William Smith got involved in research shortly after he transferred to UC Irvine. He credits his experience with giving him real-life insights into the concepts he has learned in his classes. William has also developed such a passion for his research that he has decided to pursue it as a career. UROP is pleased to recognize William for the impact undergraduate research has had on his education and future goals.

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?

My area of research involves signal processing different data sets relating to biomedical engineering. I️ work under Dr. Magdalene Seiler processing and creating novel algorithms for neural traces in blind rats that have received retinal sheet transplants and quantifying the electrical signals in the superior colliculus expressed from the eye to the brain. I️ also work under Dr. Anthony Durkin processing images for a novel piece of equipment that quantifies changes in tissue oxygenation in the brain during cardiac arrest.

2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

I first got involved in research February 2016, my second year after I transferred from Ventura College. The reason I began researching was because I felt that I was learning many complicated concepts in the classroom and was not able to apply what I learned to real life situations. I had an interest in biophotonics because I thought using lights for medical uses was cutting edge. Luckily, I found an opportunity at Beckman Laser Institute.

3. How has research enhanced your education?

Research has enhanced my education because it puts me in the forefront of the unknown. I️ was not considering research as a career goal but I️ do now because of the many unanswered questions that still need to be looked into.

4. What has been your favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?

My favorite experiences are from working closely with professionals and learning how they think and approach a problem.

5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

My goal is to become an MD/PhD because I would like to approach diagnosing diseases as an engineer and working with patients in a clinical setting.

6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?

If a student has a creative idea, I would recommend looking for a professor with a similar background or research topic that could help the student write a UROP proposal and mentor them throughout the year.

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '19 Aneesah Syeda Akbar
Nov. '19 Jennifer Fong
Oct. '19 Amanda Woodworth
Sep. '19 Yvette Sanders
Aug. '19 Amber Marie Obenshain
Jul. '19 Gurleen Samra
Jun. '19 Yiwei Gong
May. '19 William Gerald Smith
Apr. '19 Emeizmi Mandagi
Mar. '19 Whitney Zhang
Feb. '19 William Agnew
Jan. '19 Sarah Mahoney