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Michelle Hua

Cranbrook Kingswood School
Troy, Michigan

About Michelle Hua

Michelle used her insights from gymnastics to make computers better at estimating a 3D model of a body positioned in a video frame. She did this by having the computer look for the human’s joints and silhouette and then use that knowledge to deduce how the rest of the body is oriented in space. Michelle’s research could be used to improve exercise coaching and live broadcasting, which require 3D motion reconstruction from 2D images and videos.

Novel Self-Supervised Deep Neural Networks for 3D Human Shape and Motion Reconstruction From a Monocular Video

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Michelle Hua, 18, of Troy, brought still video frames to life for her Regeneron Science Talent Search computer science project. Computers get more powerful all the time but still struggle to do things humans find easy. For example, they have a hard time understanding how a dancer’s body moves in space during a pirouette. Michelle first taught the computer the simple task of looking for joints and the silhouette in a video frame. She then taught it to estimate how the rest of the body is oriented in space, using the joints and silhouette as clues. By breaking the problem into these steps, Michelle’s algorithm works better than existing methods of reconstructing a 3D human model from a video frame, and like a keen student, it requires fewer examples of correctly labeled data to learn how to solve the problem.

Michele attends Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills and is the co-founder of the Sunshine Dance Group, which performs at local events and competitions. As a competitive rhythmic gymnast for 11 years, Michelle won two silver medals at the 2022 USA Gymnastics Championships. She is the daughter of Juan Qian and Jing Hua.

Beyond the Project

In 2021, Michelle was the top winner of Regeneron ISEF with a machine learning project, and she is sole author of an article on action recognition in Computer-Aided Geometric Design.

FUN FACTS: Michelle is a rhythmic gymnast – an athletic sport involving ribbons and hula-hoops. “Splits, cartwheels and backbends are a piece of cake and literally second nature to me now!” she exults.

Illustration by Amy Wike