resume may2014 .pdf

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Additional Information

Diwakaran Ilangovan

Diwakaran Ilangovan
Date of Birth: September 1st, 1995
Kinesiology Research at the University of Maryland Department of Kinesiology

11th – 12th grade
35 hrs/wk, 10 wks/yr
Research with Dr. John J. Jeka on the effects of vertical visual perturbations on human body
mechanics in walking
Analyzing how random vertical oscillations of a subjects surroundings (controlled, in a virtual
reality environment) affect the kinematics of the human body while subjects walk on a
treadmill. By analyzing the components of a subject’s surroundings separately, we can better
understand how the brain coordinates stimuli with responses.
o Created random signals for use in the experiment and also created the program that
coordinated the virtual reality room’s displays with the signal
o Analyzed data of a wide range of fields, including general body movement data,
Electromyographical data, and eye movement data
o Identified Fourier transforms between the signals and the data
o Applied physical and mathematical findings to the biological task – identified key
features in the data that pointed to specific responses
o Produced data for analysis in future studies involving Parkinson's patients and
comparative tests with other types of perturbations
Full research paper submitted separately, see abstract below
Research paper entered in Intel Science Talent Search, selected as semifinalist on Jan 9, 2013.

Physics Team

Head captain of school physics team, 11th 12th grades
9th – 12th grade
3hrs/wk, 30 wks/yr
USAPhO (USA Physics Olympiad) Semifinalist (Approximately top 400 in the country) 10th, 11th,
12th grades
Physics Bowl Regional runner up, 9th grade

Math Team

Co-Captain of school math team, 12th grade
9th – 12th grade
3 hrs/wk, 30 wks/yr
USAMO (USA Math Olympiad) Qualifier (Approximately top 270 in the country) 10th, 11th, 12th
AIME (American Invitational Math Examination) Qualifier (Approximately top 5 percent in the
country) 7th-12th grades
University of Maryland High School Math Competition Honorable Mention (Approximately top
50 in the state) 9th – 12th grades
Member of school PUMaC (Princeton University Math Competiton) A team, 5th, 6th, 2nd place in A
division in 10th, 11th, 12th grade respectively

Additional Information

Diwakaran Ilangovan

PUMaC individual finalist (at least within top 40) in A division 11th,12th grade
Member of school HMMT (Harvard MIT Math Tournament) A team, 8th, 9th, 6th place in A
division in 10th, 11th, 12th grade respectively
Member of school ARML (American Regional Math League) A team, 7th, 9th, 7th in 10th, 11th, 12th

Biology Club

Co-founder and Co-captain of school biology club, 12th grade
5 hrs/wk, 15 wks/yr
USABO (USA Biology Olympiad) Qualifier (Approximately top 10%), 11th, 12th grade

Computer Science

Montgomery Blair High School Computer Systems Operator (SysOp), 11th, 12th grade
USA Computing Olympiad (USACO) Silver division, 9th – 12th grade
Known languages
o Java
o C/C++/Objective C
o LaTeX

Science Bowl

Captain, 11th, 12th grade
9th – 12th grade
3 hrs/wk, 20 wks/yr
Regional winners, 9th – 11th grade
National runner ups, 10th grade

Sai Seva Volunteer Work

Participant in Hindu volunteer organization to feed the needy in D.C., 11th, 12th grade
o 5 hrs/wk, 22 wks/yr
o Make and distribute healthy, vegetarian cuisine to the homeless in D.C., including
vegetable rice, potato curry, and red kidney bean curry
Works in association with the Lions Club Eyeglass recycling center, 11th, 12th grade
o 5hrs/wk, 12 wks/yr
o Help the Lions Club in recycling of used eyeglasses, including washing, identifying the
prescription, and packing for shipment to third world countries.

Varsity Volleyball

Member of team, 11th, 12th grade
15 hrs/wk, 10 wks/yr
Division champions in 2012


Began at age 5, continued until in 11th grade
3 hrs/wk, 50 wks/yr
Received black belt in 8th grade, second degree black belt in 10th grade

Additional Information

Diwakaran Ilangovan

The Perception of Vertical Visual Perturbation While Walking
By using the information our eyes collect from our surroundings, we can better stabilize
ourselves and keep in control of both standing and walking. Many studies have been done to
test the effects of horizontal and lateral visual motion, but no studies have been done of
vertical visual movement. In this study, we observed the effect that random vertical movement
of a subject’s surroundings has on the subject while walking on a treadmill, expecting that
perhaps a small but measurable response would be produced. The subjects were presented
with two different amplitude signals, while walking at 5 kilometers per hour, and their body
kinematics were measured. Frequency response functions were calculated, and the gains and
phases demonstrate interesting results – there is evidence of down-weighting, the “ignoring” of
high amplitude perturbations that has been documented in other studies, and there are
noteworthy patterns in the gains across the frequencies studied. While reactions were stronger
in the lower frequencies in the Anterior-Posterior direction, they were stronger in the higher
frequencies in the Medial-Lateral direction. This is hypothesized to be because higher frequency
perturbations are also shorter period perturbations, and so they affect the subject in the span
of a single gait cycle. Phase plots show us other interesting patterns, for example an upward
movement of the vertical field leads to a forward movement of the body, which would indicate
how the body perceives these perturbations. These results together provide a compelling
argument that vertical visual feedback is in fact highly important in the maintenance of stability
of the body. The findings can be used in future studies that compare the responses of healthy
subjects to the responses of pathological walkers, which could lead to the discovery of the
causes of several types of walking disorders and corresponding treatments to help the suffering
individuals recover.

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