Dublin students declared BT Young Scientists of the Year for 2022

Aditya Joshi and Aditya Kumar solved ‘the Bernoulli quadrisection problem’

Two third-year students from Synge Street CBS, Dublin, Aditya Jos and Aditya Kumar have won the overall award in the 2022 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition after they devised a new method of solving an ancient problem of geometry. Video: BT

 

Two third-year students from Synge Street CBS have won the overall award in the 2022 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition after they devised a new method of solving an ancient problem of geometry.

Aditya Joshi (15) and Aditya Kumar (15) solved “the Bernoulli quadrisection problem”, a problem in Euclidean geometry, by applying modern computation methods. They used the technique of “particle swarm optimisation”, a computer algorithm inspired by biological phenomena seen in the behaviour of flocks of birds or swarms of bees.

It is the fourth time that the Dublin school has won the prize, having previously won in 2012, 2009 and 2004 – the most overall wins of any school in the contest. The 58th staging of the contest was held online due to Covid-19. The students win €7,500 and will represent Ireland at the EU Contest for Young Scientists in September.

The Bernoulli quadrisection problem seeks to determine how a triangle may be split into four regions of equal area by drawing two perpendicular lines through it. “Although the problem may look very simple, it is in fact very hard,” Aditya Kumar said.

He said he was “speechless and happy” following the announcement of their win; the culmination of six months intensive study.

Joshi, who was marking his birthday, said he was inspired by his big brother Chirag who entered the competition in 2018. He wished to thank his computer science teacher Ger Davin for mentoring them.

‘Elegant work’

The judges were “highly impressed by their elegant work, their creative ideas and their excellent presentation skills”, said Prof Pat Guiry, chairman of the group chemical, physical and mathematical sciences judging panel.

The students presented a new approach to a problem dating from 1687, he said, while also identifying areas of possible application in contemporary engineering including the design of electronic circuits.

The award for individual winner went to Ross O’Boyle (16), a transition year student from Portmarnock Community College in Co Dublin, for his investigation into the effectiveness of various ventilation methods using carbon dioxide “as a proxy for the spread of Covid-19 in both controlled and real-life scenarios”.

Category judge chairwoman Prof Orla Feely said: “Ross used experiments and mathematical models to investigate the effectiveness of different ventilation methods at maintaining safe CO2 levels, with a view to preventing spread of Covid-19. We were very impressed by the breadth of the project, and also by the way in which the student applied scientific principles to a problem of great current interest.”

The group runners-up award was presented to Conor Bradshaw (18), David Hughes (17) and Dara Newsome (17), sixth-year students at Mercy Mounthawk, in Tralee, Co Kerry, for their development of a wearable smart device for dementia patients.

They invented “an intelligent spectacle system”, which helps reduce anxiety and fear in people with dementia, by indicating who is in their company such as close family members. Their glasses embrace an advanced product design – an embedded AI visual recognition system and multi-mode communications capability – by including both visual and auditory signals.

E-voting returns

The individual runner-up award was presented to Andrei Florian (17), a fift- year student at St Aidan’s CBS, Dublin, who developed a secure and transparent electronic voting system suitable for use in the Irish electoral system.

The PR single-transferable-vote system was made possible by his availing of recent advances in blockchain to record information, and in cryptography. It can be audited by third parties and allows for use of a physical ballot card. The unique “end-to-end system”, which enables remote voting, has the potential to transform the election process, the judges said.

Taha Fareed and Jevin Joy, 15-year-old students from Coláiste Phádraig in Lucan, Co Dublin, who created a website with an artificial intelligence model that uses deep learning to predict the value of cryptocurrencies with precision, came joint second in the intermediate technology group category and received a special award from Science Foundation Ireland.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister for Education Norma Foley said it was “both encouraging and heartening to witness the level of creativity and innovation of this year’s entrants as demonstrated through their meticulously researched and ingenious projects”.

The Minister acknowledged the role of teachers and mentors “who give so generously of their time and expertise to support entrants on their journey” and thanked parents and families for their unwavering support.

BT Ireland managing director Shay Walsh congratulated students across the island of Ireland who took part in the exhibition this week, and “for brightening up a cold January, particularly with Covid-19 continuing to cast a very long shadow”. They have shown “huge diversity of thought in actively seeking out solutions to some of the biggest challenges that humanity faces”, he added.

Details of projects and video presentations are available at https://portal.btyoungscientist.com/