A year 10 student at Dubai College, Aadi Jain has been coding since the age of seven. Competent in multiple programming languages, databases and mechatronics, he has won a global hackathon, AI for UX, and had his first app, Grocery Catalog, on Apple App Store before he even turned 12.

A drone that takes selfies and a movie rating predictor program are among his other projects. But perhaps his most ambitious project is a Seizure Detection Band that he developed following a seizure he experienced.

Excerpts from an interview with Aadi:

What got you interested in coding?

My dad, my mentor, introduced me to coding via Khan Academy JavaScript. I got interested in programming as there was always some challenge to overcome, and an opportunity to improve your code. A couple of years back, I noticed my mum struggling to manage grocery lists. She’d either forget some items or had to painstakingly create a list on paper and cross each item out as she picked them. There had to be a better way, I felt, and decided to create my own app. After a month of working on the app, I released Grocery Catalog on the Apple App Store. It makes grocery shopping significantly easier for everyone.

How did you land an internship at Manipal Institute of Technology?

I applied for the internship and got rejected as I was too young (the internship was targeted for high school students, and I was in Year 8). However, after I met the mentor and showcased some of my projects, I got accepted. I learned about image detection, face recognition and the tech to control a drone. After the internship, I worked on a drone that would lift off, scan around for faces, detect one, get closer, and take a picture. I uploaded a video of this to my YouTube channel ‘CodeXplode’.

What were the biggest takeaways from the AI program you attended at Stanford University?

The AI&ML program at Stanford University taught me how neural networks work, how to use some basic pre-existing AI libraries such as "scikit" and some basics in TensorFlow. I worked on a project to predict the rating of movies before they are released, using AI with a dataset web scraped from IMDB.

Tell us how you developed the seizure band?

In November 2019, I had a seizure and my parents and I decided to look for a seizure-detecting device. However, all products [were expensive] and had many limitations. Being a STEM enthusiast, I started working on developing a low-cost seizure detection band which should send an SMS with the location coordinates (via GPS) to the pre-configured number. The device should be easy to set up, use low power via coin battery, and be waterproof (for use during shower/swim). I have developed two working prototypes already. I intend to apply for a patent and seek a small investment to facilitate commercial production. I will work with charitable organizations to distribute these bands free of cost to the needy.

Your tips for students of coding?

I strongly suggest self-guided learning for coding, as there are unlimited free resources on the internet to help you code. Whether it is watching YouTube videos to learn about a certain language, or honing your skills through CodeWars, there are many ways to improve your coding skills. Work on projects, even if you are not too familiar with the technology, since real experience teaches you a lot more.

Visit www.haleeducation.com to learn more.

Anand Raj OK

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