I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota. During my master’s studies I met Dr. Guillermo Sapiro, who introduced me to image processing and its uses in real-world applications and research. I was drawn to Duke for my PhD not only because of Dr. Sapiro, but also because of Duke’s strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research.
After coming to Duke, I was fortunate to join an excellent team filled with experts in electrical engineering, computer science, psychology and psychiatry. We have been developing an all-in-one tablet-based application that presents stimuli to a child and simultaneously analyzes the child’s reactions and behaviors relevant to behavioral disorders including anxiety and autism.
I have also been fortunate to work alongside art historians and visual studies experts. Our team has been bringing together new technology with medieval art to create educational and interactive exhibits for museum visitors. One project that will be deployed in the Nasher Museum of Art involves letting visitors “paint” medieval statues that have lost their color. Visitors can digitally paint the statues, and we are able to project the colors onto the statues as if they are actually painted.
Bass Connections has allowed me to further my research for my dissertation and to greatly improve my communication capabilities. Since our team members have vastly different backgrounds and experience levels, I have learned to formulate and present my ideas to a wide range of audiences.
I was also given the opportunities to mentor an undergraduate and a high school student. Not only did I gain valuable experience but the students were given hands-on opportunities to learn. One student became so interested that he changed his degree program so he could explore further the theoretical basis of the work he was part of.
My advice to other graduate students is to take advantage of this unique opportunity to work alongside experts and teachers across multiple domains.