Hopkins Engineering Applications & Research Tutorials

Small Introductions to Big Ideas

The Hopkins Engineering Applications & Research Tutorials (HEART) program provides new undergraduate students with a window on cutting-edge engineering research and its applications to society. These small classes are taught by advanced graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Students will be introduced to cutting-edge engineering research and learn how that research impacts society. These tutorials will be useful to students as they evaluate their potential role in research projects. To ensure these courses are accessible to entering freshmen (who have priority on registration) they have no prerequisites. The tutorials will be kept small so students will have ample time to interact with their instructor and each other.

Detailed information about the tutorials and instructors is available below. Alternatively, you can view the General Engineering course listings for information about the tutorials being taught this semester, including the day and time for each section.

Incoming freshmen can enroll in one of the tutorials when course registration begins on July 3, 2018.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can register for the tutorials beginning August 1, 2018.

The courses have no prerequisites and are open to all JHU undergraduates in both KSAS and WSE. Registration is done through SIS.

2018 HEART Courses


  • What physically happens to your brain during and after an injury, and how can we design for better head protection in the future? This course will delve into these topics by providing students a background in the fundamentals of biomechanics and neuroanatomy. By the end of the course, students will be familiar with common experimental techniques used by the biomechanics community, as well as hands-on experience manipulating 3D volume reconstructions of the brain.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.03 / Mon / 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.29 / Thurs / 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

    Amy Dagro | adagro1@jhu.edu

    Bio: Amy Dagro is a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is working with Professor K.T. Ramesh of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute. Currently, she is investigating the properties of individual glial cells and implications for micromechanical models. Before starting her PhD, she worked on computational models of blast and ballistic effects on the brain at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

  • With the development of technology, engineers and researchers are now able to gather more data than ever before. There is a significant need to give students tools to visualize and interpret this data. This course provides an introduction into using Matlab to visualize data and solve real world problems. The course will introduce students to actual scientific and research challenges and provide students with practical solutions to these problems. By the end of this course, students will develop a familiarity with Matlab and how it can be used to improve academics, engineering, and scientific research.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.07 / Mon / 6 to 7:15 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.27 / Wed / 8 to 9:15 p.m.

    Ashley Farris | afarris2@jhu.edu

    Bio: Ashley is a Biomedical Engineering PhD student in Dr. Warren Grayson’s lab. Her research focuses on orthopedic tissue engineering, specifically on improving oxygen and nutrient delivery to transplanted stem cells. Before coming to Johns Hopkins, Ashley received a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Kansas.

  • Many important optimization problems across engineering disciplines have been classified by computer scientists as computationally “hard” to solve. In this course, we’ll step up to the challenge and work through the theoretical background of some of these famous problems and learn about algorithms developed to tackle them. We’ll focus on graph problems, including Traveling Salesman, path-finding and graph coloring, with lessons based around visual representations and interactive activities.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.30 / Fri / 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.



    Charlotte Darby | cdarby@jhu.edu

    Bio: Charlotte Darby is a PhD student in Computer Science, advised by Professor Ben Langmead and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Michael Schatz. Her work is in computational genomics and includes algorithm development for identifying somatic (non-inherited) mutations and phasing inherited variants in human genomes sequenced from healthy and diseased biological samples, including cancer and psychiatric conditions. Charlotte has a BS and MS in computational biology from Carnegie Mellon University and an IMDB profile.

  • This course will introduce you to mathematical modeling, and its application for medical image analysis. It will leverage upon visual illustrations to present the mathematical background and show how it can be used to describe clinical phenomena like blood flow circulation or tumor evolution. Several medical imaging techniques as well as important analysis methods and finally insights into advanced ultrasound imaging, the instructor ongoing research application, will be presented.

    • EN.500.111.06 / Mon / 5 to 6:15 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.16 / Tues / 5 to 6:15 p.m.

    Chloe Audigier | caudigi1@jhmi.edu

    Bio: Dr. Chloé Audigier is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Radiology and Radiological Science Department at the Johns Hopkins University since 2016. She received her PhD in Computer Science in 2015 from University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France working at INRIA Sophia Antipolis under the supervision of Hervé Delingette and Nicholas Ayache. Her research focuses on developing computational methods for the analysis of medical images to better assist the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. She has published more than fifteen academic papers, filed three patents, and received multiple awards. She is excited to introduce her research topic via the unique HEART program of Johns Hopkins.

