Viney Kumar explores Artificial Intelligence at US lab


Congratulations to Year 12 student Viney Kumar, who was one of two Australian students selected to attend the Research Science Institute for six weeks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston.
Viney worked at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, working on ‘probabilistic computing’. His project presentation (titled "How to find a needle in a 27-dimensional haystack") was judged one of the top 10 presentations out of more than 80 others from around the world.
What is probabilistic computing?
Probabilistic computing is a branch of machine learning that combines cognitive science, probability theory and computer science in order to create systems that can reason in the face of uncertainty by mimicking human cognition. This is crucial in many real world situations where the causes of certain events are not known with certainty. 
What was Viney’s research project?
Viney’s project was titled ‘A Probabilistic Modelling Framework for the Identification and Explanation of Outliers in High-Dimensional Data’. 
What does this mean?
When searching for new breakthroughs, scientists often look for objects that possess traits which don't match current knowledge (known as outliers). However, these outliers can often be very difficult to find if the number of traits becomes large.

Viney’s project created a modelling framework to identify outliers in datasets of objects which can be indexed by hundreds of different traits. This improved method could potentially be applied in areas ranging from natural disaster prediction to finding potential targets for cancer drugs.