Hands on with the Geekiest Projects at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2009: Part II

This is part II of our coverage of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2009. For even more of thefinalists and their projects, check out part I on Chip Chick.

Face Recognition: Is It a Match?

Varuna Rao

Union High School, Tulsa, OK

Varuna Rao researched heavily in to the technology behind facial recognition computer systems, determined to discover just how accurate they are. After several tests, Varuna determined that the probability of finding a match using a typical GUI-based software program with a margin of error – is on average, 45%. So the next time you watch CSI and they pull up their fancy facial recognition software, you’ll know just how realistic and accurate the facial recognition software they are using really is.

The Development of a CAD to Find Abnormalities in Digital Radiographs: Phase II

Mary Rochelle Unsworth, Rebekah Unsworth

Kingswood Academy, Sulphur, LA

This team of young scientists, made up of two sisters, set out to improve their CAD (Computer Assisted Detection) program which is used to search for abnormalities in medical, dental and industrial digital radiographs. In the end they succeeded in improving the system by increasing its speed and accuracy, and they were also able to create a more user-friendly interface for it which enhances the overall readability of the results for people using it in real world situations.

An Innovative Open-Source Reporting Solution to Combat AIDS/HIV

Tej Diptesh Amin, Zueber Juma

Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando, FL

The PEPFAR program and the World Health Organization use PEPFAR reports in the process of reaching out to countries where AIDS/HIV patients need treatments. Tej and Zueber took notice of how costly and slow the data collection system for the PEPFAR reports are. Thus, they were inspired to create their own Open Source Reporting Solution which can save the program thousands and thousands of dollars for each report, while also allowing patients to receive help and treatment at a timelier pace. Their Open-Source Reporting Solution software is able to produce a PEPFAR report template that is extremely similar to the PEPFAR report templates currently in use, and as a matter of fact, to the average naked eye it is almost identical.

Designing an Affordable and Accessible Virtual Reality System

Scott Douglas Betz

Bellbrook High School, Bellbrook, OH

Virtual Reality Systems have never really taken off because they are so pricey. Scott decided to try and make them a lot more affordable and thus plausible for average folk to use. By using three Nintendo Wii remotes that track the movements of infrared emitters placed on a pair of iPod video goggles, he was able to come up with a complete VR system for under $250.

Head-Controlled Computer Interface for the Disabled

John B. Hinkel, III

Hopkinton High School, Hopkinton, MA

John realized that there are many people out there with disabilities that prevent them from using the computer, because they have limited use of their hands and can’t use a computer mouse. Thus, he created the Head-Controlled Computer Interface which when worn as a headset, it allows users to operate a mouse pointer. He has authored a program which translates accelerometer movements coming from the headset in to cursor movements – so that users are even able to do double clicks, right or left clicks, drag, scroll, and select text.

Catch it Early: Web-Based Screening for Melanoma

Thomas Benjamin Thompson

Huron High School, Ann Arbor, MI

Despite the fact that Melanoma is easily treated if caught early, many cases go unnoticed until it’s too late. Considering this, Thomas created a computer aided melanoma diagnosis system capable of an overall accuracy of 75%. He even made the system readily available on a free to use web site.

Defying Gravity

Julia Christine Kimble

The Good Hope School, Frederiksted, Virgin Islands

Hovercrafts have been around for a while, but Julia set out to work on a hovercraft that would carry its load in an environmentally friendly fashion – using solar power. Her tests and research has helped collect valuable information for the future development of a solar hovercraft.

Domestic Wind Turbine

Melisa Hincapie

Colegio La Compania de Maria La Ensenanza, Medellin, Colombia

Melisa developed the Domestic Wind Turbine in an effort to create an affordable source of energy development for impoverished areas. The Domestic Wind Turbine manages to generates electricity through a totally clean and renewable source – the wind. Not to mention, that wind is also a totally free source, making the Domestic Wind Turbine perfectly suited to use in impoverished sectors of society.

Therapeutic Computer-Controlled Conditioning

Trevor M. Boardman

Delta High School, Delta UT

Trevor set out to create a device that could allow people with physical disabilities or debilitating injuries to exercise and strengthen their muscles. His solution is the Therapeutic Computer-Controlled Conditioning device, which he constructed using various parts ranging from surplus motors and gears to immobilizing braces.