Jar
  • Honorable Mention: Surey Santini and Sheila Gonzalez, Noise: Destructor Sound in School

2000 – Detroit, MI

ASA judging team: Jose Benki, Nickolas Vlahopoulos, and Sean F. Wu

  • First Award: Leanne E. Dodge, Toward A Framework For Quantifying Timbre: Phase III
  • Honorable Mention: George Hwang, Can Acoustical Methods Be Used To Detect And Characterize Corrosion?
  • Honorable Mention: Glen G. Cheng, VNon-Intrusive Speed Determination By Doppler Shift
  • Honorable Mention: Naveen N. Sinha, Sound Techniques For Studying Granular Material

1999 – Philadelphia, PA

ASA judging team: Felicia M. Dogget, Richard M. Lec, and Peter A. Lewin (Chair)

  • First Award: Jeffrey S. Martzall, 2-D Audio Tracking for Aviation Guidance Systems
  • Second Award: Matthew O. Hart, Design and Construction of a Pseudovision Device for the Sight Impaired
  • Honorable Mention: Jeffrey J. Ratusznik, Optimization of a Helicopter Blade Using Piezoelectric Ceramic as a Camber Deformer
  • Honorable Mention: Nikolas D. Bohne, Acoustic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Honorable Mention: Michelle R. Griffith, Elaine A. Pearson, and Lacey Marae Drouet, Ultrasound: Effective Management Tool in Sheep Production

1998 – Fort Worth, TX

ASA judging team: Deborah Rekart (Chair), David Marsh, Jack Wrightson, and Laurie Bernstein

  • First Award: Jeffrey S. Martzall, Development of an Audio Tracking System
  • Honorable Mention:John Danko, Acoustical Analysis and Enhancement of a High School Gymnasium
  • Honorable Mention: Xing Zeng, Talking Glasses: Ultrasonic Pathfinder for the Visually Impaired
  • Honorable Mention: Eric F. Koperda, Simulations of Concert-Hall Acoustics by Digital Means

1997 – Louisville, KY

ASA judging team: Ann Clock Eddins (Chair) and David A. Eddins

  • First Award: Ehren Biglari, Computationally efficient speech coding algorithm
  • Honorable Mention: Paul Henderson, Equilizer tuning for feedback reduction: Phase III—Digital Fourier analysis
  • Honorable Mention: Gregory Charvat, Identifying and reducing radio frequency interference by spectrum analysis
  • Honorable Mention: Melissa Meyer, Music analysis with MIDI and fractal dimensions: Two-year study

1996 – Tucson, AZ

ASA judging team: Kerry P. Green and Knut Nordby

  • First Award: Ian A. Wann, Effect of editing waveforms of the male mating call on phonotaxis
  • Honorable Mention: Angela R. Bland, The Beat Goes On
  • Honorable Mention: Jourdan T. Balkany, Identification of Noise Induced Hearing Loss Using Otoacoustic Emissions
  • Honorable Mention: Paul D. Henderson, Equalizer Tuning for Feedback Reduction: Two-Year Study.

1995 – Hammilton, Ontario

ASA judging team: A. N. Sinclair (Chair), H. Kunov, S. Shaiman, and R. W. Gatehouse

  • First Award: Ann Elizabeth Ellis, In Tune with the Future: Automatic Tuner for Stringed Instrument
  • Second Award: Brian James and Shane Malachy Markey, Developing an Acoustic Detection System to Identify the Factors Affecting Cavitation
  • Honorable Mention: Ian Andrew Wann
  • Honorable Mention: Paulo Alexandre Mechado
  • Honorable Mention: Michael Anthony Hennessy

1994 – Birmingham, AL

ASA judging team: James M. Sabatier (Chair), and Carl K. Frederickson

  • First Award: Biagio M. Tambasco and Jay Pierrepoint, A Barrier for Sound
  • Second Award: Maria-Graciela Hollm, Eigenmode Antinodal Thinning in Violin Back Plates
  • Honorable Mention: Kelly J. Benoit
  • Honorable Mention: Sarah E. Bowling
  • Honorable Mention: Micah M. Weller

