News at The Jisan Research Institute in 2010
JRI Student Ayesha Bose Becomes Westinghouse SemifinalistDecember 5, 2010
Ayesha Bose, a senior from Francis Parker High School and the JRI student with the longest commute (coming from San Diego to Alhambra weekly to do research with JRI students and scientists), continues on her remarkably successful year, garnering another prestigious award. Building on the work she did at the RSI program from MIT, Ayesha successfully competed in the 2010 Siemens-Westinghouse competition this year and was named a California semifinalist.
Ayesha's research centered around a new method of performing visual image recognition. The method Ayesha did her work on is called Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT, for short). This method involves using the image's topological characteristics, such as local minima and maxima as well as vectors extracted from the image itself, to identify the images. These vectors are used to create a kind of .fingerprint. for the image, which is used to match the image with other similar .fingerprints. from other images. The method is remarkably accurate, achieving reported recognition rates as high as 100% on test images.
Ayesha spent the summer at MIT working under the auspices of a prominent researcher in the field of image recognition, developing her own contribution to the field. At the end of the summer, Ayesha returned to JRI to continue her work in the JRI lab, while simultaneously completing her research report pursuant to her RSI research. She then competed in the Siemens-Westinghouse competition with this research.
Ayesha's experience is reminiscent of other notable alumni who got their research start at JRI, and continued on to accomplish great things. Allen Cheng, now a student in Harvard's MD/PhD program completed his first research cycle at JRI, was also selected to the RSI program, and went on to earn a Semifinalist status in the Intel Science Talent Search Competition. Michael Chung completed two research cycles at JRI and went on to independently carry out research at home, successfully attaining Semifinalist status in the Intel Science Talent Search Competition. Jeff Manning also got a solid start at JRI, and was admitted to the RSI program, but turned down his acceptance to attend another program.
JRI Launches OfficeHours(SM) Web Service - Dr. Sanza Kazadi, President JRI, Interim Director OfficeHoursDecember 5, 2010
The other day, I received an email from the Caltech Career Center. As a vestige of a bygone era in my life, a link between me and that center is still maintained. As the Center receives requests from potential students outside of the school, it sends them out to a long list of students, former students, and other community members who have agreed to peruse the tutoring listings from time to time and then compete for the business of would be Learners eager to get help in one or more subjects. I went through the list of requests, knowing that I would not likely respond, as my own plate is very full.
In recent months, I've also been asked on more than one occasion whether or not I knew of someone who could teach one subject or another by people either in the business of providing teaching services or by people looking for teachers for themselves. It seems that many people need the services of individuals who have great expertise, and that these people can be very hard to find.
I am happy that JRI is now getting into a position to begin to address some of these needs using our OfficeHoursSM service. This service, which is now functional, is meant to bring Learners together with Experts in a way that is convenient, easy to use, and enjoyable. Located at the web address www.allofficehours.com, the service allows individuals seeking expertise to join the site and immediately begin matching their needs with the services of individual Experts already on the site. The site handles scheduling, advertisement, payment, search, and attendance of classes, and links to internet-based communication services of other companies provide additional functionality.
It is hoped that this site will be used by organizations, schools, and individual educators alike, both catering to Learners seeking formal classes or help in formal classes or to Learners seeking knowledge for its own sake. It is my hope that people will rediscover learning for the sheer joy of learning, as opposed to the relative drudgery of slogging through classes to obtain a grade or certification. The media can be used to provide a convenient meeting place for on-line discussions or to allow for the development of new cooking or craft skills. The limit is only one's imagination.
Already, the site is being noticed by educators catering to K-12 Learners. I have successfully used the method in JRI classes for more than half a year now, and have aided Learners in specific classes they were having trouble with in private learning sessions. Most recently, I have worked with a Caltech student, a high school student, and a group of high school students. Other educators are beginning to come to the site including Dr. Henry Lin, JRI alumnus, and a Research Professor in Canada, and Dr. Roudy Ekyalongo, a medical doctor working on his PhD in Japan.
Recently, Ms. Orenda Tuason of Crescenta Valley High School signed her school up to use OfficeHours' free program for peer tutoring and other uses within the school.
It is my sincere hope that this site will prove useful for many Learners young and old, and that it will provide many with educational resources they might not otherwise have access to. I am confident that when asked in the future, "do you know anyone who can teach ...", I'll be able to answer yes!
