Huntington High School sophomore Foster Sullivan was impressive in the New York State Science and Engineering Fair, capturing a silver medal in the computer science category of the Andromeda division of the competition.
Mr. Sullivan was joined in the award circle by sophomore Matthew Gennarelli and junior Michael McCooey who both garnered honorable mention recognition. Huntington science research program participants Zubair Ali, Mya Davis, Claudia Villatoro and Robert Jean-Gilles also vied in the competition and impressed the judges.
Foster Sullivan holds his second place trophy in the high school hallway.
“This year in science research, my project was about simulated neural networks and MRI images,” Mr. Sullivan said. “I outlined a mock experiment for testing a simulated neural network (a type of artificial intelligence) against a human doctor in the diagnosis of MRI images of human brains and over the summer I am going to build the network and further develop the program to make it more user friendly, such as adding an auto-rasterizing program, as well as a generated user interface. A simulated neural network is a logical program that is able to learn, and is a basic simulation of how a real human brain processes information.”
Mr. Sullivan is fully invested in Huntington’s science research program and he is positioning himself to compete successfully in next year’s contests.
“Neural networks work through a system of nodes, each doing a mathematical calculation and outputting a value to the next node,” Mr. Sullivan said. “Neural networks are organized into layers of nodes, where there is one input layer, one output layer and any number of hidden layers. Neural networks are commonly used with A.I., the most notable of which is I.B.M.’s Watson, which is used to predict trends in businesses. I am using the same code structure of a neural network to analyze MRI images.”
A person can get a little bit dizzy listening to Mr. Sullivan discuss his project, but that’s exactly what competition judges love to hear.
The New York State Science and Engineering Fair drew entries from across the region. “I met with a few other people in my category and we talked about our projects and shared a lot of knowledge,” Mr. Sullivan said. “I learned how to test the capacity of any battery I come across and how to properly wire up a distance sensor. At NYSSEF, I not only met a ton of other people who shared my immense interest in computer science and engineering, but I also won second place in the computer science category. All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I definitely want to go again next year and hopefully win another award!”