A Half Hollow Hills student was a member of a high school team that finished in the top 10 of an international biomedical competition this summer.
Assistant Professor Dr. Peter Koo of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory mentored the team, which included Aayush Prakash, a junior at Half Hollow Hills East.
The DREAM Challenge ran about three months and involved teams from universities and prviate research labs who take on an assignment to build computer programs for predicting gene expression in yeast.
Koo said the set of challenges given to teams each year involves outstanding problems in the biomedical field.
Prakash’s team, named High Schoolers Are All You Need, beat out 15 other teams.
Koo said of students that it’s “never too young to get started if they are interested in artificial intelligence. Most of the kids have taught themselves AI as a hobby.”
Competitors, Koo said, are given such data as slides of breast tissue that are stained for cancer detection. The competition then involved classifying whether that slide has a cancer or not, or determining where the cancer is located.
The DREAM competition is run by Sage Bionetics.
Koo has his PhD. in physics but has transitiioned to interdisciplinary sciences, working on computational biology.