  • This course in intended to expose students to the fascinating world of Biophysics, which comprises biology, physics, and engineering. The goal is to introduce the different techniques that biophysicists utilize to solve biomedical problems. The techniques to study will include fluorescence microscopy, circular dichroism, live cell imaging, and x-ray crystallography.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.22 / Wed / 3 to 4:15 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.31 / Thurs / 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.



    Elmer Zapata-Mercado | ezapata5@jhu.edu

    Bio: Elmer Zapata-Mercado received bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (UPRM). Currently he is a PhD student in the Program of Molecular Biophysics. He joined the lab of Dr. Kalina Hristova in the Spring of 2016. His PhD focus is to study the lateral interactions of the sub-family of membrane proteins, receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK), utilizing fluorescence microscopy.

  • Microorganisms are ubiquitous in the environment, and scientists are turning to these microbes to solve a wide range of current environmental issues from water quality concerns to energy production to sustainable agriculture. In this course, students will explore the diverse world of microorganisms and their interactions with the environment. Students will also learn about traditional and modern microbiological techniques and their application to current environmental issues.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.13 / Tues / 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.21 / Wed / 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.



    Eric Sakowski | esakows1@jhu.edu

    Bio: Eric Sakowski is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering. He received his PhD in Biology from the University of Delaware. Eric’s research interests include understanding microbial interactions and the roles microorganisms play in the environment. He is currently performing research in Dr. Sarah Preheim’s lab, where he is investigating viral-bacterial interactions in the Chesapeake Bay.

  • This course will give students a grounding in the engineering design process by using examples from the treatment of craniofacial defects. What are the critical features for craniofacial implants and what makes a 3D-printed replacement better than a bone graft or a prosthetic? Students will learn skills in ideation, research strategies, and business analysis for medical devices.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.01 / Mon / 8:30 to 9:45 a.m.



    Ethan Nyberg | ethan.nyberg@jhu.edu

    Bio: Ethan is a PhD Candidate in Dr. Warren Grayson’s Craniofacial Orthopedic Tissue Engineering Lab. His research focuses on the design of craniofacial bone grafts, stem cell biology, material science, and regulatory affairs. Ethan has a BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia.

  • This course covers contemporary objectives and challenges policymakers and power system operators face. It provides hands-on experience on engineering-economic modeling, which is widely used to analyze renewable policies and power system economics. A field trip to an on-campus power generating facility will be arranged.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.12 / Tues / 12 to 1:15 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.20 / Wed / 12 to 1:15 p.m.



    Evangelia Spyrou | espyrou1@jhu.edu

    Bio: Evangelia Spyrou is a 5th-year PhD student at the Hobbs Energy & Environment Decisions Research Group. She holds a MSc in Environmental Science and Policy (JHU) and a MEng in Power Systems (NTUA). Her research focuses on power system planning in the context of challenges posed by renewable integration, climate change and civil conflict. She has worked on planning studies for the World Bank Group in DC and interned with California ISO and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

  • This course will cover a wide variety of topics in computer security, giving students the chance to encounter many of the primitives used by security and cryptography researchers today. We will explore the common problems that security experts encounter in the computing world and use them to motivate the security and cryptographic techniques often used to combat them. This course will hopefully encourage students to further explore computer security later in their college careers and keep the fundamental challenges we explore in mind.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.26 / Wed / 7 to 8:15 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.37 / Thurs / 8 to 9:15 p.m.



    Gabriel Kaptchuk | gkaptchuk@jhu.edu

    Bio: Gabriel Kaptchuk is a 4th year PhD student in the Computer Science department working on applied cryptography under the supervision of Avi Rubin and Matthew Green. His work so far has concentrated on developing cryptographic protocols, recently focusing on applications of blockchains beyond cryptocurrency. He has interned with the security group at Intel Labs and spent a summer working in the office of Senator Wyden.

  • This course will cover various medical devices/implants used in human body to engage students both in engineering and medicine by exposing them to various engineering approaches used to design these devices. The students will learn basic principles and methods (research, design, fabrication and testing) required to develop medical devices/implants while gaining a broader perspective of engineering in medicine.

