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David D

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Tufts University

Expertise

Cognitive neuroscience, psychology, biomedical engineering, electical & computer engineering, machine learning

Bio

I have over 3 years of working in industry as an engineer (both hardware and software) and nearly 6 years working in academia. As a Sr. Research Coordinator, I train and mentor undergraduates in my lab on data collection and data analysis of EEG signals to help answer specific research questions pertinent to the fields of psychology and neuroscience. As a graduate student, I consistently serve as a teaching assistant to undergraduates for a variety of courses, offering instruction and help in both 1-on-1 and group sessions. My academic passion is identifying the strengths and curiosities in my mentees and helping to foster their growth through focused guidance and feedback. Some of my hobbies are reading, crafting, archery, and laser engraving! I'm also passionate about learning about the intersection of religion and politics throughout world history and exploring diverse cultural beliefs on spirituality. I would someday like to have my own garden and create a self-sustaining, eco-friendly, smart home for my future family.

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.

Research Review Paper: Brainwaves and Behavior - How certain states of mind are studied through patterns of brain activity

In this project, the mentee will pick one of many functions of the human brain that they are interested in (e.g. attention, meditation, emotion, listening to music, etc.) and explore some of the scientific literature on the topic. The mentee will produce a literature review that encapsulates as much as they are they are interested in, but must cover several brain imaging techniques such as EEG and fMRI. The mentor will provide educational resources for the mentee to further learn about these technologies. Finally, the mentee will turn their literature review into a polished paper (5-10 pages) that reviews the current status on the science exploring their topic.

Open-Source Brainwave Data Analysis

The mentee will be guided in executing an entry-level data analysis on a freely-available, open-source dataset of brainwave (EEG) activity. The first half of this project will allow the mentee to familiarize themselves with the online tools by learning through tutorials if necessary, and then applying relevant analytical approaches to a chosen dataset. The second half of this project will consist of the mentee documenting their project, summarizing their scientific observations and results, and generating meaningful figures that visualize the data.

Coding skills

Matlab, Python

Languages I know

Italian, beginner; German, conversational; Latin, beginner; Spanish, beginner

Teaching experience

As a college-level qualifying project, I designed and taught an introductory electrical engineering curriculum at my high school in order to give back to my community by bringing my experience to students who were curious about the field and actively applying to colleges. As a graduate-level research coordinator, I designed a self-driven tutorial program for undergraduates in my psychology lab to learn EEG data collection and data analysis, which I mentored. Outside of academia, I have over a decade of privately coaching sports (2 years youth gymnastics, 10 years sailing, 2 years archery).

Credentials

Work experience

Tufts University (2016 - Current)
Sr. Research Coordinator
Hitachi Data Systems (2015 - 2016)
Software QA Engineer
Amazon Robotics (2014 - 2014)
Software Engineer
UMass Medical School (2014 - 2014)
Data Analyst & Developer

Education

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
BSE Bachelor of Science in Engineering (2015)
Electrical & Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
Tufts University
MS Master of Science (2022)
Psychology/Neuroscience/Computer Science
Tufts University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Psychology/Neuroscience/Computer Science

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