Florida teenager Brittany Wenger wins Google Science Fair with breast cancer diagnosis app

Google science fair winner Brittany Wenger

This is a serious redemption post for all the stuff I usually find myself writing about when it comes to teenage girls and the state of Florida!

Google had themselves a science fair and the grand prize winner is 17-year-old Brittany Wenger from Lakewood Ranch, Florida. When I was 17 I was sleeping through math class, Brittany on the other (and much smarter) hand, was creating a breast cancer diagnosis app!

Girl is so smart, it’s kind of difficult for me to understand the processes of what she did as described via her project on Google. In laymen terms here is what Brittany did (I think):

Wenger created a computer program identified as a neural network that mimics the human brain. Provide said program with copious amounts of data (for this particular case – 7.6 million trials) and the artificial brain can learn to detect patterns and make diagnostic inferences on breast cancer. Did I mention that Brittany is really, really awesome and smart?

Her program was based on data collected from “fine needle aspirates” which is often one of the least effective means of diagnosis. With Wenger’s program she is hoping to change that as her creation correctly identifies 99% of malignant tumors.

Here is Brittany discussing her work with WWSB:

When Brittany isn’t inventing programs that will potentially help save lives she enjoys playing soccer and running track at school. Her win at Google’s get together netted her a $50,000 college scholarship. She said:

“Cancer is something that touches all of us. I’ve had a lot of experiences with family members who’ve had cancer and I actually want to be a pediatric oncologist when I grow up.”

Something tells me that if Brittany wants to be a pediatric oncologist she’ll be just that. As for the “grown up” part, all empirical evidence indicates that she is already there.