HHS’s Sejal Gupta named a Regeneron Scholar

HHS’s Sejal Gupta named a Regeneron Scholar
Posted on 01/15/2020

Congratulations to Hicksville High School senior Sejal Gupta who has been named a Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar for 2020! Sejal has been selected from among 300 national Regeneron Scholars now eligible for a grand prize of $250,000 and a chance to be named the top Regeneron Scholar.

Sejal was selected for her project, “Development of a Machine Learning Algorithm to Predict the Path of Joints for Gait Rehabilitation.” She set out to develop a machine-learning algorithm that can predict personalized walking patterns for patients with injuries to lower extremities. In order to achieve the most effective plan for each patient’s injury, Sejal determined that age, mass, leg length and gait speed must all be factored into her algorithm to produce the ideal walking motion. She hopes to incorporate her work into a robotic exoskeleton that can guide treatment for patients.

According to Sejal, she drew inspiration from her own ankle injury. “I thought, maybe this will work and can help people like me,” said Sejal, who first heard the news via a text from her father, just around the time that her good friend from a neighboring school district informed her that she too was named a Regeneron Scholar. “It’s nice to be part of a community of individuals who are likeminded and share the same interests as me,” she added.

Sejal worked under the guidance of her mentor, Anurag Purwar, Research Associate Professor for the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stony Brook University, who is also director of the school’s Computer-Aided Design and Innovation Lab.

Additionally, Sejal is a member of Hicksville High School’s Science Olympiad as well as the robotics team. Outside of school, she is involved in an Innovation Entrepreneurship Café in which she teaches students in grades kindergarten through eight in STEAM.

Sejal hopes to be among the 40 finalists who will be announced on Jan. 22. Finalists are invited to Washington, D.C., in March to participate in final judging. While in the nation’s capital, finalists will display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists and compete for awards, including the top award of $250,000. Sejal said she will also enter her project into the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search is the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition. Its alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.

Each Regeneron Scholar, selected from 1,993 entrants, receives a $2,000 award, with an additional $2,000 directed to his or her respective school.

“Sejal works so hard in everything she does,” said Hicksville High School Principal Ray Williams. “No one is more deserving.”

Regeneron Scholar

Hicksville High School senior Sejal Gupta (center) is congratulated by math teacher Jason Cetron, chemistry teacher Dr. Pnina Powell, Hicksville Superintendent of Schools Marianne Litzman, Hicksville High School Principal Ray Williams, research teacher Dr. Stephanie Piscitelli and school counselor Patricia Lozoya.