Monday, January 25, 2016

URSP Student Brendan Wiggins Corrects Strabismus with Computer Simulations

I’ve been a part of Dr. Wei’s lab, since the spring semester of my junior year. I wanted to have some sort of research experience before I graduated and before working with her I haven’t really done much other than a tutoring job.  We regularly have lab meetings and she suggested that I sign up for the URSP program in the fall semester.  I’m glad she showed me this as it was a great opportunity to continue to do research and I’ve been enjoying the project. Since this project is mostly coding it has been a great opportunity for me to increase my coding skills as I’ve always been a little weak.

I see this project as a way for me to get some real world experience in research before I graduate. Not many students actually do this kind of level of work and it always looks good to future employers that you already have prior experience. This is also a chance for me to have my work published in various scientific journals, I’ve already been co-authored for the work I’ve accomplished last semester and it’s really exciting to see what else I can accomplish.

For my project I’m trying to build a program in Matlab that can analyze Ultrasound images of extraocular muscles (EOMs) and use that to track the movement of the muscles.  This project is entirely code base and can be frustrating at times to do as it can take me a while to figure out what the next line of code will be and sometimes I have to re-write everything when things don’t work out as planned in the end. Just last week I finished up the coding for tracking the EOM movement using the intensity of the ultrasound images, now I just need to test this and then I can move on to the second phase and write the code for predicting the movement using the various features within the EOMs. It’s been stressful at times, but this has been a great learning experience and I can’t wait to finish this project.