UWIN is pleased to announce that six undergraduate students and four post-baccalaureate researchers have been awarded 2016 Washington Research Foundation Innovation Fellowships in Neuroengineering.  You can read their exceptional biographies below, and follow the links to see all of UWIN’s undergraduate and post-baccalaureate fellows.

2016 WRF Innovation Undergraduate Fellows:

Abe Elliott Abe (2016 fellow) is an undergraduate student in Physics working with Adrienne Fairhall in the Physiology and Biophysics department. Elliott’s research investigates trial and error learning in the Zebra Finch song system. He is analyzing the timing variation of male Zebra Finch songs, with the goal of using data from recordings to inform bio-physiological models of trial and error learning. After graduation, Elliott plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics, with an emphasis in computational neuroscience modeling.
Birch Camille Birch (2016 fellow) is an undergraduate student in Bioengineering working with Eberhard Fetz in the Physiology and Biophysics department. Camille’s research uses the Neurochip-3, a powerful new head-mounted electrophysiology system, to investigate the behavioral state-dependence of functional neural connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and the motor cortex of non-human primates. She is particularly interested in neural engineering research contributing to advances in rehabilitation medicine.
Hodge Joe Hodge (2016 fellow) is an undergraduate student in Biomedical Engineering and Organismal Biology at Vanderbilt University working with David Perkel in the UW Biology and Otolaryngology departments. Joe’s research investigates bipedal balancing in birds, as an example of natural multimodal sensory processing. He focuses on the sensory cues and feedback algorithms birds use to maintain balance and upright posture in the face of dynamic perturbations. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Joe intends to continue research in neuroengineering as part of a Ph.D. program.
Ramadan Mahdi Ramadan (2016 fellow) is an undergraduate Neurobiology major working with Raj Rao in the Computer Science department. Mahdi has a keen interest in neural engineering and machine learning, and his research focuses on assessing and developing the functionality of electrocorticography-based brain-computer interfaces. He hopes to continue his investigations into rehabilitation technology after graduation.
Rockhill Alex Rockhill (2016 fellow) is an undergraduate student completing honors programs in Neurobiology, Applied Math in Biological and Life Science, and Computational Neuroscience. He is working with Wyeth Bair and Anitha Pasupathy in Biological Structure. Alex studies shape recognition in an intermediate structure in the ventral visual pathway. He is specifically investigating whether shape orientation and curvature preferences that have been previously characterized in two dimensions are encoded differently for three-dimensional shapes, with the goal to study dynamic shape encoding in the future.
Shean Ryan Shean (2016 fellow) is an undergraduate student in Microbiology working with Bing Brunton in the Biology department. Ryan’s research focuses on applying automatic analysis techniques to large data sets to learn more about the brain and how electrocorticography (ECoG) signals relate to and predict naturalistic tasks like moving and speaking. He is especially interested in the neural basis of speech and how to apply machine learning techniques to neuroscience. He hopes to further pursue this line of research in graduate school.

2016 WRF Innovation Post-Baccalaureate Fellows:

Kinn Sam Kinn (2016 fellow) is a post-baccalaureate researcher working with Bing Brunton in the Biology department. Sam’s research focuses on the optimal placement of sparse neural sensors for reliable information processing in neural systems. He is broadly interested in the applications of machine learning and optimization for more effective diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and for improvement of signal processing and control in brain-computer interfaces. He received a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Applied Mathematics at the University of Washington.
Renno Taylor Renno (2016 fellow) is a post-baccalaureate researcher working with Chantel Prat in the Psychology department. For the last two years, Taylor’s research has examined the effects of belief-influenced cognitive placebos on memory. Obtaining her Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2016, her post-baccalaureate research explores how neuro-stimulation and neurofeedback training differently affect cognitive processes. Taylor will be attending the Western Washington University’s Experimental Psychology Masters degree program in the fall of 2016.
Sivitilli Dominic Sivitilli (2016 fellow) is a post-baccalaureate researcher working with David Gire and Joseph Sisneros in the Psychology department. Dominic’s research focuses on neural mechanisms underlying movement in response to chemical signals (chemotaxis) in the octopus. The goal of his work is to understand decision-making and behavior in an algorithmically transparent model for intelligence and to develop related computational and robotic systems. Dominic graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology and will begin as a graduate student in Behavioral Neuroscience in the fall of 2016.
Strodtman Douglas Strodtman (2016 fellow) is post-baccalaureate researcher in Jason Yeatman’s Brain Development & Education lab at the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences. Douglas’s research aims to identify biomarkers for dyslexia and arrive at a computational model that allows for predictive classification of reading ability. This work uses large, publicly available datasets and proprietary tractography software to investigate correlations between diffusion properties of white matter pathways and behavioral data. He recently completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech & Hearing Sciences at Portland State University.