Congratulations to Ishan Ahluwalia ’24, Siddharth D’Costa ’25, Alan Ma ’23, and Darsh Mandera ’23 who represented the State of Oregon and the United States at the International Science and Engineering Fair in May. Three Jesuit High School students won awards at this prestigious event consisting of 1,600 students from 64 countries: Ishan won 2nd place in the Robotics and Intelligent Machines category, Alan won 3rd place in the Environmental Engineering category, and Siddharth earned Honorable Mention for the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Earning the right to compete at the International Science Fair is a huge honor in itself, but winning an award there is absolutely phenomenal.
“I am so proud of these four young scientists,” Dr. Lara Shamieh said. “Each of them has worked hard to enhance their God-given talents. They are curious about the world around them and seek to effect change through science. They truly are men for and with others. I am excited to see them grow and thrive in college and beyond. Remember their names. These young scientists will change the world for the better.”
Read what each student had to say about their project:
“My research focuses on personalized cancer treatment, which I’ve been working on for the last several years. This year’s project specifically focused on machine learning-based multi-omics biomarker identification and targeted drug prediction. In other words, I built AI that looks at cancer patients’ genes and microRNAs, identifies which particular genes and microRNAs are causing cancer, and then predicts a personalized treatment for the patient based on these genes and microRNAs.” – Darsh Mandera ’23
“Every year in the US, millions of animals are hit by vehicles, making wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) a real danger to both animals and humans. In addition, road networks represent physical barriers to natural wildlife migration, which results in various ecological damages. I developed a smart ecological sentinel that can prevent WVCs by warning drivers early of detected animal presence. It also monitors wildlife activity to provide a holistic understanding of ecological behaviors along roads. This solution can mitigate WVC frequency, protecting both humans and wildlife, while also bolstering current wildlife conservation efforts where roadside wildlife activity data is lacking.” – Alan Ma ’23
“Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that severely impairs mobility. Exoskeletons (external mobility devices) offer hope for restoring mobility in CP patients, but their current use is limited. To address these limits, my project, NeuroMotus, utilizes brain-computer interface to predict patient movements and provide exoskeleton assistance based on angular data. It detects movement intent, calculates the required angular rotation, and transmits this information to a simulated exoskeleton. Ultimately, Neuromotus strives to improve the lives of CP patients in the real world by offering a promising opportunity for expanded mobility and functionality.” – Ishan Ahluwalia ’24
“Ionic liquids are promising solvents for post-combustion carbon capture (a process that filters carbon dioxide out from emissions streams), but the need for pollution mitigation is overwhelming in today’s world. In order to make ionic liquids accessible and feasible, we utilized a novel deep-learning approach to optimize three key properties (viscosity, heat capacity, and thermal conductivity) and generate an ionic liquid with high efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Our ionic liquid is predicted to be superior to all other existing solvents in terms of benefiting energy consumption, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency. Such improvements break down the barriers that currently prevent ionic liquids from being implemented at a large scale. As the world transitions away from fossil fuel reliance, we believe that our solution can help facilitate a rapid reduction in harmful emissions.” – Siddharth D’Costa ’25