Scholar Spotlight: Madison Li

Madison Li, a junior, is our inaugural i2 scholar in the spotlight. Over the past two years, Madison has done two fabulously inventive projects. The first, AI Picasso, combined computer imaging and computer-controlled sketching. Users would have their photo taken by the system and the image would be used as the basis for a sketch drawn by a computer-controlled device of Madison’s design. The second project, Raspberry Band, enabled users to scan in sheet music which would be converted to a computer-readable format, and then played via three Raspberry Pi-controlled wands on a xylophone (again designed and made by Madison).

She credits her father, a programmer, with help getting her started and pointers to get her going in the right direction, and her mother, a piano teacher, with help on the music side along with materials. Madison is musically inclined as she plays the piano, flute, and alto sax. Her coding experience was launched in middle school when she got involved with Girls Who Code, as well as robotics at SHC which helped her improve her coding skills. She says she had lots of ideas along the way that got rejected including one involving gardening and another a whiteboard drawing program.

Her experience this last year taught her to move quickly in the fall so she can start working on the prototype in the fall in order to have it finished by the end of February. That way, she notes, the project can get done without interfering with her AP tests in May. Timing, she says, is a big deal.

Asked if she had any advice to other project creators, she recommended finding someone who knows about the topic and talk over your project idea with them. (back)