    Course Number and Meeting Time                                  
    • EN.500.111.32 / Thurs / 3 to 4:15 p.m.



    Galip Ozan Erol | gerol1@jhu.edu

    Bio: Ozan Erol is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, focusing on pediatric cardiovascular implants. He graduated from the Middle East Technical University in 2009 with his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Mechatronics. He completed his Master’s Degree at Washington State University in 2010 with a focus on smart materials and actuators. In 2016, he received his PhD Degree from the University of Delaware.

  • This course will be a primer on the field of nanomedicine and an introduction to recent advances in nanotechnologies developed for application to central nervous system disorders. The focus of this course will be on how nanomedicine must be tailored specifically to the disease of interest and potentially the specific patient when it comes to personalized medicines through a deeper understanding of disease pathology and pharmacokinetics. The curriculum will draw heavily from current research articles, giving new students an opportunity to learn how to read and discuss scientific papers with their peers. There will be weekly discussions culminating in a final group presentation.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.05 / Mon / 4 to 5:15 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.15 / Tues / 4:30 to 5:15 p.m.



    Joshua Porterfield | josh.porterfield3768@gmail.com

    Bio: Joshua Porterfield is a fourth year PhD student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the lab of Dr. Rangaramanujam Kannan at the Center for Nanomedicine. His research focus is on manipulating the transport properties of dendrimer nanocarriers to modify pharmacokinetics and biodistribution for applications in diseases of the brain and the back of the eye. He was born and raised in Baltimore and completed his undergraduate degree at Cornell University.

  • This course will explore the potential of nanotechnology in stimulating neuroregeneration for treating nervous system injuries such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. We will take a platform-based approach, with topics such as nanomaterials, nanoparticles, and cell-based strategies. Students will engage in discussions about breakthroughs in the application of nanotechnology in neuroregeneration, culminating in student-led seminars on promising new directions for the field.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.08 / Mon / 7 to 8:15 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.36 / Thurs / 7 to 8:15 p.m.



    Kevin Liaw | kliaw2@jhu.edu

    Bio: Kevin is a PhD candidate in the Center for Nanomedicine at the Johns Hopkins medical campus under Dr. Kannan. He specializes in nanoparticle design and evaluation for improving therapies in glioblastoma and other central nervous system disorders.

  • Microscopes are one of the oldest and most powerful tools to study the world, and they have enabled significant advances in biology and medicine. This course will introduce students to how different kinds of microscopes work, how to prepare biological samples for imaging, and a broad overview of what we can learn using microscopes—it is a lot more than just how things look. Students should gain a general understanding of how microscopy helps solve biological questions and what emerging technologies can help us learn in the near future.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.14 / Tues / 3 to 4:15 p.m.



    Michael Paul | mpaul26@jhu.edu

    Bio:Michael Paul received bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Chicago. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Program of Molecular Biophysics and is working with Dr. Kalina Hristova in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His research involves using quantitative fluorescence microscopy techniques to study the interactions of receptor tyrosine kinases, a class of membrane proteins.

  • 3-D printing has the potential to revolutionize how we think about design and manufacturing since it makes it possible to fabricate complex parts using fewer components. The first half of the course will look at the different 3-D printing technologies currently available for plastics, metals and other materials and discuss their potential and current applications in a variety of domains, such as engineering, art, entertainment, etc. Furthermore, the students will visit a few facilities on campus, which have 3-D printing machines. The second half of the course will be dedicated to various ways of creating new designs by means of several software programs and tools.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.11 / Tues / 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.
    • EN.500.111.23 / Wed / 4 to 5:15 p.m.



    Mikhail Osanov | mosanov1@jhu.edu

    Bio: Mikhail Osanov is a PhD student in the Department of Civil Engineering working with Prof. James Guest. He joined Hopkins in 2014 to study topology optimization for design of structures with a focus on manufacturability for additive manufacturing. Mikhail was born in Russia where he graduated from high school. He travelled to Baltimore from Bucknell University where he obtained his undergraduate degree.

