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 first-year students can enroll in one of the tutorials when course registration begins on July 11, 2019.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can register for the tutorials beginning August 1, 2019.
The courses have no prerequisites and are open to all JHU undergraduates in both KSAS and WSE. Registration is done through SIS.
This course will explore the field of reactive materials, a class of materials which can store immense chemical energy for long times and release that energy rapidly when desired. The course will cover different kinds of reactive materials, how they are made and characterized, and the underlying physics that controls both how they can be shelf-stable and reactive. We will discuss the broader category of energetic materials (which includes explosives), but will emphasize the commercial applications of reactive materials including demonstrations and hands-on activities.
Bio: Shane Arlington is a PhD candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering where he does research in Prof. Timothy P. Weihs’ group. He holds a Draper Fellowship from the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, MA, which supports his graduate studies. His research focuses on the fundamentals of phase transformations in reactive thin film materials as well as developing new applications for those materials.
This course will introduce students to the research process and the scientific method through the lens of Bayesian uncertainty quantification. The emphasis will be on students learning the process of generating knowledge through research. Students will also practice research tasks in class and start building research skills that will encourage them to engage in undergraduate research with faculty and equip them with skills to conduct research in a university, government or private institution.
Aakash Bangalor Satish
Bio: Aakash is a PhD student in the Shields Uncertainty Research Group in the Department of Civil Engineering. His research focuses on improving the reliability of aluminum structures subjected to high temperatures through computational modeling. He is also involved in engineering education research about undergraduate research education. Aakash has a master’s degree in structural engineering from the Indian Institute of Science.
The course will introduce students to the exciting world of research by providing them with theoretical and experimental perspectives of different bioengineering tools used in cell biology labs specifically to investigate cell locomotion. The course will provide underlying concepts required to understand cell locomotion and how researchers apply engineering approaches to delineate this complex yet physiologically important phenomena. An integral focus of the course would also be to train students in reading, understanding and presenting scientific literature, asking proper scientific questions and executing simple experiments in the laboratory.
Bio: Engineering tools have provided new avenues for studying biological processes with high precision yet large throughput. Kaustav Bera’s research objectives are to understand the pathophysiology of human diseases and provide better tools to study and mitigate such processes. He studies how tumor cells sense and respond to external microenvironment and adopt their migration machineries. By using an interdisciplinary approach combining bioengineering, imaging and molecular biology techniques, he is interested in identifying key pathways involved in the process. The goal of his research is to halt the metastatic spread of cancer by designing novel bioengineering strategies. Kaustav Bera is a third-year doctoral student in the Konstantopoulos Lab in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He received his bachelor’s (Hons) and master of technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India in 2016. His major was in biotechnology and biochemical engineering with a minor in chemical engineering and micro-specialization in biomedical instrumentation.
This course covers the basics of smart materials, current research in material development and diverse applications. Smart materials are the materials that can significantly alter one or more of their inherent properties owing to the application of external stimuli such as mechanical, thermal, moisture, electric and magnetic fields. The course examines, in depth, materials such as shape memory alloys, piezoelectric, thermoelectric, and electrostatic materials and their applications.
Bio: Currently, as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, Ugur Erturun focuses on energy harvesting and medical applications of piezoelectric and electrostatic polymers. He received his PhD in mechanical engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014. His past work, in the field of smart materials and structures, examines piezoelectric, pyroelectric, and thermoelectric materials and their applications in energy harvesting and integrated sensing. Erturun’s work has been published in journals including Journal of Intelligent Materials and Structures, Applied Thermal Engineering and Applied Energy. Also, he had experience in managing grants and served as a reviewer for journals and funding agencies.
Can you really see atoms? From transistors in phones to DNA origamis used for drug delivery, biologists and engineers strive to build innovative and exciting materials by controlling things at atomic level. In this course, students will explore optical and electron microscopy techniques (SEM & TEM) used by a wide variety of researchers to visualize and analyze materials at different length scales. The course will include lectures, short demos and lab tours to acclimate students to some of the cutting-edge research tools on campus.
