News and Tribune

November 2, 2013

NAHS senior attends prestigious summer program at Stanford


NEW ALBANY — What did you do this summer? It probably wasn’t as interesting as the three weeks Shelby Scriver spent at Stanford University.

Scriver, 17, a New Albany High School senior, joined other high school students throughout the country to study artificial intelligence in the EPGY Summer Institutes course in computer programming.

Scriver had to submit test scores and her GPA before being selected for the program, which is geared toward academically talented and motivated high school students. Her brother Joshua recently graduated from Stanford and she hopes to follow in his footsteps once her days at NAHS are completed.

While at Stanford, Scrivner studied coding and talked about different theories concerning artificial intelligence. From programming a computer to think like a human, to developing an artificial arm that could arm wrestle, students touched on several areas.

“I thought the program was a lot of fun,” she said. “I learned a lot. I got to meet a lot of kids from all over ... England, the Philippines.”

The program introduces students to foundational concepts of computer science, artificial intelligence, and an expansive spread of current applications. The topics covered included: data structures, algorithms, searching heuristics, game theory, Bayesian statistics, machine learning, logic programming, and planning. Students kept journals about their exploration with focus on their personal interests, the culture around technology, the history of computing, and the ethics of artificial Intelligence, according to the institute’s website.

There were also 21 guest speakers who participated during the three-week camp, and students also were allowed to interact with industry leaders and authors.

“It was a lot of work, but there was also a lot of fun,” she said. “We were able to go on field trips.”

While Scrivner said she hasn’t decided exactly what her major will be, it will have something to do with computers. She said software design is an option.

“I have been around it for so long I really love it,” she said of computer programming.

— Assistant Editor Chris Morris