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Amy Laviers, a 2009 Princeton Engineering graduate who hails originally from Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, received the Calvin Dodd MacCracken Senior Thesis Award for her use of machine learning algorithms in comparing movements made in classical ballet to those made in modern dance.

Laviers’ goal: to create a tool for choreographers and to interpret the aesthetics of dance.

MacArthur "genius" award recipient Naomi Ehrich Leonard, Laviers’ adviser, said the thesis was highly creative and a "deep, original piece of scholarly work." You can see a piece choreographed by Laviers, who served as artistic director of  Expressions Dance at Princeton this year in this Youtube video.

Laviers will be continuing her research into dance and machine learning during graduate studies at Georgia Tech.