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FHS Senior to Present Two Research Papers at IEEE MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference

Erika Tan, a senior in the Medical Sciences Magnet Program at Freehold High School, spent part of her summer participating in the Governor's School of Engineering and Technology at Rutgers University. While there, Erika worked on and presented a group research project to train micro-drones to perform real-time, automated litter detection. The group used machine-learning algorithms and synced them with the drone’s cameras so it could classify different pieces of litter such as paper, cups, etc.

Erika also attended an awards ceremony in California for the Google Code-In, an international open source coding competition for teenagers. While there, Erika made a close friend and the pair have been working together on personal coding projects. One of those projects is a set of machine-learning algorithms trained on handwriting and voice recording datasets to detect Parkinson's disease.

Both the litter detection and Parkinson's papers were accepted for presentation at the IEEE MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference. Erika will travel to Massachusetts this fall to participate in the conference.

According to its website, the 2018 IEEE MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference brings together undergraduates around the world to present, discuss, and develop solutions to advance technology for humanity. As an IEEE official conference, undergraduates may publish papers of their school projects, research, innovations, or case studies. Participants attend a rich program with keynote speeches and technical flash talks featuring renowned speakers, a student design competition, and networking events.

For over 30 years, the Freehold Regional High School District’s Medical Sciences Magnet Program has offered students a rigorous program of mathematics and science within a comprehensive high school setting.  The program of study is unique with freshmen beginning their studies in AP Biology and Honors Algebra II and concluding their senior year with Biochemistry and Multivariable Calculus. Our high achieving and self-motivated students are thoroughly prepared for postsecondary studies in the sciences.

Every year, Medical Science students are selected to present these projects at prestigious symposiums such as the New Jersey Juniors Science & Humanities Symposium at Rutgers, the South Jersey Junior Science Symposium at Ocean County College, the Delaware Valley Science Fair and others.

Seniors participate in a unique externship at CentraState Medical Center.  Twice a month, they attend a lecture series and then shadow physicians and healthcare providers throughout the facility. At the conclusion of their externship, the CentraState Foundation offers multiple scholarships. In addition to this experience, many students also participate in summer internships at institutions such as the NIH, Sloan Kettering, University of Pennsylvania Research Program, Rutgers Cancer Institute.

Medical Sciences Magnet Program students are regularly admitted to prestigious colleges and universities such as Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, MIT, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth University, University of Chicago, Rutgers University Honors Program, and many others.  Often our students are accepted into undergraduate/medical combined programs at institutions such as Northwestern University's HPME, Washington University of St. Louis, Drexel University BA/MD, George Washington BA/MD, Penn State University BA/MD, TCNJ's BA/MD, and others.

After graduation, students have gone on to become physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, veterinarians, physician assistants, and physical therapists. Others have chosen industry or research careers in biomedical engineering or technology.

Erika Tan