IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference 2016

Lee Voth-Gaeddert and I have been working on methods to explore and analyze health data to tackle stunting in Guatemala. Our technical paper was titled “Improving Health Information Systems in Guatemala Using Weighted Correlation Network Analysis”. This paper is an early-stage effort to look at weighted correlation network analysis as a potential tool.

Download my presentation or view the transcribed version below.


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Developing Your Research Process

Many articles have been posted about this topic, I just wanted a quick reference for my peers who are interested. I provide links to the UCSB resources, but the advice can generalize to access at other universities.

Motivation: The ability to develop good research questions and understand bodies of previous work can be greatly aided by having a good workflow process. Once you become familiar with all the tools the process for developing proposals or writing papers will be much less stressful, and you can devote mental energy to thinking about your actual research.

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Idea: Technology for Group Decision-Making Processes

We are engaged in and affected by group decision-making every day. Senior executives meeting to decide the future direction of a company, members of a jury trying to decide on the conviction of a potential felon, or groups of friends trying to decide which party to attend on a Saturday night. All of these situations are affected by social status, subjective respect, formal social structures, and personal beliefs; but sometimes these factors lead decision-makers to irrational conclusions. In the case of executives at a company or jurors deciding on a case, the consequences of an irrational decision could result in the wrong conviction of an innocent person or millions of dollars in losses for the company.

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A System for Change: USAID Critical Process Improvements

In summer of 2015 I participated in a program called Washington Internship for Students of Engineering. I was sponsored by IEEE-USA to live in Washington DC for two months and write a paper on a topic of my interest related to engineering and policy. Because I’m interested in the Social Sciences, I chose to focus on operating procedures of USAID: the primary government organization for international development. This is an area which may be more closely associated with engineering management or business, but it provided a good transition project for me coming from an electrical engineering background. While I was in DC I was able to attend numerous events by the Washington Chapter of the Society for International Development. Because I’m new to the world of international development, the ability to meet with and learn from experts was instrumental in my ability to complete this paper. As a future social science researcher I found international development to be a really fascinating topic, and I hope that at some point I can get involved with this kind of research again!

This presentation and paper were the result of my work in DC that summer. You can also find papers written by other WISE interns on the WISE Journal of Engineering and Public Policy.

A System for Change Presentation

A System for Change Executive Summary

A System for Change Document

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Light Stimulation and Humidity Measurement in the Optogenetics Laboratory

Senior Design Poster Presentation

Senior Design Demo 2 Poster

My group and I worked with Dr. Matthew Thimgan in the Missouri S&T biology department to create a light stimulation apparatus to support sleep research on drosophila flies. The apparatus stimulates electrical channels in a genetically modified fly to induce sleep, a type of research called optogenetics. In addition, we also created a humidity measurement apparatus to ensure the flies are breeding in an environment that is not too dry.

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