Suhas Eswarappa Prameela
Bio: Suhas Prameela is currently a graduate student pursuing his PhD in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University. He received his BS in mechanical engineering summa cum laude from RV College of Engineering, Bangalore and his master of science from Arizona State University, Tempe. He was also a research fellow at IIT, Ropar as part of the 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 and Army Research Lab. He was also recently awarded the Engaged Scholar Graduate Student Award from the JHU Center for Social Concern for teaching and undergraduate mentoring.
In this course, students will be familiarized with the multidisciplinary science of disaster risk mitigation and the underlying concepts, such as risk, hazard, vulnerability, resilience, sustainability, etc. We will explore how professionals from different disciplines (e.g., engineering, economics, urban planning, sociology) come together to solve large scale problems. We will also learn to develop a systems-thinking mindset and understand why it is critical to have such a skill when studying complex systems such as societies and the built environment.
Bio: Fardad Haghpanah is a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil Engineering and the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, where he is advised by Prof. Benjamin Schafer. His research focuses on evacuation simulation to improve healthcare resilience in face of disasters. He received his BS in civil engineering from Sharif University of Technology and his MS in risk mitigation from Politecnico di Milano.
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.
Bio: Gabriel Kaptchuk is a fifth year PhD student in the Department of Computer Science 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 is designed for the fresh undergraduate who has no background on geometry processing with a focus on polygon meshes. Geometry processing is a research area that combines mathematics and computer science to invent and develop efficient algorithms for manipulating digitized 3D objects such as surface reconstructions, animations, shapes matching, etc., which is useful in domains varying from computer games, physics simulations, to medicine. This course will introduce the fundamental mathematics behind the scene, the computer sciences background, and the applications.
Sing Chun Lee
Bio: Sing Chun Lee is a PhD student in the Computer Aided Medical Procedure Group at the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics of Johns Hopkins University. He graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Mathematics and Information Engineering double degree program and received his master’s degree in biomedical computing from the Technical University of Munich. He is interested in bringing mathematical theories to practice, in particular, geometry processing and augmented reality.
Optical imaging is increasingly important in advancing many engineering and medical applications. Students will learn the foundations and evolution of optics starting from the time of Newton to today and how it has shaped some of the latest research from super resolution microscopy to the discovery of gravitational waves.
Bio: Andrew Leong is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering working with Assistant Professor Joseph W. Stayman. He is designing a mammography system for early detection of breast cancer using much safer radiation doses without sacrificing image quality. This is made possible by the latest optics designs and image reconstruction techniques. Before coming to Johns Hopkins, he tackled other challenging optics problems in ballistic impacts and cancer detection during his PhD and undergraduate careers.
Medical robotics is a multidisciplinary field dedicated to providing enhanced information and assistance to clinicians and to produce better healthcare. This course will be a primer on the field of medical robotics and an introduction to the recent advance in the robotic technologies developed for medical applications. This course will introduce the fundamental knowledge of medical robotics, including robot kinematics, robot dynamics, mechanical design considerations, control paradigms, sensing, and medical image guidance.
Bio: Gang Li is a postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics. He was a contract researcher at General Motors before joining Johns Hopkins. He received a PhD in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2016. His research focuses on leveraging mechatronics, robotics, and medicine in the application to medical robotic systems.
This course explores the potential of nanotechnology in stimulating neuroregeneration for treating nervous system injuries such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. We will look into different regenerative targets in the nervous system, including neurons, immune cells, and the extracellular matrix, along with nanotechnology strategies to access and leverage these targets. 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.
Bio: Kevin Liaw 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.
This course will introduce you to one of the most sought-after skills in today’s job market, i.e., data science and machine learning. It will leverage upon visual illustrations to explain everything from founding principles of statistics and probability to fundamental concepts behind common day machine learning applications like Facebook’s photo tag suggestions, and Google’s auto search completion. It will present insights on how data science can revolutionize the field of surgery (surgical data science).
