Loading

ADVANCED MATH/SCIENCE RESEARCH PROGRAM Berkshire School | Winter Newsletter 2019

Advanced Math/Science Research (AMSR) is a year long course that offers students an authentic independent laboratory experience. Most students join after their sophomore year for a two-year experience. Students design and execute an original research project in the natural sciences with the guidance of professional scientists. The course typically culminates with a research paper, presentation of their work in a public poster session and submission of that work to a national science competition. Berkshire's world-class facility is like no other high school laboratory and it gets better every year!

Congratulations to our two Top Scholars!

Over the past Ten years, Eleven Advanced Math/Science Research students have been named Science Talent Search (STS) semifinalists, a distinction earned by only 300 students in the country each year.
Daniel Tian and Avalon Lebenthal, Class of 2019
RENAMED THE REGENERON STS (FORMERLY INTEL) IN 2017, IT IS THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS SCIENCE COMPETITION FOR PRE-COLLEGE STUDENTS IN THE NATION. THE STS has been CALLED THE "JUNIOR NOBEL"

Propionibacterium acnes biofilm: The Effect of Peptide 1018 on Bacterial Production

Avalon Z. M. Lebenthal

Avalon with the Electron Microscope

Abstract: Propionibacterium acnes is a major component of the human skin microbiome and plays an important role in the etiology of acne. P. acnes produces a biofilm, aiding in its growth and protection. Researchers studying the destruction and growth of biofilm have recently linked peptide 1018 to the breakdown of many different bacterial biofilms (and its prevention of reformation of films in these colonies). This peptide works to disrupt biofilm growth by blocking the cellular production of (p)ppGpp in the organisms. In this study, the presence of biofilm was investigated in various amounts of peptide 1018; studied through digital pixelation density recordings of stained microtiter plates and electron microscopy. Peptide 1018 was effective in preventing P. acne biofilm. After peptide exposure, the P. acnes may have increased sensitivity to various anti-microbial products, including silver, copper, sulfur, blue light phototherapy, and manuka honey. The results from the peptide effectiveness tests could later be used with these substances for the development of a combination therapy that will kill off the bacteria, without harming human tissue.

Student Innovation

avalon devised a method to visualize biofilm (arrows) connecting the P. acne bacteria (boxed) using our transmission electron microscope on CAMPUS.
A TEM micrograph of P. acne treated with peptide 1018. Note the absence of biofilm

Robust Adversarial Perturbation in Deep Proposal-based Models

Making driverless cars even safer....

Daniel Tian

Daniel presenting his work at the British Machine Vision Conference in September of 2018.

Abstract: Adversarial noises are useful tools to probe the weakness of deep learning-based computer vision algorithms. This research describes a robust adversarial perturbation (R-AP) to attack deep proposal-based object detectors and instance segmentation algorithms. The proposed method focuses on attacking the common component in these algorithms, namely Region Proposal Network (RPN), to universally degrade their performances in a black-box fashion. To do so, a loss function, which combines a label loss and a novel shape loss, was optimized with respect to an image using a gradient based iterative algorithm. Evaluations are performed on the MS COCO 2014 dataset for the adversarial attacking of 6 state-of-the-art object detectors and 2 instance segmentation algorithms. Experimental results demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed method.

Solving real-world problems

Daniel worked with researchers at SUNY-Albany to develop and test an algorithm to examine the limitations of image recognition. This technology could improve software used in driver-less cars and other image detection technologies.
Object detection and Instance Segmentation methods for Image recognition. Figure 2 from Daniel's paper

AMSR ECONOMICS STUDENTS study bitcoin VOLATILITY and Initial coin OFFERINGS.

AMSR Economics Students visited the American Institute for Economics Research. Pictured (L-R) Front: Elizabeth Nutting, Dr. Max Gulker (AIER Mentor), Brooks Gammill, Michael Grise, Nick Steed; Back: Will Schultz and Kade Iervolino.
Students met with Jeffery Tucker (standing), AIER Editorial Director and Bitcoin Expert.

Update on the Winter AMSR Surveillance Project

WINTER AMSR IS AN AFTER SCHOOL OFFERING OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS, REGARDLESS OF EXPERIENCE.

Winter AMSR Team gets a crash course in Honeybee Life from Cesare (Skip) Del Vaglio, a local beekeeper.

preparing the samples from VARROA MITES FOUND IN BEEHIVES IN NEW ENGLAND.

THE HEALTH OF AN APIARY CAN BE ASSESSED by the microbes that are found within the mites
Wakaba A. '22 is having fun sorting mites from various apiaries in New England
Wakaba has a very systemic way of sorting the mites from pollen and debris.
THE BACTERIA COLLECTED FROM THE MITES WAS SCREENED FOR ACTIVITY OF SEVERAL DIFFERENTIAL MEDIA

We then prepared the DNase agar needed to distinguish between organisms.

DNase positive organisms were selected to undergo the next round of testing. If the organism is DNase positive, the agar turns from deep blue (right) to purple (below).

DNase positive sample

Cultivating Microbes and Citizen Scientists!

Maggie S '22 likes to line her mites up (Ethan S '21 smiles at her organization). The mites are in a tiny line on the white paper (look closely)

and learning that science is fun!

Dynamic duo of Martine L. '19 and Ava B. '21 are all smiles in Winter AMSR.
Learn more about AMSR by contacting Dr. April Burch aburch@berkshireschool.org

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.