David's summer in QIL

Head shot of David

This summer, David Lyons was working on an automatic contouring project with the QIL. David is starting his junior year at Hawken High School in 2017. He is currently enrolled in the school’s STEM program, a class spanning a year and a half that immerses students in the scientific community to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, or medicine. In the class, students find a mentor, write a specific aims page and a grant proposal, spend at least 160 hours in their mentor’s lab working on a project, and then present that project to the class in the symposium in November. David was interested in computer programming and chose to work with the QIL because of the medical applications that can be achieved through MATLAB programming. During his time at the lab, David used computer code, machine learning, and linear algebra to construct a program that can automatically contour cancer images through adaptive edge detection and then automatically adjust itself by implementing the Medical Consideration Function, an equation that evaluates the accuracy of the contour with respect to how much the inaccuracies would matter in a medical sense. The program improves upon existing methods because of this adaptability and could be very useful for gathering more data for research, training residents, and working towards adaptive radiotherapy. Upon completion of the project, David presented his program to the QIL and will compete in the Hawken symposium this fall against more than forty other students.