Bio: Anand Malpani is an assistant research scientist at the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare at Johns Hopkins University. His research focus is on development of technology platforms in the realm of surgical skill training and assessment powered by crowdsourcing and machine learning. He graduated with a PhD in computer science from JHU in 2017.
The goal of this course is to explain at a high level a set of machine learning algorithms that have been shown to be useful in medicine with an emphasis on intuitive explanations for why and how they work. We will look at linear methods and decision trees, dimension reduction via PCA and nonlinear methods, and basic optimization. Then we will move to a quick overview of unsupervised methods and finally deep learning in broad terms with an introduction to the common frameworks – there will be interactive Python labs in class and applications to medicine throughout.
Bio: Jason Miller is pursuing a PhD in applied mathematics and statistics advised by Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Mauro Maggioni. His research focuses on the design and analysis of machine learning and manifold learning algorithms for high-dimensional data sets. He is especially interested in data coming from medicine and physics. He attended The University of Virginia where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in mathematics in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and then worked as a quantitative research analyst from 2015 to 2017 before entering the PhD program at Johns Hopkins University.
In this course students will learn the basis of the most popular artificial intelligence techniques and its potential use in multiple applications, but mainly for clinical practice. During the different classes, students will discover new concepts about the different types of bio-signals, processing methodologies and machine learning schemes. The main idea is to provide the students with the basic tools to be able to develop new ideas that could be applied to biomedical environments or to other fields.
Bio: Laureano Moro-Velazquez is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering working with Prof. Najim Dehak in the use of voice and speech technologies for biomedical applications. Currently, he collaborates with neurologists at Johns Hopkins Hospital to develop new diagnosis systems for Parkinson’s disease. He has published more than 20 scientific papers and worked in several audio-visual and acoustic companies.
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.
Bio: Santosh Paidi is a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His current research efforts in Prof. 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 BTech in mechanical engineering and a minor in aerospace engineering.
This course will cover research, design, manufacturing and testing requirements for developing robotic systems that can safely work inside MRI machines. The students will learn about various MRI compatible robotic systems for diagnostic and therapeutic applications and what it takes to bring such robotic systems from lab environment to operating rooms will be discussed.
Bio: Niravkumar Patel is a postdoctoral fellow at Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, Johns Hopkins University. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering in 2005 from North Gujarat University, India and MTech degree in computer science and engineering in 2007 from Nirma University, India. He received his PhD in robotics engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2017. He has extensively worked on MRI guided robotic systems for prostate biopsy, brain tumor ablation, shoulder arthrography and lower-back pain management. His current research interests include medical robotics, image guided interventions, robot assisted retinal surgeries and path planning.
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 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 and group activities, culminating in a final group presentation.
Bio: Joshua Porterfield is a fifth year PhD student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the lab of Dr. Rangaramanujam Kannan in the Center for Nanomedicine at the Wilmer Eye Institute. His research focus is on manipulating the transport properties of dendrimer nanocarriers to modify pharmacokinetics and biodistribution for applications in diseases of the retina, brain, and liver. He was born and raised in Baltimore and completed his undergraduate degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering at Cornell University.
This course will explore the versatile world of nanoparticle design, to provide better treatments for brain, pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer. The course will focus on biological and physical limitations for drug delivery to cancer tissues and developing methods to overcome such barriers for effective therapy. Students will have the opportunity to read and comprehend cutting-edge research literature, with active-learning towards the translation of preclinical research into clinical studies. These discussions will culminate in student-led presentations about current and possible future directions in the field.
Bio: Divya Rao is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering working under Drs. Hanes and Suk at the Center for Nanomedicine. Her research focuses on the design of nanoparticles to improve the toxicity and specificity of non-viral gene therapies for the treatment of brain cancer and other neurodegenerative diseases.
