Nicholas Sinnott-Armstrong was a senior at Hanover High School when he began working for Dr. Jason Moore, a member of the Dartmouth Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP), in the summer of 2008. During the summer of 2009, Nicholas worked on refining an implementation of Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (MDR) for Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). MDR is a computing algorithm developed by Jason H. Moore and other Dartmouth researchers, intended for toxic metals research. Nick worked on speeding up MDR by running the various operations simultaneously on a computer graphics card. The solution he developed, called MDRGPU, permits significantly higher performance, lower costs, and less overhead than previous solutions and has now been refined to allow for a number of important corner cases which were not handled in the previous design. In order to test the new version of the code, he worked with data for Sporadic ALS and ended up finding a novel interaction relationship which was replicated in an independent dataset.
Nicholas also worked on some new projects that were under development over the summer. First, he implemented another algorithm for GPUs, this time a filtering algorithm developed by Casey Greene called SuRF (Spatially Uniform RelieF). He presented some of his work from Spring 2009, Ant Colony Optimization for GPUs, at the GECCO Genetic and Evolutionary Computing Conference in Montreal, where he won 1st place in the GPU Programming Contest. Finally, his third major project over the summer was to standardize the creation of datasets for higher order interactions.
Nicholas's MDRGPU and the Ant Colony Optimization version for the MDRGPU are relatively stable and will allow future exploration next summer when he hopes to continue his work with GPUs and apply them to real data related to complex mixture toxicities.
When Nicholas is not working in the lab or doing homework for class, he enjoys photography, hiking, browsing Wikipedia, and reading nonfiction, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction.
Nicholas is currently a freshman at Brown University. He has not yet decided on a concentration.