I obtained my Ph.D. in integrative neuroscience and psychology from The University of Chicago, where I specialized in human and zebra finch neuroimaging. Specifically, I studied functional connectivity (i.e., correlations between different brain regions' blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signals) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), among other tools. I used this brain data to create predictive models for behavioral outcomes and learning ability (e.g., zebra finch song learning and human perceived social isolation).
In addition to modeling, one of my favorite aspects of research, as well as my current work as a data scientist, is having the opportunity to engineer custom software solutions for the problems I face during the research or modeling process. For instance, I developed a Matlab toolbox for visualizing 3D brain imaging data (NIfTI Studio), which includes the ability to convert and export rendered images for 3D printing. This tool allowed me to perform a number of essential tasks for multiple published papers, including tracing brain regions of interest (ROIs), creating custom 3D rendered figures to represent the data, and even 3D printing a zebra finch brain to use as an educational tool for students.
One of my favorite hobbies outside of work is developing mobile apps. My major project in this area so far is N-Back Memory Training, a Java-based Android app. The app implements the dual n-back task, which is commonly used is cognitive psychology and neuroscience research. In the Environmental Neuroscience Lab, I adapted a version of this app to allow us to collect experimental data outside of the laboratory for an experience sampling study, as well as a Matlab-based version that allowed us to collect data from research participants concurrently with fMRI scanning. Currently, I am working with a collaborator to develop an app in the personal finance area (more to come on this).
When I'm not working or building apps, I enjoy exploring the many great natural areas near Seattle, either hiking or cycling.