UMD Biocomputational Engineering Students Wrap Up Summer Internships

Summer may be the perfect time to sit back and relax, but for many college students, it’s also a unique opportunity to gain invaluable internship experience.

This summer, University of Maryland Biocomputational Engineering students are interning at Frederick National Laboratory and Optelligence Company, as well as with Biocomputational Engineering Faculty Instructor Bardia Yousefi.

Shirya Koneru is interning at Frederick National Laboratory, where she is working with statistical processing and controls under the quality control department of Leidos. “I do a lot with updating the system and testing out different functions to set up the statistical testing and models automatically in the system,” Koneru explained. “I love the project I'm working on because of how impactful it is!” 

Melina Khansari is interning at Optelligence, an IT company working on artificial intelligence and various other computational projects. Her project involves coding and segmentation of CT scans of lung cancer patients. Khansari is also working on publishing a paper about the prognosis of non-small cell lung cancer – the most common type of lung cancer – using machine learning techniques. “I am also currently learning about reinforcement learning, which is an area of machine learning,” she said. “I am having a great experience and enjoying what I am learning.”

Ryan Trask is interning with Biocomputational Engineering Faculty Instructor Bardia Yousefi on a lung cancer imaging and biomarker project. The duo obtained key data for non-small cell lung cancer patients, including lung images, general characteristics for patients, and survival  data. The images were converted into software for segmentation and used to develop potential new approaches for identifying lung cancer. The segmentations and numerical data led them to multiple options, such as machine learning models to auto-segment and identify tumors. “The scale of our work amazes me every day,” Trask said. “The datasets we work with are in terms of hundreds of patients. Knowing I can just click a button and observe algorithm segments in a few minutes makes me realize the practical applications.”

Through their coursework, biocomputational engineering students develop a unique set of in-demand skills that prepare them for a variety of career pathways in biotech and human health research.  If you’re interested in working at the nexus of biology, data science, and computer programming, book a meeting with BCE Program Coordinator Emily Bailey to chart your pathway to a biocomputational engineering degree!

Interested in learning how a degree in biocomputational engineering can position you for a successful career in biotech? Contact us today!


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