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High School Students Score Major Success in IMSC Community Outreach Program

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS SUCCEED IN IMSC-SPONSORED RESEARCH PROGRAM-Dr. Sanza Kazadi, director of the Jisan Research Institute (JRI), (sitting, on left) and Taehoon Shin, IMSC graduate research assistant, (also sitting) guide the research of the high school students in the IMSC-sponsored program at JRI. The students are (standing, from left) Andy Bae, Christine Seng, Dharshan Chancramohan, David Choi, John Lee, James Yang, Andrew Lee, Valerie Muņoz (joined group after paper for IEEE was written), Diana Jue, and Peter Lim.

Nine high school students, learning advanced research skills in an IMSC community-outreach program with a Pasadena, CA, research institute, recently scored a major success when their IMSC-sponsored research paper was accepted for presentation at a key international conference.

They will travel to Budapest, Hungary, this summer to present the paper at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Fuzzy Systems, July 25-29.

The students are conducting the research at the Jisan Research Institute (JRI), a private non-profit organization they attend after school hours. JRI's mission is to provide opportunities for high school students, including those who are financially disadvantaged, to work on research projects sponsored by universities and companies.

IMSC began working with JRI two years ago under a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

IMSC designed the project specifically for the students, and they are working under the guidance of Prof. Jerry Mendel, IMSC's Associate Director for Education, Outreach and Student Affairs; Taehoon Shin, an IMSC graduate research assistant; and Dr. Sanza Kazadi, the JRI Director.

Prof. Mendel, who also oversees IMSC's collaboration with JRI, said of the students' work, "This paper represents the culmination of about two years of work for these students. They had a lot to learn, and they did so admirably."

"The JRI research experience has given them a leg-up on other students because they have demonstrated research skills that most high school students have not had the opportunity to display," he said.

Their paper, "Open Product Analysis of Genetic Algorithm-Generated Fuzzy Rule Sets," focuses on technology being developed that would assist the military in distinguishing between tanks and other kinds of vehicles by the sound they make as they move forward on a battlefield. Using sensors in the battlefield, a system employing the technology would alert soldiers to the threat of tanks that were out of their line of sight.

The students applied the principles of fuzzy logic to solve data classification problems in the research. Fuzzy logic is a humanistic kind of logic in that everything is not just black and white as it is in the usual logic, but can also be different shades of gray.

For more information on the Jisan Research Institute, visit