Loading

Advanced Math/Science Research Program Berkshire School | Fall 2019 Newsletter

Advanced Math/Science Research (AMSR) is a research 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 or physical sciences with the guidance of on- and off-campus professional scientists. The course 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!

Signature Programs shine at ARISE Night in May of 2019

ARISE, short for Advanced Research and Independent Study Exhibition is the the culminating even for students in the AMSR, AHR, Independent Study, and Black Rock Scholars Program. This year, over 60 students presented their work.

Packed house for the ARISE poster session in the Bellas-Dixon Math/Science Center.

Inaugural Tian Family Endowed Lecture Series for AMSR and AI

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ansaf Salleb-Aouissi, Columbia U

WHATEVER STUDENTS CHOOSE TO PURSUE AS A CAREER, THEY NEED TO KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT AI, TO BE ‘AI FLUENT,’ AND BE AWARE OF ITS SOCIETAL IMPACTS. AFTER ALL, AI IS PRESENT IN MANY ASPECTS OF THEIR LIVES AND WILL BE EVEN MORE PRESENT IN THEIR FUTURES. -DR. SALLEB-AOUISSI
Daniel Tian '19 discusses his poster with Dr. Salleb-Aouissi. He used AI and Neural Networks to study how image-recognition software can be improved by using perturbation methods.

What did you do this summer?

AMSR Student Aimi Sekiguchi shares more about her research experience in Tokyo.

Aimi Sekiguchi '20 in the lab this summer.
This summer, I worked with an immunology lab in Tokyo, Japan. During my two months there, I experimented with mice cells and E.coli bacteria to explore the molecular biology of how cells recognize danger. I was thrilled when we found a DNA sequence that is required for the defense mechanism to function.

Aimi learned cell-culture, transfection, fluorescence microscopy, and FACS analysis this summer.

Aimi's organization was a key to her success.
Aside from my research, from shadowing graduate students to attending intense progress reports and seminars, every experience at the lab was a new, surprising, and enriching experience. I thank my mentor and the members of the lab that accepted and supported me throughout.

Aimi's favorite technique was FACS analysis. The image in the background shows some of Aimi's results. Each blue dot represents a single cell tagged with fluorescent markers. FACS allows one to sort populations of cells from one another.

The Berkshire School Endowment for AMSR and AI

Thanks to the generosity of Berkshire families, alumni, and friends, the Berkshire School Endowment for AMSR and AI was established in 2018 to endow AMSR and bring AI (Artificial Intelligence) to Berkshire.

The endowment, which supports AMSR/AI faculty chairs, curriculum, an external speaker network, and student recognition, kicked off with the Tian Family Endowed Lecture Series during Pro Vita of 2019. The endowment has been instrumental in bringing CS + AI to the curriculum in 2019-2020.

Beatrice Mendez Kennedy, CS + AI Instructor

Beatrice Mendez Kennedy joined Berkshire School in the Fall of 2019 to instruct Computer Science and Spanish. Beatrice joins Berkshire from Springfield Commonwealth Academy in Springfield, MA. where she served as IT Director and Instructor. Prior to this role, Beatrice taught computer technology and ESOL in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A graduate of Consudec in Buenos Aires, Beatriz completed her B.A. in Computer Technology teaching, and she holds a Level B2 certificate in both English and French instruction. At Berkshire, Beatrice is leading the Computer Science initiative and will collaborating across departments on STEAM programming in our afternoon programming this winter. Beatrice is excited to help students solve real-world problems with CS and AI.

Let's gooooo! Selfie of Ms. Mendez Kennedy and her CS class!

AMSR Featured Alumnae: Ayse Elif Kesaf ’14

A 2-year member of the AMSR program, Elif worked to isolate and characterize a novel bacterial virus that killed the bacteria known to cause Legionaries disease. Her work in AMSR affirmed her passion for science and allowed her to be one step ahead of her classmates at UCLA. She is now in her first year of medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Top Left to right: Elif was all smiles and "all-in" in the AMSR lab, Elif hard at work in the Coller Lab at UCLA, and Elif on a medical mission trip to Nicaragua. Bottom: University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria Class of 2023. Elif is second from the left, front row.

AMSR Students 2019-2020

Second- Year Students

  • Celia (Cece) Block, Topic: Aerogels
  • Aimi Sekiguchi, Topic: Toll-like Receptors
  • Annie Hauser, Topic: NRXN Trafficking and Autism
  • Eva Bartell, Topic: Novel System for screening Intrabodies in vivo

First- Year Students

  • Maxwell (Max) Beadling, Dendrochronology
  • Venetia Beauchamp, Synthetic Biology
  • Charlotte Billingsley, Drug Delivery
  • Ava Block, Viruses and Oxidative Stress
  • Griffin Grise, Pyrolysis
  • John (Henry) Quaintance, Engine Emissions
  • Minseo (Michelle) Rhee, Immunology
  • Samuel (Sam) Woessner, RF and Concussions
  • Esslynne Bui Truong, Synthetic Biology
  • Briggs Gammill, ICEBERG Analysis
  • James (Markus) Lebenthal, Carbon capture
  • Caroline Mezias, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and SIBO
  • Michael Sabin, Intrabodies
  • Wilson Zheng, Astronomy
  • Hamda Hussein, Novel Vaccines
  • Devan Andreski, Thyroid Cancer Signalling
  • Callahan (Callie) Drake, Sports Injury
  • Allegra Giordano, Politics of Hyperinflation
  • Giang Le, Music Therapy and Cancer
  • Zakiy Manigo, LN2 Levitation
  • Megan Mokriski, Virus Genetics
  • Ella Murphy, ADHD and Eye Tracking

If you have questions about AMSR, please email Dr. Burch (aburch@berkshireschool.org) or schedule a visit campus to see the AMSR Lab

Panorama of the AMSR Laboratory
Go Bears!!

Thank you for your interest!

Credits:

Created with an image by geralt - "artificial intelligence brain think"