Jared Weiss knows his way around computers.
The Syosset High School senior was one of about 30 Long Island students to participate in Stony Brook University's 2012 Simons Summer Research Program, where teens engage in hands-on research in science, math or engineering alongside faculty mentors.
Weiss' project explored ways to improve computer object image detection by understanding human gaze patterns.
"I've been working with computers for awhile and can learn the language quickly," said Weiss, 17, whose Stony Brook mentor was associate professor Dmitris Samaras. Of the research program, he said: "I found it to be hectic at times, but it definitely taught me what the world of research is like."
At his school, he has helped several teachers create computer programs or video files for classroom use.
Weiss also is a percussionist and a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, quiz bowl, website club, photography club and Israeli cultural club. He is Web manager for the school's National Honor Society chapter, of which he is an executive board member.
In addition, Weiss is among nearly 200 Long Island high school seniors who last month were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.