  • The course will allow students to explore the fascinating world of research by providing them with the theoretical and practical background on the bioengineering principles that govern cell motility. The course will cover the basic biology of cell motility (role of cell surface molecules, cytoskeleton, nucleus and surrounding matrix) and further elaborate on how migrating cells sense and respond to mechanical forces. The course will also focus on training the students to develop the skill of asking proper scientific questions by engaging discussion on scientific peer-reviewed papers as well as by designing and executing simple experiments in the laboratory.

    Course Number and Meeting Time   
    • EN.500.111.09 / Mon / 8 to 9:15 a.m.
    • EN.500.111.35 / Thurs / 6 to 7:15 p.m.



    Panagiotis Mistriotis | pmistri1@jhu.edu

    Bio: Panagiotis Mistriotis is a postdoctoral fellow in the Konstantopoulos lab in the ChemBE department. He received his PhD from SUNY Buffalo in 2015, MSc from University of Copenhagen in 2010 and Dip. Eng. from the National University of Athens in 2007. Panagiotis’ research aims to enhance our understanding of the pathophysiology of human diseases. By integrating engineering, imaging and biological techniques, he studies how tumor cells sense and respond to external forces. Specifically, interested in identifying the key intracellular signaling events that regulate cell migration in confined microenvironments. Ultimately, the goal of his research is to design novel bioengineering strategies that aim to halt metastatic spread.

  • Recent advances have greatly improved the quality of machine translation, but many real-world translation tasks (such as legal documents) require the work of skilled human translators. Computer aided translation seeks to incorporate the strengths of machine translation into tools that human translators can use in their work. This course will provide an introduction to computer aided translation tools, related machine learning and machine translation techniques, and research.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.10 / Tues / 9 to 10:15 p.m.



    Rebecca Knowles | rknowles@jhu.edu

    Bio: Rebecca Knowles is a PhD candidate in the Computer Science Department and the Center for Language and Speech Processing, where she is advised by Philipp Koehn. Her research focuses on machine translation and computer aided translation. She has also been the JHU site coordinator for the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad competition and outreach program for the past several years.

  • Through lectures, discussion and lab tour, this course will introduce the students to a range of emerging imaging and spectroscopy techniques that have revolutionized biomedical research. Divided into three modules, the course will expose the students to light and electron microscopy, optical spectroscopy and chemometrics (image processing and spectral analysis), respectively. Each module will cover basic scientific principles and simple mathematical foundations, technical innovations that enabled their use in biological investigations and specific examples of how these tools have been leveraged to solve complex problems in biology and medicine.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.33 / Thurs / 4 to 5:15 p.m.



    Santosh Paidi | santoshpaidi@jhu.edu

    Bio: Santosh Paidi is a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His current research efforts in Dr. Ishan Barman’s lab are directed towards application of Raman spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis to develop novel quantitative approaches for addressing unmet needs in the molecular study of cancers. Prior to commencing doctoral study at Johns Hopkins, Santosh graduated from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2014 with a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Aerospace Engineering.

  • This class will provide an overview of the biological and biochemical mechanisms underlying the vasculature function and advances in regenerative medicine. The course will have three sections: physiological functions of endothelial cells that line the blood vessels, endothelial dysfunction in cardiovascular disease, and vascular pharmacology.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.04 / Mon / 3 to 4:15 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.28 / Thurs / 9 to 10:15 a.m.



    Sarvenaz Sarabipour | sarvenaz.sarabipour@gmail.com

    Bio: Sarvenaz Sarabipour is a postdoctoral fellow at Institute for Computational Medicine. She received her PhD on mechanisms of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signal transduction from department of Materials Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Her current research under Dr. Feilim Mac Gabhann focuses on computational modeling of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFRs) in human health and diseases.

  • Data-driven approaches are increasingly recognized as an essential knowledge/skill prerequisite for the next generation of engineers. This course covers an introduction to data-driven approaches such as regression, pattern recognition, and information fusion via machine learning techniques. This course also presents recent applications of data-driven methods in engineering modeling. In this course, the students will learn not only current techniques but also anticipated future development of data-driven approaches.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.40 / Fri / 3 to 4:15 p.m.



