Tojo grew up in Makakilo on the island of Oahu. He graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapalama in 2018 and is studying computer science at Columbia University in New York City. In high school, he was on the math team and conducted cancer research. He enjoys playing basketball, eating salted broccoli, playing video games, and staying rat lungworm-free. He hopes to one day pursue a career in STEM to make positive impacts on society while satisfying his passion for learning.
Home Island: Oahu
High School: Kamehameha Schools Kapalama
Institution when accepted: Columbia University
Akamai Project: Script Development in Python for Process Improvement in Agricultural Imaging Analysis
Project Site: HNu Photonics – Kahului, Maui
Mentors: Brittany Willbrand, Devin Ridgley
HNu Photonics has engineered the AgroSonic, a frequency-emitting device used to enhance plant growth, and the Agrochip, a cell culture vessel that automates imaging and maintenance of plant cells. To quantify the efficacy of these devices, researchers use time-lapse imaging to capture plant growth at macro and cellular levels, then manually analyze thousands of images. Requirements were elicited from key stakeholders to outline user specifications and understand how automated image analysis could improve efficiency and reduce labor costs. I developed Python scripts to quantify ripening stages of climacteric fruit, correlate RGB values with chlorophyll and carotenoid production in mango leaves, and calculate percent defoliation of taro leaves. For analysis of plants at a cellular level, a cell counting script was developed to count and calculate the size of protoplasts in AgroChip. After script development, guides were created to assist with end-user training. The python scripts reduced labor inputs and improved imaging analysis processes, which will permit rapid deployment of these devices to field and laboratory settings.