Name: Christophe Haddad
Internship, Co-op, or Research Site: Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab
Position Title: Brain Analytics and Machine Learning Researcher
Major or Program: Business Technology Administration and Psychology
Current Class Level: Junior
Tell us about your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day responsibilities.
In my research at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, I attended weekly trainings, meetings, and events. With the skills gained through training provided, I developed and improved artificial intelligence algorithms to automate the segmentation of brain data from X-ray microtomography. A more accurate diagnosis of brain diseases can be made with this tool, since it is able to identify multiple structures (e.g. cells, blood vessels, axons).
Describe the process of obtaining your position. When did you hear of the position and submit your application?
In an email from the UMBC Career Center, I learned that there was an opportunity for me to work on a research project at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. As a result of signing up for the event with the Career Center, I learned more about the program, which I then applied to after determining that it aligned with my interests. Following the application process, I interviewed three times with the project lead.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization?
Among the things I have enjoyed most about the project are the learning experience and joining a team of highly skilled scientists and researchers. I gained a profound understanding of the field of neuroscience and its integration with machine learning.
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
As a part of this project, I developed algorithms of neural networks that can distinguish microstructures on an x-ray image, which resulted in segmenting brain structures more efficiently and reducing human bias, reducing the cost, and improving clinical diagnostic accuracy.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
Ensure you are applying for internships within the fields in which you see yourself working for the rest of your life. Putting all those skills gained during your academic career to work would give you an idea of what it would be like. Continually follow the internship training, and never miss a training session. Do not give up, stay committed.
Please provide a short reflection or quote about what you liked most about your position / earning internship credit / working with the Career Center.
Thanks to the Career Center, I was able to have such an incredible experience and gain such valuable information. I was able to learn more about this opportunity, and how I can gain more of this research program at UMBC. An internship is a great way to gain hands-on skills in your field of interest and establish professional contacts.
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