#Genius

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Peter Kazazes' app "Twelect" is available on iTunes, along with his several other applications. Allie Kenny '13

 

Peter Kazazes’ app “Twelect” is available on iTunes, along with his several other applications.
Allie Kenny ’13

This app, Twelect, emerged from the thoughts of self-taught computer programmer, Peter Kazazes. Computer coding comes naturally to him, though he does find difficulty in deciphering the algorithms within the codes. The algorithms take the numbers and turn them into something with a function and a purpose.With the election just behind America, spectators have a clear memory of gathering around the TV screen, watching anxiously as the projected polls fluctuated and settled. It is easy to accept the numbers without even realizing how much work goes into creating these polls during and, more specifically, before the election. Brunswick School senior Peter Kazazes has successfully developed an application, available in the iTunes store, that generates a more accurate poll than most of the polling firms that display their results on TV.
“Why not tap a pool of millions of people emoting their opinions in real-time?” Kazazes asked himself and consequently created this application.
Once Kazazes had this unique idea, he met with focus groups of less than 25 people and successfully made a functioning polling application that updates itself every minute. Though the app is much more complex than solely adding up tweets on the trending topics list, if someone tweeted #Obama or #Romney, he or she could have unknowingly contributed to the poll compiled by Kazazes’ app, Twelect.
“Extracting human emotion from text is not an easy process,” Kazazes said to an article published by PRweb.com. “Through literally thousands of rounds of testing, we fine-tuned an algorithm that gives a tweet as short as four words a numeric ’emotion factor’ ranging from -1 to 1. The algorithm is able to pick up on language and linguistic nuances within text with astounding accuracy. From there, we are able to extract negative and positive sentiment. Although it’s still in beta, the algorithm is currently matching our human-rated scores within 0.15 (out of 1) over 92 percent of the time.”
Twelect has been within two percent of the Real Clear Politics, which takes the average of polls throughout the elections. Twelect usually sided with more of the conservative polling firms such as Rasmussen and Gallup, yet it did predict Obama’s victory the weekend prior to the elections. Aside from its precision, Twelect is also much more cost-effective and efficient, considering it does not require a host and updates itself every minute.
Twelect is just one of several applications that Kazazes has developed as a part of his company Sibyl Vision. He made the start of his company’s funds by creating applications for big companies such as Intel, UCB, and Accenture. He  bought himself a car, but placed the rest of his earnings back into the company. Even with the election behind him, he looks forward to creating several applications as influential as Twelect to further build up Sibyl Vision’s worth.
“I’ve already got a pretty nice rolodex of celebrity clients who I’ll be working with after the elections,” Kazazes said.
Kazazes attributes much of his success to the math curriculum at Brunswick School. His eighth grade math teacher, Mr. Stephens, noticed him recreating the formulas they were using in class into automated programs on his calculator.
“He spoke with me after class, and began giving me programming projects to work on in addition to my regular homework,” Kazazes said.
Kazazes looks forward to continue what he is doing throughout his college years and beyond, hopefully building up his company to a point at which he is ready to sell it.
When asked where he saw himself in ten years, Kazazes said, “On a beach. Hopefully.”
Pressure is on among high school math students in Greenwich. Now that it is evident that hard work, talent, and originality combined with a private school curriculum can form a company like Kazazes’, maybe a girl within the Convent of the Sacred Heart corridors will soon be on par with this ingenious application creator.
 
– Allie Kenny, Opinions Editor