August 3, 2012

Brittany Wenger, 17, Wins Google Science Fair (VIDEO)

The grand prize winner of this year's Google Science Fair was 17-year-old Brittany Wenger from Florida who developed an app that helps doctors diagnose breast cancer.

Wenger designed a computer program called a "neural network" that was coded to mimic the human brain and then deployed it to the cloud. She used data from fine needle aspirates and ran 7.6 million trials on the network. The  artificial "brain" learns to detect complex patterns and make diagnostic calls on breast cancer. It correctly identifies 99.1% malignant tumors. 

Wenger's neural network was 4.97% more accurate than commercial networks. Her network will improve with more data and can be adapted for use with diagnosing other types of cancer. 

Wenger won $50,000 in scholarship money, an internship with a science fair sponsor and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

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