By Rosemary Leonetti
Vivek Shah, a junior at Lynbrook High School, has been named a semifinalist in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, one of the nation’s premiere research competitions for high school students.
Vivek is among a select group of 331 top high school researchers from around the country who have earned this coveted distinction. The 2013 competition generated unprecedented participation, showcasing students’ growing interest in science, math and technology subjects. A record 2,440 students registered for this year’s competition and a total of 1,599 projects were submitted for consideration.
The title of Vivek’s research project was “An Innovative Methodology to Detecting Brain Symmetry Using a Patch-Based Analysis of MRI Slices with Respects to Gender and Age Variations.” He conducted his research under the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Xenios Papademetris of the Yale Magnetic Resonance Research Center. He teamed up with Jericho High School student Ien Li to study the symmetry of the brain to establish a standard for normalcy with respect to gender and age.
Vivek and his partner input images into an algorithm that analyzed the MRI scans in patches to test the symmetry of the two hemispheres of the brain. It is their hope that their research will one day help medical professionals improve patient health and treatment through better detection of abnormalities in brain symmetry.
“When one looks at an individual, it is somewhat obvious that the individual is to some degree symmetrical. Likewise the human brain is characterized by a certain degree of symmetry,” explained Vivek. “Thus, like in the human body, abnormalities in this degree of symmetry could be detrimental to health.”
“We are very proud of Vivek for achieving this singular honor,” said Superintendent Dr. Melissa Burak. “We commend him for the countless hours of study and exacting research that went into producing a study which could have significant effects on medicine the future. We are also proud to be able to provide him and his fellow science research students with a solid background through their participation in the high school science research program.”