1993 – Biloxi, MS

ASA judging team: Walton E. McBride, III (Chair) and Bruce Layton

  • First Award: Brian D. Welch, Computer Noise Cancellation for Automobile Exhaust
  • Second Award: Kurt A. Franke, Reconstruction of Amplitude Hologram
  • Honorable Mention: Joseph P. Salyards, II, CFC-Free Refrigeration: Vortex and Thermoacoustic Technologies–Design, Construction, and Evaluation
  • Honorable Mention: Todd C. Leih, Fuzzy Logic/Bayesian Networks Applied to Sonar Automatic Detection and Tracking
  • Honorable Mention: Amy M. Smith, Can Polypropylene or Hi-Impact Polystyrene Replace Wood in Violin Construction?

1991 – Orlando, FL

ASA judging team: Anthony J. Rudgers (Chair) Jean C. Piquette, and Robert E. Montgomery

  • First Award: Derek W. Holland, Computer Composed Music: Two-Year Study
  • Second Award: Meredith Anne Simmons, Ultrasonics Phase V : Effect on Growth, Reproduction, and DNA Sequencing of E. coli
  • Honorable Mention: Ravi Narasimhan, Automatic Sound Detector
  • Honorable Mention: Brygg Anders Ullmer, Speech Recognition Through Pipelined Microcontroller Phonemic Analysis
  • Honorable Mention: Jeremy Stevenson, Outsmarting Chaos II

1990 – Tulsa, OK

ASA judging team: Ellis Zacharias (Chair) and Richard L. Lowery

  • First Award: Meredith Anne Simmons, Ultrasonics Phase IV: Effect on Growth and Reproduction of Rana Pipiens in Vitro.
  • Second Award: Cynthia J. Schaumburg, Frequency and the Velocity of Sound
  • Honorable Mention: J. Nicholas Laneman, Fractal Music
  • Honorable Mention: Dana J. Indermuhle, The Audio Advantage
  • Honorable Mention: Jessica E. Runyan, Multivariate Analysis of Sound Production by a Clarinet

1989 – Pittsburgh, PA

ASA judging team: Francis McKendree (Chair), Steven Roth, and James Moreland

  • First Award: Tony Donguang Shan, Experiment in Speaker Design
  • Second Award: Merideth Anne Simmons, Ultrasonic Effect on the Germination and Growth of Rahpanus Sativus
  • Honorable Mention: William Alexander Anderson, Effects of Ultrasonic Irradiation on Chemical Reactions
  • Honorable Mention: Johnathan Peter Erhardt, Effect of Sound Frequency and Discrimination on Reaction Time to Auditory Stimuli
  • Honorable Mention: Michael Joseph Golebiewski, Speech Synthesis: Can Computers Talk? 

1988 – Knoxville, TN

ASA judging team: Igor V. Nabelek (Chair), Carl H. Bovill, and Patricia W. Earl

  • First Award: Kevin C. Yu, Voice Recognition
  • Second Award: Yong S. Lee, Micro Bubbles and Ozone Bubbles in Reduction of Sonar Returns
  • Honorable Mention: Paige Jean Batty
  • Honorable Mention: Chana Sue Busbee
  • Honorable Mention: Dianne K. Newman

1986 – Fort Worth, TX

ASA judging team: Joseph Zemanek, Jr. (Chair), Robert W Siegfried, II, and Jack B. Evans

  • First Award: Tim Shedd, Correlation of Stopped French Horn and a Conical Pipe
  • Second Award: Laura A. Hunckler, Lipreading Assistance Via Fourier Analysis
  • Honorable Mention: William J. Klodnicki, Jr.
  • Honorable Mention: Kevin C. Yu
  • Honorable Mention: Paul E. Burrell

1985 – Shreveport, LA

ASA judging team: Joseph Zemanek, Jr. (Chair), Robert W Siegfried, II, and Jack B. Evans

