March 7, 2008
Special Awards judging team for the Annual Southeast Michigan Science Fair


Continuing our tradition of more than 15 years, the Ann Arbor and Detroit Chapters jointly formed a Special Awards judging team for the Annual Southeast Michigan Science Fair.  We seek to recognize those students who use statistical methods in their science projects. 


This year was the 50th Annual Southeast Michigan Science Fair and it was held March 7 and 8 at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor.  The judging team consisted of:  Bern DeBacker, Barry DeCicco, Lance Heilbrun, Al Hero, Rob Kushler, and Karry Roberts.  We reviewed all exhibits in both the Junior (middle school) and Senior (high school) Divisions, and chose the entries, which incorporated sound statistical principles into their design and analysis to receive our Awards of Excellence.


This year there were 300 exhibits on display.  We gave the following awards: 23 "Certificates of Recognition" for use of statistical principles and/or analysis, 4 "Certificates of Merit" for more detailed use of statistical methods, and from those four, we decided on 2 "Awards of Excellence".   These 2 students received a special certificate and a statistical book autographed by our judges.


This year's Awards of Excellence went to:  Ben Thompson of Huron High School for the exhibit "So Many Data-So Few Labels:  The Effects of Auto-encoders on Unlabeled Data for Pattern Recognition" and Kathleen Huntzicker of Tappan Middle School for the exhibit "Can I Predict Future Baseball Stats?"


The judging team:  Rob Kushler, Karry Roberts, Bern DeBacker, Lance Heilbrun, Al Hero

Photographer: Barry DeCicco