Ravenwood High senior Kaili Liu has accumulated an impressive list of achievements during her high school career, including a perfect ACT score, speech and debate awards and technology competition awards.
The most recent of Kaili’s feats is a finalist spot in the Regeneron Science Talent Search. The competition brings together some of the brightest high school seniors in the country and allows them to have their research examined by professionals. The top 40 students are selected from hundreds of applicants to present their project March 7-13 in Washington D.C.
Kaili’s research focuses on the training of artificial intelligence, something she says can be improved.
“One of the major problems with artificial intelligence, or neural networks, is that they can only learn one thing,” Kaili said. “I had the concept of altering the training process so they can learn multiple things at once.”
Kaili’s venture into math, science and technology started when she was in third grade, and her interest has only grown since then.
“That’s when I got into math competitions,” Kaili said. “In fourth grade, I started learning how to program using one of my dad’s old programming books.”
Kaili’s first entrance into research was in sixth grade during her first science fair.
“I entered my project into the Middle Tennessee Science and Engineering Fair,” Kaili said. “Since then, I’ve been exploring different areas of science. When I got into high school, I got into artificial intelligence.”
With her busy schedule loaded with Advanced Placement (AP) classes, Kaili has mastered the art of time management.
“Study hall helped a lot in letting me get schoolwork done earlier so I have more time later in the day,” Kaili said. “Taking one or two hours to work continuously was helpful. Sundays were the largest blocks of time I had to work on projects.”
As for her college plans, Kaili has already made her decision. She will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall.
“I only applied to MIT,” Kaili said. “I found out I was accepted in mid-December.”
Kaili has some words of advice for those looking to expand their knowledge and advance their interests.
“Pursue your curiosities,” she said. “Look for different resources. Seek out help from other people. That’s how I got into other science and research competitions.”
As a finalist of the Regeneron Science Talent Search, Kaili is guaranteed $25,000, but she’s in the running for more prize money.