Friday, February 7, 2014

ISM Students Make State at BPA Competition

Both Austin Endo and Matthew Hudson, current ISM students, qualified for state in the BPA Competition they participated in on January 18, 2014. BPA Stands for Business Professionals of America and is a program that allows students to challenge and improve their professional and business expertise in different topics. Austin and Matthew qualified in the team event, in which the goal was to design a network in a real business situation, to present the implementation of the network in order to then sell this network to the judges, who evaluate networks for effective use of technology and other specifics. Through this portion of the competition, these students were able to meet and speak with a network sales engineer from CenturyLink, who helped them with their design. Austin Endo also qualified in Systems Administration using Cisco, a written test in which different questions are posed about network administration, different topologies, and network design, while Matthew also qualified in Java Programming. He was given a problem and a short amount of time to code a solution. The challenge was to decode a Caesar Cypher, a form of encryption, using a key and outputting to a file. Congratulations to these amazing students for their success in the competition and their computer programming skills. 

Alumni Highlight: ISM Student Masters ACT

2012-2013 ISM student Tiffany Kuan was one of the first students in Frisco ISD to receive a perfect score on the ACT. Quite modest, she did not report her score to teachers, and has only recently been recognized for her accomplishment. She has now gone on to study at the University of Texas at Austin's Honors College, choosing excellence in her studies even beyond high school and the ISM program. This amazing performance exemplifies the trend seen in all ISM students. They are both passionate about their topics and ambitious in their pursuit of the future - for themselves and also the world. Despite the tremendous challenges posed by the ISM curriculum, they find ways to stay involved, competitive, and successful, especially in the academic realm. While Ms. Kuan will be forever missed as a talented alumni of this program, congratulations to her for an outstanding record. Current and future ISM students will surely walk in her footsteps to achieve their goals and outmatch the competition as well.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Neurosurgery Under the Mentorship of Dr. Madden

Liberty High School junior Sindhu Senthilkumar is pursuing neurosurgery as her topic of study in ISM this year. She particularly enjoys learning about the central nervous system and believes that the ISM program has greatly expanded her knowledge in this field by providing her with countless opportunities. Under the mentorship of Dr. Christopher Madden, the CMO of Parkland Hospital and Health System and UTSW neurosurgeon, Sindhu has had the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the healthcare system and gain more exposure in the hospital environment.  Through shadowing her mentor, Sindhu has gained a greater understanding of both the clinical aspect of medicine as well as the administrative perspective.  She is sure that her experiences this year will aid her greatly in the years to come and help her reach her long term aspirations of becoming a successful neurosurgeon and compassionate doctor.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ISM Students Make State In DECA

Congratulations to the ISM students who also made state this year in DECA: Sabah Janmohammad, Sindhu Senthilkumar, Gina Lu, Katrina Liou, Andy Chen, and Anishka Kappalaiyal. DECA refers to the Distributed Education Clubs Association, a marketing association that allows students to expand and compete with their knowledge of the business-professional world. The competition includes a challenge in which students are given a business situation, and they must work under pressure and time constraints to come up with original and innovative ideas to promote success for the business despite the given circumstances. Upon learning of her success at competition, Sabah explained, “both DECA and ISM have exposed me to the professional world in a way that has allowed me to grow. It’s been a great opportunity to learn more and to successfully compete…I was more than excited to learn that I made state. It was a true accomplishment to experience this success knowing that ‘I actually did it’.” Katrina, who has competed in DECA for two years, stated, “I find the competition helpful because it allows us to practice and perfect interview skills. The challenge is in the pressure we are under to improvise and to utilize the information we have already gathered in order to solve a problem.”

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Looking Back: Student Creates Quadcopter

Moez Janmohammad from the 2011-2012 ISM class at Liberty had an incredible experience throughout his ISM journey.

He partnered with Centennial High School ISM student, Roger Tang to build a quadcopter from scratch.  The only prefabricated parts were the circuit boards, wiring, and motors, we 3D printed the rotor blades, custom made the frame out of milled aluminum, and laser cut the body out of Polycarbonate. 

At this link Roger and Moez were published in Robot Magazine, the May/June 2012 issue, for their work in helping Para.llax test their Board of Education shield for Arduino. They used these basic robots as a platform to learn the ins and outs of coding on Arduino, and also to develop their ISM original work. Moez developed a new algorithm for line following which uses 7 inline sensors instead of 2 like a regular robot, which allows for more accurate line tracking and variable corrections on error. Moez says he still remembers the day he got it running in class, he started running the code on the Arduino and the whole thing started moving. He started jumping and screaming and generally being quite insane because it was the first time he had designed, built, and coded something entirely by himself.

Moez thinks that any student that has an opportunity to be part of the ISM program is very blessed.

Moez Janmohammad
Southern Methodist University, Class of 2016
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Monday, February 3, 2014

AI - Natural Language Processing by Karan Shukla

Senior Karan Shukla, who is learning about Artificial Intelligence in Frisco ISD’s Independent Study and Mentorship program, is pursuing the study of Natural Language Processing. By researching online, reading books, and attending university lectures, Karan has gained a greater understanding of his field and the work that is being done in it. Independent Study and Mentorship has also given Karan more valuable experience e-mailing and interacting with professionals. Karan has used his learning of artificial intelligence theory to code SAM, the Sentiment Analyzer of Movies, a program that utilizes a large body of movie reviews and the Naive Bayesian Classifier algorithm to determine the positive or negative tone of movie reviews. Working under his mentor, UTD Professor Yang Liu, Karan hopes to further his learning of natural language processing and its applications in real world problems.