17-year old builds neural network cloud service for breast cancer detection

-August 23, 2012

Google announced the winners of its science fair this week. Not surprisingly, the projects submitted are more than the old papier-mâché volcano that spouts ketchup or rotating Styrofoam balls painted to mimic the solar system.

The winner is a 17-year-old whose “Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer” successfully detects malignant breast tumors.

In short, this young woman from Florida, Brittany Wenger, built a neural network with Java and then deployed it to the cloud to detect breast cancer.

This isn’t something Wenger pulled out of thin air. She has been working on the project since she was in the 7th grade and became intrigued with artificial intelligence.

Her project is focused on early detection through the Fine Needle Aspirate biopsy method, one of the more minimally invasive procedures used by doctors but also one of the least accurate. Wenger ran 7.6 million trials on her project and found her method to be more than 99% accurate.

You can get the details on her project here.

Besides the satisfaction of knowing that her work could help thousands of people, possibly saving lives, Wenger took home the grand prize -- $50,000 in scholarship money, an internship with a fair sponsor (Google, CERN, or Lego), a trip to the Galapagos Islands, a personal LEGO color mosaic, and some goodies for her school.

Wenger was one of 15 finalists, selected from thousands of entries across the globe. The below video is from the Google Science Fair gala, celebrating the finalists and their projects.

Sign up here to be notified when Google’s 2013 science fair launches.

Loading comments...

Write a Comment

To comment please Log In