By Jeaneane Payne
Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain. (Image courtesy of Siemens Foundation)
ATLANTA -- Two Oak Ridge high school students have been awarded the Nation's Highest Science Honor for High School Students. Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain, seniors at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, won the team category and will share a $6,000 scholarship for their bioengineering project, Using Kinect for Xbox 360 and Computer Vision to Analyze Human Gait, which may aid the development of an accurate, affordable device to detect abnormal gait patterns.
"The Siemens Competition has a proud history of attracting awe-inspiring research projects from America's best and brightest and we are pleased to see that this year is no exception," said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, President of the Siemens Foundation. "We can all take heart in the remarkable work being done by this next generation of young innovators as exemplified by Sitan Chen, Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain."
"Mr. Liu and Ms. Cain explored a relatively new area of gait analysis by co-opting an existing commercial device, the Kinect for Xbox 360, and creating custom software," said Dr. Young-Hui Chang, Associate Professor, Applied Physiology, Georgia Institute of Technology. "In the rapidly developing field of gait analysis in prosthetics and orthotics, their project opens avenues to bring personalized rehabilitation to the home. This could potentially reduce medical costs, allowing clinicians to monitor a patient's progress from a remote site."
Born in Qujing, Yunnan, China, Ziyuan dreams of becoming the head of a software company or a banking firm. He is the founder of a committee to educate others in his school and community about solar energy. A member of the International Relations Club and French National Honor Society, he enjoys playing the alto saxophone and swimming.
Cassee is the drum major of her high school marching band and the costume designer of the drama club. She has always been interested in health care and dreams of becoming an oncologist. A National Honor Society National Achiever, Cassee plans to major in chemical engineering.
The team's mentors on the project were Dr. John K. Mueller and Dr. Boyd McCutchen Evans III, University of Tennessee.
Source: Siemens Foundation