Tristan Brigham Interns with Azimuth AAIM Lab

Claudia EsguerraNews

For 9 months, high school senior Tristan B. interned with Azimuth’s Autonomy, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Laboratory (AAIM). Tristan worked directly with Azimuth Corporation researchers Dr. Perry Rice, Dr. Michael Lucking, and Mr. Aaron Crutcher—a unique collaborative opportunity that landed him experience in quantum computing, scanning tunneling microscope error-detection, and ultimately, the opportunity to build his own license plate detection software.

Mentorship: Tristan studied quantum computing and quantum error correction with Dr. Perry Rice who has a Ph.D. in theoretical quantum physics and specializes in quantum optical systems. Tristan appreciated that Dr. Rice encouraged him work independently while still being available to meet whenever he had questions. This hands-off approach enabled Tristan to oversee his own learning process, challenge himself, and still seek support when there was a concept that he didn’t understand. Through this experience, Tristan says that his eyes were opened to all the applicational uses of quantum computing. For example, he is now furthering his understanding by developing machine learning and artificial intelligence models using quantum computing while still pursing quantum error correction. Rice’s areas of particular interest include the use of machine learning for inverse design of quantum and metamaterial devices, quantum error correction and state control, and quantum neural networks.

With Mr. Aaron Crutcher, Tristan was given a much more hands-on approach by training an algorithm in real-time object detection. Mr. Crutcher holds a B.S in Computer Science and specializes in software development. Together, Tristan and Mr. Crutcher met once a week; checking in on progress and bouncing ideas off one another which gave the project energy. They worked collaboratively and compared code to determine optimal solutions. This culminated in Tristan building his own license plate detection software independently—from the initial idea to final execution. The project started off by identifying high quality videos of cars driving, importing the videos, using python on the open CV library for facial detection and facial recognition, creating bounding boxes, and training the algorithm on the license plates. Tristan said he found a great deal of satisfaction building an entire program on his own from start to finish. In the future, he hopes to apply the machine learning base which he acquired through working with Mr. Crutcher to develop models for identifying diseases in trees as well as patterns in economic data.

Most Rewarding Moment: Seeing the License Plate Program Work!

Hobbies: Outside of the digital world, Tristan enjoys soccer, hockey, baseball, hiking, volunteering, hanging out with friends, and playing catch with his brothers. He also enjoys podcasts such as Malicious Life underwritten by Cybereason and Darknet Diaries by Jack Rhysider. He has recently begun playing Terminal, an AI Programming Game played by the world’s best engineers and data scientists.

Career: As a senior in high school, Tristan is currently applying to colleges and universities. His internship with Azimuth inspired him to pursue a degree in computer science with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML). Concurrently, he also plans to pursue a degree in business. The internship with Azimuth taught Tristan firsthand that AI/ML capabilities are far more powerful and applicable to many areas of the world than he previously imagined.

“[My internship] has played an integral part in convincing me of technology’s power for good. Computer science’s incredible pace of innovation draws me to use technology to improve others’ lives from expanding technology access for underprivileged students to securing the internet.”                                                                                                                                        -Tristan Brigham

He hopes to use his knowledge in AI/ML to advance cybersecurity in the future and is working to secure internships for next summer already. There is no question that Tristan has a bright future ahead!

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