Class of 2023 valedictorian Suchisrit G. is a researcher by nature. He is constantly learning and figuring out how to apply his knowledge in creative ways to solve real-world problems. So it’s no surprise that he is headed to Yale University in the fall for a combined major in computer science and electrical engineering as a Yale Engineering and Science Scholar.
Suchisrit spent last summer working with a biophysics professor in Princeton University’s Laboratory Learning Program to extend an existing 2D image recognition library to one in 3D. He built a structured light scanner using a camera and projector mounted on a Raspberry Pi — a low-cost, credit-card sized computer. That involved projecting patterns onto an object to see how the pattern distorts “to understand what the surface of the object is like” and “see how depth information affects image information.” Suchisrit says that the library could be used for a variety of applications, including self-driving cars.
His Senior Capstone project extends that work; he is now building an image recognition library for others to use, and a version has already been published on the Python Package Index (PyPI) platform. That way, “other people can just install my library and then train image recognition on whatever images they want,” he says. The goal is to “make it really easy for other people,” since he acknowledges it is rather difficult to build.
His interest in a 3D image recognition library evolved from a previous independent research project in which he applied robotics to automate composting and had his findings published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
“I realized that to actually manipulate objects with a robot, I need information in 3D,” he explains. “With just a 2D image, I can’t actually grab the object to pick it up.”
Before enrolling at Hun, Suchisrit says that he “didn’t know much about computer science.” That’s when he began to learn through robotics by joining the robotics team, and then taught himself the computer programming language Python toward the end of his first year. His passion for learning truly shines when he is talking about robotics.
“After Covid-19, we had lost a lot of our senior members, so they didn’t really get a chance to pass down [a lot of] knowledge,” he says. “We kind of had to start from the beginning, but it was really fun to experience the learning curve. I feel like I learned a lot,” he adds.
Despite the challenge, the Raidiators team, with Suchisrit as captain, received two awards from FIRST Tech Challenge this year: the Finalist Alliance Captain Award and the Inspire Award. The Inspire Award is given to the team that best embodies the “challenge” of the FIRST Tech Challenge program and includes sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with other teams as well as being gracious competitors. Suchisrit says the collaboration with his teammates was a highlight of the experience.
A true interdisciplinary problem-solver, Suchisrit hopes that being well-versed in multiple fields, including physics, math, and computer science, will help him continue to pursue the many interests he developed at Hun at Yale. Which makes sense — all of his projects apply the science he’s learned in one field to the need for a solution in another, whether that’s artificial intelligence (image recognition) or the environment (composting). But that’s the beauty of computer science, according to him.
“Where computer science really shines is when you’re applying it to other fields,” he says, singling out AI in particular. “It will pretty much be applicable to everyone’s career no matter what they’re doing.”