Home News Education Two Laois projects ‘highly commended’ at BT Young Scientist Exhibition

Two Laois projects ‘highly commended’ at BT Young Scientist Exhibition

Two Laois projects received ‘Highly Commended’ status following the results of yesterday’s BT Young Scientist Exhibition.

For the third year running, Heywood student Evan Hogg claimed glory at the event as he was named the Social and Behavioural Senior Individual 2nd place winner.

Evan is not the only Heywood student to catch the judges eyes – however.

Cillian Moran was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Intermediate age group for the individual category.

This was for his project which examined ‘The Effect of Binaural Beats On Our Memory; Social and Behavioural Sciences’.

While three more Heywood students were also recognised in the same age grade.

Sarah Haide, Aoife Carey and Sinead Uys were ‘Highly Commended’ for their group project ‘Is Mental Illness Glamorised In Younger Generations and Why Is IT A Trend To Self Diagnose? In the Social; Behavioural Sciences’.

This was the 57th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and the first to ever take place virtually.

The exhibition is bringing together some of the country’s brightest young STEM minds as they compete to take home the coveted title of the BT Young Scientist & Technologists of the Year 2021.

Gregory Tarr, aged 17, a 6th year student from Bandon Grammar School Cork was named the overall winner.

And there is also a Laois connection there as Gregory’s parents Richard and Anita Tarr lived in the county until 2005 where dad Richard ran his own computer programming business.

Gregory has taken home the top prize of €7,500 and the BTYSTE perpetual trophy for his project titled “Detecting state-of-the-art deepfakes.”

The announcement was made at the first ever virtual BTYSTE awards ceremony streamed live from the Mansion House.

Gregory presented his project in the senior age group of the Technology category.

Gregory impressed the judges with his project using a sophisticated artificial intelligence software program that can efficiently detect DeepFake media with state-of-the-art accuracy.

The software, which is over 150,000 lines of code, made significant improvements on speed and efficiency when compared to the current best model without sacrificing its ability to accurately detect the fake.

This tool could potentially be deployed at scale to filter out DeepFake media making the internet a safer place. This was Gregory’s fifth time competing at BTYSTE having competed on four other occasions in the RDS.

Chair of the Technology judging panel, Mr Leonard Hobbs from Trinity College Dublin, said: “The winner this year demonstrated an expertise in computer science which was well beyond his years.

“The level of coding he deployed in developing the extremely complex program which detects fake videos, was guided by his deep understanding of this leading-edge technology”.

He went onto say that “the judges have been continually impressed by Gregory’s projects at the BT Young Scientist & Technology competition over the past few years and they were delighted that he had progressed to winning the top award this year.”

Gregory will also represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, which is scheduled to go ahead in Salamanca, Spain, in September 2021.

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