Meet the Three ECE Grad Students Taking the Stage at the 2023 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition
Next week, three talented graduate students in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) are set to compete in the highly anticipated Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Asim Gazi, Nischita Kaza, and Pranav Premdas are gearing up to showcase their exceptional research skills and explain their thesis in just three minutes - to a non-technical audience!
Learn more about each ECE participant and their research below. You can cheer them on in person at the John Lewis Student Center next Thursday (April 6) at 5:30 p.m. You can also watch the competition live at https://gatech.zoom.us/j/92901716012.
Meet the Students
One in every four adult Americans will pathologically suffer from bouts of severe short-term stress (i.e., acute stress). A key challenge in restoring quality of life is mitigating acute stress outside of the clinic, where the individual is outside the reach of a clinician or therapist. Gazi’s Ph.D. research is on models and algorithms that enable the next generation of sense-and-react (i.e., closed-loop) technologies for psychological stress mitigation. Specifically, he designs signal processing and machine learning algorithms that take signals obtained from wearables and estimate an individual's underlying (i.e., latent) stress state over time. Gazi also studies and models the stress-reducing effects of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS): electrical activation of a “rest and digest” nerve to counteract stress's "fight or flight" response.
Asim received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) in 2018, funded by the UTD Academic Excellence Scholarship. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in electrical engineering here at Georgia Tech (GT), funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He will be defending his dissertation this summer and will pursue postdoctoral research afterwards. Over the course of his PhD, Asim has co-authored over 30 published and in-review journal articles and conference papers, and has been awarded several Best Paper, Poster, and Presentation awards. He is also an active science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educator, with his STEM outreach efforts here in Atlanta being recently recognized by the 2021-2022 GT ECE Outstanding Service and Outreach Award.
Asim on the 3M Thesis Challenge:
I have been very impressed with my colleagues' research and their communication of key points to a general audience. I look forward to participating in the final round and learning more about the fascinating research being done around Georgia Tech. In participating, I have found that there is quite a bit of overlap between the answer to "Tell me/us about your Ph.D. research" and the preparation needed for the Three Minute Thesis competition. In fact, the majority of my three-minute pitch is an exact replica of the elevator pitch I prepared for a recent postdoctoral fellowship interview.
Francisco Robles, Associate Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech
Nischita’s research broadly focuses on developing simple and cost-effective microscopes for imaging biological samples in clinical and biomedical applications. She works to leverage the unique properties of ultraviolet (UV) light to image cells and tissues in a label-free manner, eliminating the need for chemical labels or stains and lengthy sample preparation procedures that are typical of many conventional imaging systems.
Nischita is a Ph.D. candidate in the Optical Imaging and Spectroscopy lab and a graduate teaching fellow at Georgia Tech's Center for Teaching and Learning. In addition to research and teaching, she is a founding executive member of the Biomedical Photonics Society, a student organization focused on bringing together individuals interested in optics and photonics for biomedical applications. She also enjoys science communication and volunteers at STEM outreach events for various student organizations. After her Ph.D., she plans to pursue a post-doc in computational imaging and hopes to have a career in academia.
Nishchita on the 3M Thesis Challenge:
The Three Minute Thesis competition has been a great learning experience so far. As someone who tends to delve into the details, it was definitely challenging to condense my research into three minutes. In addition to thinking about how to make my own research accessible to a general audience, I really enjoyed learning about the diverse research of other participants during the preliminary rounds.
Costas D. Arvanitis in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering; co-advised by Brooks Lindsey in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech
The large diversity in our vasculature structure, ranging from large arteries with high blood flow velocity to small capillaries and vessels near tumors with a flow as slow as 1 um/min calls for a very robust algorithm for tracking microbubbles. The current super resolution techniques fail to capture this diversity. Pranav is working to develop a novel robust super resolution algorithm that increases the range of velocities that can be tracked. Thereby, providing vital tracking and vasculature information that can be used for a range of applications from tracking immune cells in immune cell therapy to diagnosing the malignancy of the tumor by studying the blood flow pattern.
Pranav Premdas is a master’s thesis student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering specializing in digital signal processing and machine learning. He is currently working on increasing the range of trackable velocities of microbubbles using Super Resolution Ultrasound.
Pranav on the 3M Thesis Challenge:
As Albert Einstein once quoted “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” This competition has made me understand that only if you truly understand a concept, you will be able to explain it in simple terms. Further, being provided a stage to showcase my work to a large audience has been a very enthralling experience. I look forward to presenting my work in the finals!