Jason Li '22 is GENIUS Olympiad Finalist

Jason Li ‘22 grew up in China and is one of Xavier High School’s International students. But he has been here long enough to know the Connecticut weather can be different from town to town, even from one section of town to another. 

“The modern weather forecasting system is very accurate,” Li said. “It might tell you it’s sunny in a town; however, it might be sunny in most of it, but not on the Connecticut River. This gave me a lot of trouble when my host parents and I went boating. So, I was thinking, is there any solution to predict the weather of precise geographical areas? Using the clouds to predict weather, this ancient Chinese method jumped into my mind. I later found that this method was also recognized by modern meteorology. So, I just decided to make an Artificial Intelligence Cloud Type Classification Method to help people predict the weather of precise geographical areas.”

He entered it into the GENIUS Olympiad competition that promotes a global understanding of environmental issues and the achievement of sustainability. GENIUS is an abbreviation of Global Environmental Issues and Us.

Projects in science, business, music, art, short film and creative writing were submitted from 42 states and 85 countries. Of the 2,481 submitted, 1,245 were accepted. Li’s is a finalist in the science category.

The final step for all finalists was to create a presentation video that allow the person or team to  describe the work, challenges faced, techniques used, and possible future work/improvements. There is an awards ceremony June 12.

It is said that through many years of observation, the Chinese developed a deep correlation between what a cloud looked like and weather changes.

Li recently came back to the U.S. from China recently to finish the 2020-21 school year here, learning virtually from his host families’ home. He had been learning virtually from China because of COVID.

“Thanks to the great [Microsoft Teams] software and the efforts of every teacher, it has been a really good experience for me,” Li said of learning virtually, most of the time from miles away and in a different time zone. “I have other Chinese friends who get educated in other American high schools. Some of them had to go back to America in September and October because their online learning system was too bad. They couldn’t see anything clear and couldn’t hear anything. However, I’m lucky. Our school did really well on this.”

Xavier also has done something else for him, helping put him in position to enter the GENIUS competition.

“I believe the experience in Xavier helped open my mind,” Li said. “I got the ability to think and analyze. I learned how to get the knowledge I want.”

He said he will not return to China this summer, instead staying here.

“It has been my plan since my freshman year,” Li said. “I want to use this summer to work on my college application essay, and maybe I will visit some schools.”

He’s not sure where he’d like to go to college but does know his field of study.

“I want to learn STS, which is a science technology and society major,” Li said. “It is a combination of computer science and social science. Instead of just learning computer science, I’m more interested in using the technology to help others and change the world.”

That fits in with what the GENIUS organization seeks in its finalists. On its website it says a GENIUS has: Affection for all humanity; wisdom in all circumstances; a deep sense of responsibility for society and the world; dedication to deeply held values, acting accordingly with passion.

And that also aligns with the values of Xavier.