Science Fair Project FTW

by on July 25th, 2012

Science fair projects are about potato batteries and baking soda volcanos, right? Um, wrong.

The Google Science Fair invites teenagers from around the world to submit their projects digitally to compete for a grand prize; this year it was a $50,000 scholarship, a LEGO trophy, and a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Pretty sweet, right?

Well, you’ve got some strong competition: this year’s winner coded a artificial neural network that improves breast cancer detection: “[17-year-old] Wegner, who has been fascinated by Artificial Intelligence since the 7th grade, spent more than 600 hours coding her groundbreaking artificial neural network. The program, which operates from Google’s Cloud, learns from patterns and mistakes in data sets. After inputting 681 fine needle aspirate samples [the main, yet surprisingly ineffective, method of breast cancer screening], her program was able to learn the similarities and differences across the entire data set, eventually ‘teaching’ the network to detect cancerous tumors given a fine needle aspirate with near perfect accuracy.”

Check out more at The Mary Sue . And dream big! You could win a LEGO trophy. 😉

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