JRI Scientists Develop New Water PumpAugust 1, 2010
The Jisan Research Institute made its presence felt at two international scientific conferences this summer with presentations in Italy and Japan, respectively, regarding its groundbreaking water technology. Dr. Sanza Kazadi and Mr. Mark Webb are co-inventors of what is being called the SolaPumpTM, an innovative device that is able to pump and desalinate water, and generate power using only solar energy. The pump mechanism does not have any moving parts. The device uses sunlight to pump and distill water at a high efficiency, and utilizes a byproduct of the pumping process to generate power.
The pump began as a project Mr. Webb started in 2004 as part of his research at the Jisan Research Institute. Dr. Kazadi advised Mr. Webb as his research mentor, and continued work on the pump after Mr. Webb.s graduation in 2006. The next few years saw significant development in the technology, as Dr. Kazadi continued improving the pump.s efficiency and design. Originally a demonstration of theoretical results from Dr. Kazadi's work in robotic swarm engineering, the device was studied by a group of attendees of JRI.s summer research program last year. The research group.s efforts revealed the pump.s ability to couple the water pumping process to power generation, making it a source of both clean water and energy. The fact that the pump uses no external resource other than light emitted from the sun makes it a wholly independent and sustainable device, capable of being manufactured and used in any location with natural sunlight in the world. The pump is one of six patented technologies at JRI.
Having created a first production prototype, after making countless laboratory prototypes, Dr. Kazadi and Mr. Webb submitted a paper describing the pump technology to two conferences to take place in Italy and Japan. In May, they traveled to Italy to attend the ECI Conference on Advances in Science and Engineering for Brackish Water and Seawater Desalination which took place from May 8th through May 12th. In June, it was off to Japan to the Renewable Energy Conference in Yokohama, which took place between the 27th of June and the 2nd of July. At both conferences, they described the pump, as a poster presentation in Italy and a full oral presentation in Japan.
The final list of authors on this project include Dr. Kazadi, Mr. Webb, and several participants in the JRI 2009 Summer Program (Annie Han, William Seto, Aaron Chen, Leslie Chae, and Richard Li). Leslie, Richard, and Annie also accompanied Dr. Kazadi and Mr. Webb to Japan. Dr. Kazadi and Mr. Webb's first trip kick started a series of other presentations JRI gave at other conferences throughout the world. Various research groups at JRI.s labs have made contributions to axle and thermal technologies as the Institute continues to break educational barriers and make its mark on the scientific community.
JRI Celebrates Third RSI AcceptanceApril 10, 2010
Jisan Research Institute student Ayesha Bose recently learned of her acceptance to the prestigious Research Science Institute summer program at MIT, making her the third JRI student in its history to have been offered a place in the competitive program. RSI is perhaps the nation.s most well known high school research program. Founded in 1984, RSI is a six-week program held every summer at MIT, and provides its attendees with lectures from distinguished professors and scientists. The students are also assigned a research mentor and a research project for the summer; oftentimes, the student will submit his or her project to the annual Intel Science Talent Search competition following their work at RSI. The program boasts more Intel Science Talent Search Honorees and Winners than any other educational organization in the U.S.
The program selects 45 American students and 30 international students amongst the many promising and precocious high school students who submit an application. Ayesha submitted an application after hearing about the program via the Internet and from various friends who had previously applied to the program. A San Diego native, Ayesha commutes from San Diego to the Los Angeles area every weekend to attend classes at the Jisan Research Institute.
.I think my work at JRI definitely distinguished me from the rest of the applicant pool. I.ve talked to my other friends who.ve applied to RSI in the past.none of them have been able to get in because it.s a super competitive program. Just to know that I had research experience and a background where I was going to JRI.and working with things that [go] beyond the regular school curriculum separated me from any other applicant..
At JRI, Ayesha has been working on a computational research project geared toward finding a practical method for solving problems with a large number of possible solutions. She has been working to mathematically prove that an optimal solution exists, and then to uncover what that exact solution is. Her project is just one of many going on at JRI, which has celebrated the new decade with eight new paper acceptances to conferences around the world. Additionally, technologies developed at JRI have been awarded an issued patent and four pending patents.
