Senior Brittany Wenger, a student at the Sarasota college preparatory high school, Out-of-Door Academy , was chosen from among 5,000 students from more than 100 countries who entered the annual competition, as the top winner of the 2012 Google Science Fair, with her breast cancer diagnosis app. She has been awarded a $50,000 scholarship, a trip to the Galapagos Islands organized by National Geographic Expeditions and a 1 year internship with either Google, CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva — or Lego, a contest sponsor.
After seeing a cousin go through the process of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, she decided there should be better, non-invasive methods of diagnosis, and created the Cloud4Cancer Breast Cancer Detection app.
“I decided that it was what I was going to do,” Wenger told CNN. “I’m very persistent, and I learned to code, and I started coding neural networks that played soccer — I’m an avid soccer player as well.”
The app, which took Wenger two years to develop, improves diagnoses of malignant breast tumors by using a large amount of data stored online and looking for patterns. According to the Sarasota-Herald Tribune, “Using 680 samples of breast cancer collected by the University of Wisconsin as a base, her program can detect malignant tumors with 99 percent accuracy… She ran an astonishing 7.6 million trials of the program over a period of a few weeks, setting her alarm to go off every four hours so she could initiate another testing cycle.”
Read more about Wenger’s app at Google Science Fair 2012 .