My Brackenridge Cohort

This is my second year doing the Brackenridge Fellowship and I am continuously impressed with the projects that my peers are completing. Whether it is a historical research project, or a STEM project it never ceases to amaze me how great of ideas that people have when they apply to the Brackenridge Fellowship. I am a pre med person and my brain has always seemed to be wired towards STEM. However, I love to listen to the projects that others are doing in the humanities field. I have always been a strong believer in the fact that people need to expand their horizons because you can never learn too much. So far in the Brackenridge Fellowship, I have heard about projects that I did not even know were possible. I would say that I most hope to learn more about the humanities in general. I am a history major so I have taken a few history courses, but I am interested in other aspects such as art and English. Luckily, the Brackenridge Fellowship connects me with people who I can learn from.

There are a few STEM projects that use the same kind of experimental procedures that I am using in my lab so I would say I see a common thread between those projects. I was particularly interested in two projects. The first is focusing on designing a liver that can be used to study certain metabolic diseases. I thought that was so interesting and it could have benefits for a project that my lab is working on that studies insulin resistance. Second is one that programs an AI to read cases of glaucoma. If we were able to train robots to read cases at 100% perfection rate than that would revolutionize medicine. 

I think that the biggest benefit of working with people across disciplines is the expansion of horizons that I talked about earlier. Another huge benefit is a fresh perspective on the project. Sometimes if I run into a big problem the solution is easy and it is right in front of me all along. An issue with being trained is that sometimes our minds try to go to the most complex solution rather than starting with the easiest. Someone with little to no knowledge of the field will probably start with that easiest solution. The only problem that I can see is the barrier. It is going to be hard for me to understand certain topics in the humanities so it might be hard for me to offer a solution. Overall though I am very excited to work with the people in my cohort.

Leave a Reply