CHS Senior Jessica Liang Among Nation’s Top Student Science Scholars

Jessica LiangCHS Senior Jessica Liang is one of 300 students in the nation and one of only 15 in Texas chosen as top student scientists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022. A program of the Society of Science, the Regeneron Science Talent Search is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. As a part of this recognition, Liang and CHS will be awarded $2,000 each.

Liang credits her CHS teachers Dr. Robert Gribble, Krissy Baker and Stephanie Sloane for inspiring her interest in science research.

“I am deeply honored by this award, and I appreciate all the help from my teachers,” Liang said.   “Dr. Gribble and Ms. Sloane have continued to inspire me as a scientist. They have taught me the beauty and complexity of physics, science and our world.“

She added, “This national recognition has encouraged me to continue pursuing my passion for scientific research after high school.”

For her research project, Liang proposed a new architecture for Variational Autoencoder (VAE), which can generalize small sets of data to larger sets. This generated data has the same properties as the original data, but is not identical, allowing protection of data privacy and more data generated. 

Liang said that at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic there was a small number of patients. With VAE, patients' CT scans or X-rays can be used for medical research purposes, while protecting their privacy and generating more data for research.

“My new architecture for Variational Autoencoder tremendously increases the data processing speed for real-time applications,” Liang said. 

Liang was also selected as a Fellow of the Simons Summer Research Program at Stony Brook University in summer 2021. This program is very selective, as the acceptance rate was only five percent in 2021.

“CISD has a rigorous STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum that has provided me with the necessary background for my research efforts,” Liang said. “The challenging courses at CHS have taught me the importance of persistence and studying when learning new and difficult concepts.”

The Regeneron Science Talent Search provides students with a national stage to present original research and celebrates the hard work and novel discoveries of young scientists who are bringing a fresh perspective to significant global challenges. This year, research projects cover topics from tracking countries’ progress on Sustainable Development Goals to the impact of states’ individual COVID-19 responses, and improving the tools used to diagnose Alzheimer’s to analyzing the effects of virtual learning on education.  

“Amid an unprecedented and ongoing global health crisis, we are incredibly inspired to see such an extraordinary group of young leaders who are using the power of STEM to solve the world’s most intractable challenges,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science, Publisher of Science News and 1985 Science Talent Search alum. “The ingenuity and creativity that each one of these scholars possesses has shown just how much intellectual curiosity and passion can thrive, even in difficult times.” 

The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,804 applications received from 603 high schools across 46 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and eight other countries. Scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists as demonstrated through the submission of their original, independent research projects, essays and recommendation. T 

The full list of scholars can be viewed at www.societyforscience.org/regeneron-sts/2022-scholars/