NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Watchung Hills Regional High School Sophomore Neelay Trivedi of Warren Township won the ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) Finalist Grand Prize Award at the New Jersey Regional Science Fair (NJRSF) on Friday, March 10, and Saturday, March 11, in the College Avenue Gym at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
Trivedi’s science fair project is titled, “Predicting Lung Cancer Onset Using Segmentation and Classification."
“In this project, I used lung CT scans and machine learning to determine the probability of a lung nodule becoming cancerous, thus saving time for doctors who can now focus on high-priority patients,” Trivedi said.
Trivedi explained further about his project, which focused on developing an algorithm that would train computers to more precisely assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.
"I used a machine learning technique called convolutional neural networks to identify what features in lung nodules made them cancerous,” he said. “I then trained my algorithm to identify these features and predict whether the patient's scan would become cancerous in a 12-month timespan."
Trivedi is the son of Nachiket and Dhruit Trivedi, and is the brother of his sister, Moha, who is in the seventh grade at Warren Middle School. Trivedi’s family lived in Bridgewater Township before moving to Warren in time for Neelay to attend fifth grade at ALT (Angelo L. Tomaso) School, and sixth, seventh and eighth grades at Warren Middle School.
He said he would like to thank a number of teachers at Warren Middle School and at WHRHS for helping him develop his interest and education in science.
"I would like to thank my middle school E2 teacher, Dr. Susan Cooper, for her continued mentorship and for introducing me to Exploravision, my first experience with science research,” he said. “I would also like to thank (Biology Teacher) Mrs. (Carol) Landa at WHRHS for being an excellent teacher and encouraging me to pursue new avenues of science learning in my freshman biology class last year."
At the regional science fair, a student’s project was capable of winning more than one award. Trivedi’s project actually won five awards in addition to winning Grand Prize.
Trivedi's project also won the following category awards: First Place in Mathematics and Computer Science; First Place in ACM Computing Award; First Place Intel Computer Science Award; Innovation Award; and Statistics Award Honorable Mention.
He now has the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, CA between Sunday, May 14, and Friday, May 19, to compete at the national ISEF. The project he entered and won with at this New Jersey Regional Fair will be evaluated against a field of projects from students from around the country.
Science, Mathematics and Engineering are a common theme in Trivedi’s extracurricular activities at WHRHS. He is active in the Waksman Biology Club, the Science Competition, League and Bowl, the Math Team and Robotics. He is also on staff at the School Newspaper, Arrowhead.