Daniel Medani (BCSE '11) spent the summer of 2009 working in the Computational Cardiac and Neural Electrophysiology Lab, with Prof. Joseph Tranquillo, from the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The work was funded by Bucknell University's Program for Undergraduate Research, which provides students with a stipend for a minimum of 8 weeks of work and on campus housing. Students benefit from the experience by working in close collaboration with a faculty mentor on a real world research problem. Dan's work crossed disciplinary borders; it led him to apply and to go beyond what he learned in his coursework in the Computer Science & Engineering degree program. In Dan's own words:
"Our research focused on analyzing simulated neurons in the context of non-linear dynamics in order to describe the flow of information through dynamic pathways in the nervous system. Because there were three other students in our lab group, one physicist, one electrical engineer, and one biomedical engineer, I was exposed to a variety of innovative perspectives with regards to the problem at hand and as a group we were able to work off of each others strengths. By the end of the summer, we had made significant advances in our understanding of some of the possible mechanisms behind information flow control in the brain, and we are currently attempting to publish a paper on our findings.
This research experience is what finalized my decision to go to graduate school; using my brain to actually think and discover was exponentially more rewarding than using it to merely go through the motions, which has been my experience with most of the jobs in industry I've held. I strongly recommend Bucknell's undergraduate research program to any young scientific mind seeking to push the limits of science and expand the boundaries of the collective human understanding."
Dan's undergraduate research experience has resulted in two publications co-authored with Prof. Tranquillo: