For my first project in BME 416: Regulation of Medical Devices, I got to choose a specific medical device that I wanted to improve, then research existing patents to see what steps I would need to take to create my own, reinvented version of that chosen product. I chose to focus on soccer shin guards because I love soccer and wanted to see what patents for soccer equipment were already existent. I also thought that I could potentially come up with a way to add a piece to shin guards that could help prevent ankle or knee injury, since both ankle and knee injuries are very common in soccer.
E-week is one of my favorite weeks of the spring semester because it’s an entire week dedicated to celebrating engineering. There’s a carnival, a talent show, a day dedicated to showing middle school students what engineering is, and a formal ball to name a few activities. In honor of E-week, we’re spending this week blogging about the coolest things we have done as engineering students, ranging from research to internships to class projects!
Happy E-Week! This week is all about celebrating engineering. I have loved learning about engineering so far, and can’t wait to continue my education in this diverse and challenging field. I’m constantly solving problems that can affect a lot of people. My favorite quote is that “Scientists discover the world that exists, engineers create the world that never was.”
I realized it’s been while since I gave you guys and update on my research, so in honor of this week I’m going to blog about my on-campus engineering research on computational modeling of cancer cell movement.
I’ve blogged about this topic a few times in the past (check out the reasons I love doing research here), but this semester I’m working on a new project. The graduate student I’m working with now is interested in applying network theory and to the spread of cancer in the body with epidemic models. I’m just getting started on the project, but I already think it’s really neat. If you don’t know much about compartmental models in epidemiology it’s really interesting and totally worth at least reading about on Wikipedia. I’ve already learned a lot and I’m hoping to continue learning more throughout the semester.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Lab meeting today discussing applications of network theory and epidemiology to a mathematical model of cancer metastasis <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ViterbiResearch&src=hash”>#ViterbiResearch</a></p>— Juliana Porter (@juliana_porter) <a href=”https://twitter.com/juliana_porter/statuses/429069667173285888″>January 31, 2014</a></blockquote>
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For now I’m mostly doing background research but I’m also working through programs in MATLAB to understand how my mentor is approaching the project and what I will be able to do to help.
Outside of research things have been pretty crazy lately – so many fun things going on. More on that another time though.
Every spring semester, towards the end of February, USC’s entire Viterbi school of engineering comes together to celebrate engineering in a spectacular week-long celebration known as E-Week. In honor of E-Week, I would like to celebrate my own achievements, and neat research, in the engineering world, particularly a research project I just started working on this semester. Over the past several weeks, I have been lost in a virtual world, a world my research team created!
When I was looking at schools, one of the things my dad, a Mechanical Engineer, said to me was “Engineering is engineering is engineering…you have to consider everything that comes with it.” What my dad meant by this was that an engineering education is pretty similar from school to school – classes and the building blocks you need to earn a BS in engineering are pretty consistent across the board. He meant that no matter which school I chose, I would have learned all of the technical skills necessary to succeed in the industry. What my dad was suggesting with his statement is that it isn’t just technical skills that matter – it’s the experiences that happen outside of the classroom, the people I would interact with, the professors I would learn from, the city I would live in, and the organizations I would become involved in.
A few months ago, I introduced you all to USC TAMID, an Israeli consulting group here on campus (See my previous blog: USC TAMID: A Consulting Organization). At the time, I had just started consulting for SpaceIL, a non-profit Israeli space company working to put a rover on the moon to win the $20 million Google Lunar X-prize. As I began gathering data on SpaceIL and its competitors, I had no inkling of SpaceIL’s potential, and I am now blown away by SpaceIL’s ability to inspire people, both Israelis non-Israelis.
When I was coming into USC and talking to people about what I was about to study in school, I honestly wasn’t sure how to define my chosen major – biomedical engineering. I could come up with a very vague definition of biomedical engineering, but I quickly realized this definition did not please anyone when the question of “what is biomedical engineering” was asked. The answer I gave people before coming to USC was this: biomedical engineering, in my opinion, is applying engineering principles of design and innovation to the healthcare industry. The problem with this answer was that it didn’t give people images of what a biomedical engineering product may be.