The course provides an overview of the engineering research into modern neurorehabilitation techniques for patients with motor, cognitive and psychiatric disorders. It will emphasize the role of engineers in the development of devices and in the investigation of therapy treatments that will be used in hospitals and clinics. Students will learn the material through lectures, interaction with patients and hands-on laboratory activities.
Bio: Cristina Rossi is a biomedical engineering PhD student in Dr. Amy Bastian’s lab. Her research aims to understand how people learn new movements, with a focus on improving rehabilitation therapies for people with motor disorders, such as stroke survivors. Cristina has received a MEng in biomedical engineering from Imperial College London.
In August 2017, the FDA approved the first gene therapy-based therapeutic in the United States, marking the beginning of an exciting new era of genetic medicine. In this course, we will explore the molecular basis of gene editing platforms such as the CRISPR/Cas9 system. We will discuss challenges and advances in the intracellular delivery of these systems before highlighting potential applications to cure diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and cancer.
Bio: Yuan Rui is a biomedical engineering PhD student in Prof. Jordan Green’s lab. She is interested in designing biomaterials to facilitate gene therapies for cancer treatment and tissue regeneration. Outside the lab, she enjoys trying out new recipes in the kitchen and hanging out with her cat.
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.
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 Prof. Sarah Preheim’s lab, where he is investigating viral-bacterial interactions in the Chesapeake Bay.
Eyes to medicine, nanomaterial assisted non-invasive medical imaging is steering diagnostics and therapeutics towards precision, individuality and safety. This course will survey the salient theories and applications of modern non-invasive medical imaging platforms, the specific design considerations of nanomaterials as imaging probes, issues that are present and how they are circumvented, along with modern technologies on nanomaterial synthesis and characterization. Upon establishing basic knowledge in physics, chemistry, biology as well as exploring current advanced researches, students will engage in brainstorm sessions to develop and engineer next-generation imaging probes, and culminating with an arranged visit to the imaging facility.
Bio: Ge Si is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and is working under the mentorship of Dr. Dmitri Artemov in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She received her MSc in chemical engineering from Columbia University in the City of New York and BSc in chemistry with a minor in applied psychology from Nankai University. Her broad range of research experiences involve organic synthesis, liposome-based drug delivery, self-assembled nanomaterials and biosensor engineering. Her research goal is to develop iron oxide-based multimodal imaging probes towards image-guided precision medicine.
The course intends to touch upon all the key aspects of “tissue engineering” technology –biomaterials, stem cell technology, functional tissue fabrication, etc. Special topics like cartilage and skin graft fabrication, blood vessel engineering, cranio-facial reconstruction, etc. would be covered. Innovative fabrication techniques like electrospinning, bio-printing, 3D printing etc. which are indispensable to the field of tissue engineering would be introduced.
Bio: Srujan Singh is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research interests lie in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Currently, he is a part of the Grayson Lab at Translational Tissue Engineering Center and working towards development of biomimetic protease-sensitive scaffolds for bone regeneration. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemical engineering with research experience in materials synthesis/characterization and hydrogel systems.
The world has over 7,000 documented languages; until recently, researchers have focused on only a small percentage of these. This course will introduce the field of natural language processing, focusing on the multilingual aspects of NLP. We will explore tasks and algorithms that involve and exploit multiple languages and realize the challenges computers face in understanding and translating languages around the world.
Bio: Winston Wu is a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Language and Speech Processing, where he is advised by David Yarowsky. He works on multilingual natural language processing, with a focus on low-resource languages. He received undergraduate degrees in computer science and Latin from UT Austin.
This course in intended to expose students to the fascinating world of Biophysics, which is comprised of 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 UV-Vis, fluorescence microscopy, circular dichroism, NMR, live cell imaging, and x-ray crystallography.
Bio: Elmer Zapata-Mercado received bachelor 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 Prof. 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.