JRI.s two other RSI admittances in the past . Allen Cheng and Jeff Manning . are now JRI alum, and are both well into their academic careers. Allen Cheng attended RSI and went on to become an Intel Semi-finalist, and is now attending the M.D./PhD program at Harvard University. Jeff Manning turned down his acceptance to pursue another project, and is now studying mathematics at Caltech.
Like many other RSI applicants, Ayesha, Allen, and Jeff were all standout students in their local high schools. Ayesha is currently enrolled in several AP and honors classes, and serves as President of her robotics team, as well as Vice President of her school.s Science Olympiad team. However, in today.s increasingly competitive academic world, a little more is needed to distinguish even the brightest high school student. High school research is gaining steam as a stamp of a student.s potential and dedication; many JRI students get a taste for what a career in science is like, and if it.s right for them. Students who stay the course and manage to get a scientific paper published before even setting foot at their eventual college already have a leg up on their peers. Ayesha will enter RSI with a strong background in the computer science project she has been accepted into. Her work at JRI has empowered her with strong skills in a variety of computer languages . a fact that has made her into the lead programmer on the robotics competition team at her high school. In addition to her software skills, Ayesha has also spent time in the machining shop at JRI, giving her the rare ability to enter a university with the ability to design, build, and characterize a project with her own two hands. As of now, Ayesha aims to enter a university with a strong engineering or computer science program, and hopes to continue on into grad school before entering the industry. And with her work at JRI and her forthcoming summer at RSI, she is well on her way toward all of those goals.
Summer Students Win Big With Summer Project
March 24, 2010
The Jisan Research Institute brings in the spring of the new decade with major contributions to energy research. A group of high school students, originally attendees of JRI.s summer research project, have been invited to the ECI and Renewable Energy conferences in Italy and Japan, respectively, for their contribution to green energy technology. Summer science projects are more known for their instructive, rather than innovative, qualities. Yet, the Jisan Research Institute continues to buck this trend. The research group.s project began as an application of existing Jisan technologiesbefore blooming into a study that made significant contributions to the scientific community the students wish to join.
The students designed and constructed a wind turbine under the guidance of Research Mentor Dr. Sanza Kazadi. The turbine is incorporated in a solar energy pump capable of distilling water and vertically pumping materials up to several hundred feet upwards in a single stage. Remarkably enough, the pump itself is powered by nothing other than the sun, and uses no moving parts.
The students took advantage of a side effect of the solar pump to design, construct, and characterize a wind turbine based on a frictionless axle . another extant Jisan technology. The solar pump internally created a high speed wind, making it possible to drive a highly efficient turbine that generated electricity.
The members of the group are:
All five students began their scientific careers at JRI by constructing the pump and turbine throughout the summer of 2009. Assisted by Research Mentor Dr. Sanza Kazadi, the group managed to get the device working by summer.s end. Dr. Kazadi urged the group to continue on through the year to finalize the project and write up the results in a paper for submission to a scientific conference. Recent JRI graduate and pump coinventor Mark Webb assisted with the writeup.
- Annie Han - Webb School
- Aaron Chen - Burbank High School
- Leslie Chae - San Marino High School
- Richard Li - Arcadia High School
- William Seto - Alhambra High School
The group submitted their paper to two different conferences, both of which accepted the work. The five students now have the unique opportunity to travel to an international scientific conference and present their findings to professional scientists from around the world . all before their first year of college, when aspiring scientists and engineers normally begin their contributions to science.
The solar pump itself was invented by Dr. Kazadi and Mark Webb while Mr. Webb was still a student at JRI. Now a UC Berkeley student and up-and-coming star at Lawrence National Berkeley Laboratories, Mr. Webb made the smooth transition from community college to a four-year university with the help of JRI.s unique program.
Like many other students before him, Mr. Webb's career in science was jump-started by his work at JRI. The research program welcomes any student interested in science, making it a haven for precocious young scientists to gather and form a supportive community.
After graduating from the program, Mr. Webb returned to JRI as an instructor for the summer program, and helped foster the same spirit of learning and innovation that has brought him, and many other JRI grads, success in their scientific careers. This pioneering spirit has certainly manifested itself with this particular group of summer students, proving how a simple high school summer science project can turn into a life-changing opportunity for the future.