  • First Award: Tim Shedd, Correlation of Stopped French Horn and a Conical Pipe
  • Second Award: Laura A. Hunckler, Lipreading Assistance Via Fourier Analysis
  • Honorable Mention: William J. Klodnicki, Jr.
  • Honorable Mention: Kevin C. Yu
  • Honorable Mention: Paul E. Burrell

1984 – Columbus, OH

ASA judging team: Charles W. Rodman (Chair), Sara Garnes, Folden Stumpf, Alan Lubell, and Timothy Newcome

  • First Award: Eugene Sargent, Developmental Design of a computer Interfaced Seismograph
  • Second Award: Kent Dana Simon, Solitons: Computer and Experimental Study
  • Honorable Mention: David A. Riat
  • Honorable Mention: Wolfram Ploetz
  • Honorable Mention: William E. Wilcox, Jr.

1983 – Albuquerque, NM

ASA judging team: George A. Alers (Chair), Linda Riensche, and Roger Zimmerman

  • First Award: David S. DeVore, The Effects of Vibrational Waves on the Platy
  • Second Award: William E. Wilcox, Jr., The Advantage of Radially Stressed Membrane as a Sound-Light Interface
  • Honorable Mention: Gerardo Capiel, Speech Synthesis, Recognition and an Introduction to ‘Software Operated Mouth and Ear’ (SOME)
  • Honorable Mention: Arvind Sinha, A Position Sensor for Robots
  • Honorable Mention: David H. Boone, Effects of Diagnostic Ultrasound on Chick Embryos

1982 – Houston, TX

ASA judging team: Robert D. Bruce (Chair), Gary H. Koopman, and Otto E. Crenwelge, Jr.

  • First Award: Gary M. Grinder, Measuring Body Wave Speeds Resulting from Earthquakes
  • Second Award: Jong-Um Lee, Stationary Waves Produced Along a Fluid Jet
  • Honorable Mention: Martin R. Helliwell, The Physics of the Violin Back Plate
  • Honorable Mention: Mark Leon Schmitz, Determining the Travel of Sound Waves in a Whispering Gallery
  • Honorable Mention: Scott C. Lynnes, The Hearing of Farmers

1981 – Milwaukee, WI

ASA judging team: Michael Cocking (Chair), Larry Eriksson, and Jill Hellmer

  • First Award: Thomas L. Evans, Terminal Analog Approach to Speech Synthesis
  • Second Award: Andrew S. Fraley, Speech Recognition by Computers
  • Honorable Mention: Guido M. Zimmer, Factors that Influence the Tone Quality of a Violin
  • Honorable Mention: David S. Martin, Physiological and Psychological Effects of Music on Humans

1980 – St. Paul, MN

ASA judging team: W. Dixon Ward (Chair) and Robert F. Lambert

  • First Award: Guido M. Zimmer, Factors that Determine the Tone Quality of a Violin
  • Second Award: Edward M. Radnovich, Noise Pollution in the Las Vegas Area
  • Honorable Mention: Randall G. Moore
  • Honorable Mention: Thomas L. Evans
  • Honorable Mention: Dana C. Kincaid, Research into Sound Communication with Computers

1979 – San Antoni, TX

ASA judging team: Elmer L. Hixson (Chair), William K. Connor, and M. Ward Widener

  • First Award: Richard Allen Garriott
  • Second Award: Marta Elaine Hean, Noise Pollution, Phase VI

1978 – Orange County, CA

ASA judging team: Frederick H. Fisher (Chair), Edward C. Carterette, John K. Hilliard

  • First Award (tie): Steven R. Schwalb, Determination of Lateral Line Acoustic and their Biological Significance
  • First Award (tie): Denise M. Earl, A computer analysis of the aurl perception of musical consonance
  • Second Award: Gary R. Morrison, Acoustical Design of the decimal flute
  • Honorable Mention: Gina M. Rasicci, Wood effects on piano sound boards