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Madison W

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of California San Diego (UCSD)


Neural electronic devices (Electrical Engineering with a focus in Neuroscience)


My interest in Electrical Engineering and Neuroscience stems from a desire to utilize engineering tactics to study the brain. I find it fascinating that our brains are so powerful and able to control emotion, perception, cognition, and behavior so efficiently. My current research involves designing mircoelectrodes which probe the brain and give us information on the electrical activity of neurons in animals and cell cultures. Using this information, we can gain a better understanding of biological neural networks when they function correctly and in disorder. In my free time, I like exploring all the outdoor activities San Diego has to offer. I enjoy surfing, beach bonfires, and hiking and especially appreciate the lack of mosquitoes here. Occasionally I see a dolphin which makes my day. When I'm not outside or in lab, I enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles, cross-stitching, and playing board games with friends.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Electricity of the Body

All our thoughts and movements are controlled by electrochemical interactions at the cellular scale. Here, you can learn how our cells communicate through action potentials and neurotransmitter emission. Additionally, learn how scientists use those signals to control prosthetic devices, ameliorate seizures, and reduce Parkinson's disease tremors. How else can we record signals from the body and use that technology to improve people's lives?

Circuit Fundamentals

Ever look inside a computer or remote control and wonder what those tiny, complex plastic and metal pieces do? They actually form circuits which facilitate the transfer of electrons to the correct places to control your devices! Here you can learn about the fundamentals of current, resistance, and voltage and how to design a circuit to create a calculator or radio. Going further, you can translate your circuit diagram into a physical circuit and manufacture your own functional printed circuit board (PCB).

Coding skills


Teaching experience

Mentored two first-year graduate students at UC San Diego. Also mentored a high school student for several months in completing her science fair project.


Work experience

Baxter International (2017 - 2017)
R&D Intern
Breakthrough Technologies (2015 - 2016)
Software Development Intern
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2017 - 2019)
Undergraduate Research Assistant
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Girls Learning Electrical Engineering Camp) (2019 - 2019)


University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC)
BS Bachelor of Science (2019)
Electrical Engineering (B.S.) and Psychology (B.S., conc. Behavioral Neuroscience)
University of California San Diego (UCSD)
MS Master of Science (2021)
Electrical Engineering (M.S., conc. Medical Devices and Systems)
University of California San Diego (UCSD)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Electrical Engineering (conc. Medical Devices and Systems)

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