Sunday, October 20, 2019

STIP Students Amar Gandhi and Aanchal Mathur Research Image Convertion and Configuring XNAT

What got you interested in this project?
Aanchal: When I was looking for summer internships on Handshake I came across the multiple projects for Mason Impact and from that listing, this internship stood out to me because it combined disciplines I was interested in, including engineering, health, and technology so I decided to apply. I also had some experience with bioinformatics in high school so this seemed like a good opportunity for me to expand my knowledge in that field.
Amar: The fact that I was qualified for this project, as in it asked for students who completed health informatics-related courses & I’ve taken most of those already. This was an internship in my field (health informatics) & was specifically looking for undergraduate students, so I thought I would learn a lot of relevant things in my field by doing it. I wasn’t familiar with PACS and DICOM systems, but it was something that interested me & I felt I could learn something new if I applied for this internship.

How do you see it being related to your long-term goals?
Aanchal: In the future, I plan to get a graduate degree but I am still thinking about what I would like to pursue. This internship was a great opportunity for me to get to work in something that wasn’t in my major but a subject that I was still very much interested in. It gave me exposure and experience in a variety of different skills and topics that aren’t in my curriculum.
Amar: This internship is a good stepping stone for me to more research work, internships, & jobs in the health informatics field. I can take the soft skills I learned (teamwork, communication, patience, & attention-to-detail), and the technical skills (using Linux & other research skills I learned) & use them in future internships and jobs.

What do you do on a weekly basis?
Both: A typical week for us usually consists of meeting with Dr. Wojtusiak on Monday morning to go over the plan and help us refocus for the week. For the rest of the week we divide the work amongst ourselves to be as efficient as possible in order to hit our goals for the week. For example, Amar will be working on researching different ways to convert images from RAW to DICOM while Aanchal would be working on further configuring XNAT. At the end of the week, we meet with the engineering and nursing students along with all of our mentors to share our progress and consult the rest of the team if we have any questions.

What is one thing you discovered this term? 

Anachal: Over the course of this internship we have faced many challenges that have felt like dead-ends in our project, but one thing I discovered from doing this type of research is that patience is key and you have to wait before you give up on something.

Amar: I discovered just how important good teamwork, communication, & cooperation can be to successfully complete a team project.