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Solving Health and Environmental Challenges

2020-05-14 @ 6:30 pm 8:30 pm EDT

Attendance: 16 / 100, Remaining: 84

Registrations are closed for this event.

On Thursday, May 14, 2020, the IEEE Consultants’ Network of Northern NJ (www.TechnologyOnTap.org) will host the 2020 Young Scientists and Engineers Award Winner’s presentations. The meeting will be held online. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive the meeting link.

Topics include:

  • Diagnosis of Depression Using Machine Learning
  • An Autonomous Drone for Water Conservation and Irrigation Location Optimization
  • Simulating Nanotechnology Applications for Photovoltaic Transparency

About the Topic

We face many health and environmental challenges today that require large scale solutions. In healthcare, mental disorders such as depression go undetected and the result can have tragic consequences, but using machine learning monitoring may help better manage mental health. In agriculture, drones may be used to monitor crop health to increase yield and decrease water usage. In energy production, transparent solar cells may be used to turn buildings into sustainable energy harvesting systems.

Our first two speakers received the NJ Region Science Fair IEEE Young Engineers Award, and our third speaker is the Hudson County STEM Showcase Gold Medalist and International Science and Engineering Fair winner.

About the Speaker(s)

Our three presenters are Ivy Xie, Noam Yakar, and Tashu Gupta.

Ivy Xie, 11th grader, 2020 NJRSF IEEE Young Engineer Award winner

Title: Diagnosis of Depression Using Machine Learning

Abstract: “Depression is one of the most common mental disorders associated with suicide, and timely diagnosis and intervention of depression can significantly improve life quality and reduce the suicidal rate. Recent studies have shown that motor activity data measured from a wearable sensor may correlate with depression. I developed a machine learning model to diagnose depression using motor activity data. My model improves the base-line performance by 44%, suggesting the potential of artificial intelligence in mental health management.”

Bio: Ivy is currently a junior at Newark Academy, Livingston, NJ. She is the founder of the Creative Writing club at her school and a volunteer with a music program that performs in Senior homes. Outside of school, she plays the cello and has played in the New Jersey Youth Symphony and Regionals. She is also the first stand of her school’s orchestra and was part of the pit orchestra in her school musical last year, which was nominated for the Paper Mill Playhouse 24th Rising Star award. She is very interested in social psychology and is an active member of the Philosophy/Psychology Club at her school. At the NJRSF, she won the IEEE NJ Section Young Engineer Award and the Yale Science and Engineering award. She also submitted her research to the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) High Scholars competition and received one of the AMIA High Scholars Awards, which gave her the chance to deliver an oral presentation about her research at the Science conference in Washington D.C.

Noam Yakar, 11th grader, 2020 NJRSF IEEE Young Engineer Award

Title: An Autonomous Drone for Water Conservation and Irrigation Location Optimization

Abstract: “Only 3% of the water on the planet consists of freshwater, and only a third of this is accessible for agricultural use. This poses a difficult problem for the agricultural industry because the technology used to modernize fields and farms in terms of water supply is limited. Currently, agricultural drones are conventional in modern-day agriculture due to their capability in nourishing farm fields. This project proposes a drone that monitors environmental data and optimizes water usage based on the placement of certain irrigation systems. The drone, which I built, surveyed five different plants autonomously by measuring plant moisture, leaf segmentation, infrared output (a satisfactory indication of plant health), and visual properties of plant fruits. Once all these variables were measured, the drone created a visualization of the field and based on the difference between the tested moisture of plants and various hardcoded thresholds (selected based on optimal moisture levels), the software adjusted the placement and amount of water used by the irrigation system. A breed of tomato plant saw an 8.7% average increase in height over a four week period, and water produced by the irrigation system was reduced by 12%, compared to control data. The results suggest that the drone, in conjunction with the software, successfully maximizes plant health while ensuring a decrease in overall water consumption. This ultimately provides a cost-effective, versatile, and easily-implementable drone with novel software that finds a balance between water-usage and plant nourishment.”

Bio: Noam is a senior at Tenafly High School, where he is President of the Robotics Club, a Varsity Debater, and a member of the Science Research Program. Last year, he built a prosthetic arm that continually improves its performance via machine learning, for which he won seven awards at NJRSF, including 1st Place in the biomedical engineering (BME) category, and the opportunity to participate in the Intel ISEF competition. At ISEF, he won 4th place in the BME category and was awarded the INCOSE Best Prosthetic Award. Then, that summer, he was selected for a month-long fellowship at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he created software that analyzes images of crystals to identify their isometries. This year, he built an autonomous drone that helps farmers optimize water distribution and crop yields, for which he won six awards at NJRSF, including 1st Place in the engineering category, a second trip to ISEF, and the IEEE NJ Young Engineering Award. Outside of school, he is a counselor in the Israeli Scouts and a mentor in a youth entrepreneurship program called Eitanim. Other awards include NJIT Academic Fellowship, David S. Young Award, JEI Award (twice), Air Force Award, Biophysics Award, Innovation Award, ISEF Jr. Division Finalist.

Tashu Gupta, Gold Medalist and ISEF Award Winner, Hudson County STEM Showcase

Title: Simulating Nanotechnology Applications for Photovoltaic Transparency (S.N.A.P.T.)

Abstract: “Solar panels are crucial in harvesting renewable energy. However, they occupy vast amounts of space and in highly urbanized areas, cannot be used as skyscrapers exteriors, being generally transparent, since current solar panels are opaque. Transparent solar cells can replace skyscraper exteriors, windows, and other transparent surface areas to harvest photon energy by generating electron flow. Photovoltaic transparency was achieved through integrating nanotechnology in the engineering design tested through FDTD software computer simulations, incorporating the finite-difference time-domain method which applies Maxwell’s equations to produce output data. The tested parameters included the x, y, and z spans of each photovoltaic component’s geometry in the design, and the data was analyzed to determine the dimensions resulting in the most efficiency without compromising transparency. The final design’s photovoltaic components had a generation rate of 3.2e+02, the number of electrons generated due to the absorption of photons. The maximum power output with respect to voltage was 8.5 milliwatts per square centimeter at 5.4 volts. Due to the grid-like structure, the cost of the transparent solar cell may be less than solar panels, further improving affordability.”

BioTashu is an 11th grader from Bayonne High School who is focused on preparing for a career in STEM. Her interests range from math, robotics, computer science, and engineering to languages and sports. She serves as the captain of the Engineering, Robotics and Math Teams and has led the teams to win several competitions. She won first place in the First Tech Challenge, Finalist in the Conrad Challenge, and Finalist in Samsung Solve For Tomorrow, and other awards. She has been taking several online classes on topics ranging from Python to Deep Learning. As an intern at the NJIT Nano-Optoelectronic Materials and Devices Laboratory, she worked on this Solar Cell Simulation project which garnered her a spot on the 2020 ISEF and a Gold Medal at the Hudson County STEM Showcase. She also finds time to volunteer at a Veteran’s Museum and at the Liberty Science Center. She also competes in Hudson County tennis competitions.

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