Richard (JT) Booth, Harvey Mudd College, Class of 2015
Major: Computer Science/Engineering
Summer project: Determine a measure for how well a skull resists being heated by the FUS brain system
“FUSF provided an opportunity to work on a nearly open research question and apply what I've learned already in a problem-solving environment.”
Project overview: I collaborated with Alicia Geldert in determining a measure for how well a skull resists being heated by the FUS brain system.
Goal: Describe a mathematical model to predict the increase in temperature in the brain based on the measurements of the skull.
Results: We developed a low-sophistication physics simulation to predict temperature from the time and energy absorption rate, and are now trying to predict that energy absorption rate from the measurements of the skull. It's essentially the same problem, but the approach is very different from what we initially considered.
What were the most important learning points of your internship experience? How to work on a long-term project in a group; experience designing (and re-designing) large-scale computer programs.
How will your accomplishments impact the field of focused ultrasound?
I think it's most likely that our work will provide a starting point for more in-depth research. Our general algorithm for determining the rate at which a brain absorbs energy, given temperature rise, is intelligent, but our model is insufficient and we haven't yet made good use of the resulting data.
How has your internship affected your career plans? I've been inspired to change the order of classes I plan to take at college, favoring computer science and statistics over engineering, and am giving strong consideration to the field of data mining/data analysis as a direct result of our project.
Written by Ellen C., McKenna