Congratulations to Michelle Tang, Class of 2018, who was named a Top 300 Scholar in the 77th Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation's oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high school seniors.
The Science Talent Search, which originated in 1942, provides a national stage for the country's best and brightest young scientists to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists. Alumni/ae of STS have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world's most distinguished science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.
Michelle's research focused on identifying bipolar disorder through social media. Her faculty sponsor, Director of Global Education Karina Baum, describes Tang's work: "One of Michelle's many gifts is her joy of learning new things. Her scientific curiosity—particularly of how the human brain works—has taken her to explore the world beyond the classroom. Over the last few years, Michelle has taken courses about the human brain and interned at research labs. Furthermore, last summer Michelle started her own project under the supervision of Dr. Yang at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on mental disorder behavior in the context of social media. As part of the project, she analyzed the patterns of words exhibited by bipolar patients through social media, and created a computer program that identified non-bipolar users from those that were bipolar."
Michelle received $2,000 as one of the Top 300 Scholars. In addition, her sponsor Baum received "Teacher of Merit" recognition, which included a $2,000 grant to use toward STEM-related activities at the School.
BB&N will use the grant to support its first S.W.O.R.D. (Students Working on Real Design) competition. Organized by Science Department Chair Rachel Riemer and Baum, and guided by the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, the competition will challenge BB&N students to work in teams to propose a local-scale solution to a specific problem. Teams will submit an initial intent paper by the end of Fall 2018. Guided by Science Department faculty mentors, teams will present their fully vetted project prototype at the January 2019 STEM fair. Winning student groups will receive funds to help implement their projects by the end of the 2018-2019 school year. In addition, teams will share and present their proposal with the community at large.