August 26, 2014
Ana Beisy Cruz, a senior ECE student who has been working with Professor Pulkit Grover, has received a Center for Science Information (CSoI) Channels Scholar Fellowship to enable her to continue her work during the 2015 academic year. A total of only three undergraduates were selected out of many universities that included Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, UIUC, Purdue and UCSD.
The program provides students with the opportunity to “participate in a cohort-based research experience related to the Science of Information, especially as it concerns Information Theory. Awardees receive guidance from a mentor who is [either a] university faculty or a scientist within industry. Mentors are usually chosen by the student.”
Cruz said, “This fellowship will help me to continue my research project next year. We obtained some promising results this summer, and I’m very excited to continue the work.”
Her research involves neurostimulation techniques for treating various ailments. Cruz explained, “Neurostimulation is a powerful tool in medicine and neuroscience. It can be used to restore the vision to patients with damaged photoreceptors by stimulating surviving retinal cells. The main technique currently being used to stimulate the retina is ultrasound-based stimulation along with phased array beamforming. That technique is successful to a certain extent, but based on our simulation results, that technique requires a significantly larger number of transducers for the same stimulation accuracy by use of signal processing to align energy fields. By exploring a new way to approach the problem, we hope to improve upon the existing technique and therefore make ultrasonic retinal stimulation more effective.”