Chatham High School junior Sophie Andrews has been selected as one of only seven finalists who will travel to the 2018 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh on May 13-19. Intel is the largest competition, internationally, for student science research projects.

Andrews has presented her research on skin lesion detection in the 2018 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, held at Rutgers on March 5-6. At the symposium, she was one of 20 students chosen to do an oral presentation about her research. Andrews was also nominated for the Presidential Award.

“My goal is for SkinNet is to differentiate melanoma (a type of cancerous lesion) from nevus (a type of benign lesion)," Andrews said. "To accomplish this, I train SkinNet using thousands of lesion images from the International Skin Imaging Collaboration.

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"The hope is that a properly trained SkinNet can classify these two lesion types from images it hasn’t seen before. Indeed, through deep learning, SkinNet picks up the visual characteristics of melanoma (e.g. asymmetric shape) and doses the majority of lesion classification correctly.”

She also presented at the 2018 Nokia NJ Research Science Fair, also held at Rutgers on March 9-10, where she earned seven awards. Andrews has worked with CHS Computer Science teacher Dr. Mark Jones as a mentor, and she participated in the CHS Research Club, which Science teacher Dr. Yelena Naumova advises.  

“Sophie is an enthusiastic self-starter with great intrinsic motivation," Dr. Naumova said. "In her project, she combined her passion for math and computing with her interest in healthcare to develop a tool that could be used by medical professionals as well as and regular people.

"I am thrilled that she will be presenting this project at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. I wholeheartedly congratulate her and wish her every success in developing new solutions to revolutionize the healthcare.”