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.