Senior Luke Philip '24 had an amazing opportunity to attend the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences (PGSS) at Carnegie Mellon University last summer. This STEM program brought together the top 71 rising seniors from Pennsylvania for a five-week tuition-free residential program focused on fostering a lifelong passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Philip describes his experience in PGSS as incredibly challenging, rewarding, and unforgettable. He chose to take all five core courses offered, which included Discrete Mathematics, Organic Chemistry, Modern Physics with an emphasis on Special Relativity, the Biology of Cancer and Stem Cells, and Computer Science. Despite the rigorous coursework, Philip felt it was the right decision as he has grown significantly as a student. The program heavily emphasizes collaboration, which taught him valuable skills in working efficiently and effectively as part of a team.
During his time in PGSS, Philip was selected to participate in a Biology Laboratory led by Dr. Carrie Doonan, an expert in molecular biology. Additionally, all students in the program were required to conduct formal research projects in their chosen field. Given his passion for engineering, Philip naturally gravitated towards the electrical engineering team project. Under the mentorship of Dr. Chayanika Roy Chaudhury, Philip and three other students embarked on a research project focused on Inductive Loop Detectors (ILDs) and their applications in the transportation industry. Their goal was to enhance current simulation techniques using Ansys High-Frequency Simulation Software (Ansys HFSS). After completing their research, the team had the opportunity to present their findings at the PGSS 2023 Research Symposium. They also submitted their research titled "Computational Modeling and Simulation of Inductive Traffic Loops for Vehicle Detection and Novel Classification Utilizing Deep Learning" to the 2023 Journal of the PGSS, where it will soon be published as a scientific paper.
GA’s Computer Science Department Chair Jason Oswald showed his support for Philip and his significant achievement. According to Oswald, attending the closing ceremonies of this year's Governor's School was a fantastic experience. " It was clear that Luke has a real passion for innovative thinking and design, and had an opportunity to synthesize and consolidate several of his interests and passions into solving real-world problems,” said Oswald. “It is equally clear that GA has prepared him not only for this kind of work in a knowledge and technical sense, but also in terms of collaboration and empathy. Luke is able to relate his ideas and to bring people on board with them in a way that makes everyone around him more productive."
Philip was among the selected finalists for the esteemed valedictory speaker position at the graduation ceremony. While Philip did not ultimately secure the role, he took satisfaction in knowing that his involvement in the program left a noteworthy impact.
“Beyond the educational development that the program provides, PGSS offered a truly memorable social experience throughout the five weeks at Carnegie Mellon,” said Philip. “From my 70 peers in the 2023 class to the superb teaching assistants, the summer allowed me to form meaningful relationships with people all across the state. Coming into the program, I never expected to find such a strong group of friends and mentors, and I’m most grateful for that."