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AHS Senior is The Only High School Student to Present at Prestigious Engineering Conference

Engineering student

Aramis Tanelus, 12th grader at American Heritage, was the only high school student among 9 other college, graduate, and post-graduate students selected to intern with LexisNexis Risk Solutions using an open-source, big data analytics platform.

Aramis's project focused on creating APIs (or application programming interfaces) so that LexisNexis's platform, HPCC Systems, could ingest data from commonly used robot sensors. The sensors provide information about the position of motors, robot movement and vision processing. The work was part of an agricultural robot project he was working on in AHS's robotics lab, under the guidance of Mr. Tai Donovan, AHS Robotics Program Director.

"I have known Aramis since he was in 7th grade," Mr. Donovan says. "From the beginning, I knew he was a remarkable student, although he was very quiet and reserved. He would always answer direct questions, and I was amazed at his level of understanding." Yet it wasn't until 8th grade when he taught Aramis in Physical Science class that Mr. Donovan recognized what an incredible student he was. "He learned concepts quicker than most students and truly grasped what was being taught," Mr. Donovan says. "His level of understanding is remarkable, and I believe he is more intrinsically motivated than most students I have had the pleasure of working with."

Mr. Robert Gabel, Director of AHS's Engineering Department, has taught Aramis in three different AP Physics classes and explained that he's been a stand out each time. "In class, he doesn't always volunteer answers or information," Mr. Gabel says. "However, any time I ask him to solve a difficult problem on the board, he can jump right up and do it with ease. I believe he has learned to listen intently and absorb information." Mr. Gabel adds that Aramis must be doing a lot more than just listening. "No one can excel in an AP Physics class simply by listening," he says. "I am certain he spends time reading the book and working physics problems outside of class, as well. This diligence will allow Aramis to go very far in his formal education and also in his career."

Statistics also comes easily to Aramis. He earned a 5 out of 5 on the Advanced Placement exam, and his AP Statistics teacher, Mr. Grigelis says, "As a student in general, Aramis is one of the best I have ever had in class." He goes on to say, "While he is very quiet, he is always paying attention and is extremely articulate when presenting a solution to a problem in either written or spoken form."

Aramis plans to study biomedical engineering in college. He says he began exploring robotics in elementary school but didn't really dive into it until he built a robotic arm in 8th grade while in the Robotics Club.

"What I like most about robotics is that it is a relatively new field, so there are still many breakthroughs and discoveries to be made," Aramis says, "and I will most likely be alive to see them happen."

Recognizing his talent and drive, Mr. Donovan connected Aramis with LexisNexis and the rest, as they say, is history. Aramis presented his project to LexisNexis HPCC Systems via a web-based service during the summer, and presented again this fall once the project was complete. "I am truly honored to work with all of my high-achieving students," Mr. Donovan says. "I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have Aramis as a member of the robotics team for the past four years and I have enjoyed witnessing his growth during this time."