    Seungjoon Lee | seungjoon_lee@jhu.edu

    Bio: Seungjoon Lee is a postdoctoral fellow in Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, working with Dr. Yannis G. Kevrekidis. He received his PhD in Applied Mathematics at Brown University. Currently, he has developed robust and efficient mathematical algorithms for multi-fidelity information fusion via statistical learning (or machine learning) in various applications. His research also focuses on efficient algorithms in large-scale, multi-physics, and multi-scale simulations.

  • This course introduces the foundations of statistical machine learning in an interactive learning environment. The material will include both the statistical/theoretical foundations of modern statistical machine learning models as well as instruction on the implementation of these algorithms in R. The topics that will be covered include: regression and classification, resampling methods (cross-validation and bootstrap), model and variable selection, tree-based methods for regression and classification, and ensemble learning methods.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.34 / Thurs / 5 to 6:15 p.m.



    Shannon Wongvibulsin | swongvi1@jhmi.edu

    Bio:Shannon Wongvibulsin is pursuing her PhD in biomedical engineering and training as a physician scientist at Johns Hopkins. She joined the Hopkins MD-PhD Program after graduating summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a BS in bioengineering and minor in biomedical research. At UCLA, she performed research as a Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Scholar and was awarded the Most Distinguished Senior Award. Her commitment to improving human health extends beyond her research. To empower individuals to take charge of their personal wellbeing, she served as the Director and Editor-in-Chief of UCLA’s Total Wellness Magazine. At Hopkins, Shannon has continued to pursue her interests in revolutionizing medicine. At the Leaders of Tomorrow Summit, she was named one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow – innovative individuals at the forefront of biotechnology’s future. She is currently performing research in computational medicine as part of the Hopkins Individualized Health Initiative to improve disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment through data science, predictive analytics, and biomedical engineering.

    Outside the hospital and research labs, Shannon transforms the kitchen into a learning laboratory for nutrition to foster a sense of community around healthy food. She enjoys designing wholesome and delicious creations and has collaborated with her peers to publish a free resource for healthy eating – the B’more Healthy Cookbook. From the clinic and research lab to the kitchen, as an aspiring physician scientist, she is committed to discovering novel ways to improve human health and engineer a better future of healthcare.


  • The course intends to touch upon all the key aspects of “tissue engineering” technology – scaffolds/ biomaterials, cell sourcing/culture, tissue fabrication, etc. Niche areas like cartilage and skin graft fabrication, blood vessel engineering, cranio-facial reconstruction, etc. would be discussed using various case studies. Innovative fabrication techniques like electrospinning, bio-printing, etc. which are indispensable to the field of tissue engineering would be introduced.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.38 / Fri / 8:30 to 9:45 a.m.



    Srujan Singh | ssingh95@jhu.edu

    Bio: Srujan Singh is a PhD student at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Chemical Engineering with research experience in materials synthesis/characterization and hydrogel systems His research interests lie in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Currently, he is a part of Hibino group at Johns Hopkins Hospital and working towards fabrication of scaffold-free and functional tissue engineered constructs by making use of innovative fabrication techniques like bio-printing, net-mold, etc.

  • In this course, we will mainly focus on utilizing different kinds of microscopy characterization techniques that are used in designing advanced materials for body armor applications. Students will be taught the fundamentals of both light and electron microscopy Special emphasis will be given to TEM which is a powerful technique to visualize atoms and sub-micron particles.

    Course Number and Meeting Time
    • EN.500.111.41 / Tues / 8 to 9:15 p.m.
    • EN.500.111.42 / Thurs / 12 to 1:15 p.m.



    Suhas Eswarappa Prameelasuhas.ep@jhu.edu

    Bio: Suhas Prameela is currently a graduate student pursuing PhD in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE), Johns Hopkins University. He completed his BS in Mechanical Engineering with Summa Cum Laude from RV College of Engineering, Bangalore and MS from Arizona State University, Tempe. He was also a research fellow at IIT, Ropar as part of Indian Academy of Sciences’ research fellowship. He is currently working on improving dynamic performance of Magnesium alloys to build light weight and strong body armor, a project with the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) and Army Research Lab (ARL). He was also recently awarded the Engaged Scholar Graduate Student Award from the JHU Center for social concern for teaching and undergraduate mentoring.

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