MILLBURN, NJ — Ryan Park, a sophomore at Millburn High School won first place in Mathematics and Computer Science during the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) on April 22.

The JSHS describes itself as a “U.S. Army, Navy, and Air-Force sponsored STEM competition, which promotes original research and experimentation in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

After winning first place at the Jersey Shore Junior Science Symposium in March, Park was one of the 230 high school students selected to present his research on a national level at the prestigious JSHS. This year, the symposium took place virtually.

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For his research on X-rays, Park received a $12,000 scholarship to be used towards his college tuition.

Park’s presentation, entitled  “X-Net: A Deep Convolutional Neural Model for X-Ray Threat Detection,” was prepared through weeks of research and deliberation, building on his interests in computer science in machine learning. Park was inspired to conduct this research after noticing the inefficiencies of airport security.

According to Park’s teacher, Dr. Susan Arrigoni, “he developed novel technology, involving a deep learning-based algorithm, which appears to greatly improve the detection of objects by current X-ray scanners.”

Looking towards his future, Park said “perhaps one day, my research will be used in airports to improve security. For now, I’m applying for a patent and will keep improving my algorithm, which means more data collection, math, and programming.”

Arrigoni also sees the potential for Park’s research to be applied in the real world, saying “Ryan is industrious and visionary; he is already exploring plans to further this impressive research as well as giving thought to new promising breakthrough ideas.”

Despite only being a sophomore, Park is ready to apply his skills. He strongly believes that age should not be a deterrent to innovation. He explained, “the youth is the future of science: it is never too early to make an impact… I think that anyone would be surprised by what they can accomplish through diligent and passionate research; I certainly am.”

An oral presentation of Park’s research can be viewed at the following link: