Herndon Teen Wins National Scholarship for Method to Diagnose Parkinson’s Disease

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development has selected a Neeyanth Kopparapu, 17, of Herndon as a 2019 Davidson Fellows Scholarship winner.

The senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is one of 20 students across the country selected for the program, which offers scholarships between $10,000 and $50,000 for developing projects that have the potential to benefit society in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, and music.

Kopparapu developed what the institute said is the first diagnosis system for early-stage Parkinson’s disease using an MRI scan. The Herndon resident was inspired to create the system — which is accurate nearly 97 percent of the time — after his grandfather was diagnosed with the disease at a late stage and was unable to use commonly-prescribed medication to fight the disease.

“I am incredibly grateful to the Davidson Institute for this recognition of my work in artificial intelligence,” said Kopparapu in a statement. “I am looking forward to meeting other Fellows and becoming part of the Davidson Fellows Scholarship community.”

Siona Prasad, 18, of Vienna, was also selected for the scholarship. Her work to measure and monitor greenhouse gas emissions successfully predicted an emission inventory for Washington, DC. A reception program to honor the fellows is set for Friday, September 27 in the District.

“I am incredibly grateful to the Davidson Institute for this recognition of my work in artificial intelligence,” said Kopparapu, a rising senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria. “I am looking forward to meeting other Fellows and becoming part of the Davidson Fellows Scholarship community.”

Photo via Davidson Institute for Talent Development

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Prospective TJ Students May Get Do-Over After Testing Issues

Thomas Jefferson HS/Credit: FCPSMany of the nearly 1,500 eighth-graders who took the admission exam for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology on Saturday experienced technical difficulties and may get a do-over.

Thomas Jefferson — “TJ” — is the highly selective magnet school for Northern Virginia, drawing students from Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington and other nearby counties.

Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman John Torre said 1,496 were registered to take Saturday’s test, a semifinal round that included an essay portion. Tests were administered at 15 sites, 12 of them in Fairfax County.

The problems occurred when students tried to save their essay or the student information sheet on the computer.

“We are trying to determine the extent of the issues,” said Torre. “We will know how many students and will communicate with them by Friday with options to continue the process.”

Torre says it is not known how many students were affected by the computer issues.

Any student who was affected can also contact the TJ admissions office at 571-423-3770 or [email protected].

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