Team MINSensory Takes Top Prize at ECE Day ’12

in Alumni, Awards, Courses, Events, Faculty, Graduate Students, News-CE, News-EP, News-ISS, Recognition, Research, Research-CE, Research-EP, Research-ISS, Senior Design, Students, Undergraduate Programs, Undergraduate Student Opportunities, Undergraduate Students
May 15th, 2012

Winners of one of two Design Excellence Awards pose with their self-cleaning solar panel. Pictured from left are Kshitiz Kohli (ECE '12); Syed Naufal Bin Veqar (ECE '12); Sarah Griesse-Nascimento (ECE '12); Alex Chan (ECE '12); and Christopher Petrik (ECE '12).

Winners of one of two Design Excellence Awards pose with their self-cleaning solar panel. Pictured from left are Kshitiz Kohli (ECE '12); Syed Naufal Bin Veqar (ECE '12); Sarah Griesse-Nascimento (ECE '12); Alex Chan (ECE '12); and Christopher Petrik (ECE '12).

On May 4, the ninth floor of Boston University’s Photonics Center was transformed as Electrical & Computer Engineering students displayed their end-of-the-year projects – designs that included a tracking program that follows a speaker’s movements during a lecture, an iPad application designed to improve hospital efficiency, and even a ping pong ball retriever.

The projects may be challenging in scope, but that didn’t stop ECE seniors from tackling the research and developing real-life solutions to engineering problems.

On ECE Day, 59 seniors finally had a chance to show off their senior design projects or honors theses – the result of two semesters of work.

View photos from ECE Day ’12.

View videos of the student presentations.

Fifty-five of those students made up 12 teams that worked to design and prototype a product, electronic device, or software system. They worked with customers ranging from industry figures to faculty in an effort to improve everything from solar panel functionality to UAV collision avoidance.

The four remaining seniors wrote honors theses about topics ranging from geosensing to human-computer interfaces.

“The students’ accomplishments surpassed even my expectations this year,” said Professor Alan Pisano (ECE), the senior design advisor. “Their hard work and diligence – including several ‘all-nighters’ in the Senior Design Lab – really paid off in producing some of the best projects in recent years. I am very proud of this year’s class.”

Kholood Al Tabash (ECE '12) demonstrates her team's iMedix application to Professor Ronald Knepper.

Kholood Al Tabash (ECE '12) demonstrates her team's iMedix application to Professor Ronald Knepper.

Five alumni judges – Bradley Rufleth, Chris Maloof, David Mabius, Francine Lalooses, and David Lancia – returned to their alma mater to watch the seniors present and weigh in on their final designs. Ultimately, they selected System for Sensing Neural Response, also known as Team MINSensory, as the winner of the top prize, the P. T. Hsu Memorial Award for Outstanding Senior Design Project. Benjamin Duong, Nima Haghighi-Mood, Michael Kasparian, and Parth P. Patel (BME), members of the winning team, worked with Professor Ronald Knepper (ECE) to develop a system that senses neural responses.

“If neuroscientists are going to be using our product, we have to make something that’s helpful for them,” said Kasparian.

The team decided to design a complete interface suite that allows for real-time collection, analysis, and visualization of neural signals.

“A suite for collecting and visualizing this kind of data did not exist prior to this project,” explained Duong.

Ultimately, the MINSensory design will provide researchers with unprecedented control and depth in their neural experiments and also help expand neural research.

The day largely focused on the seniors’ accomplishments, but two teachers were awarded as well. David Castañón, ECE professor and department chair, presented Douglas Densmore with the ECE Award for Excellence in Teaching and John Gancarz was named the GTF of the Year.

Other awards announced at this year’s ECE Day included:

Michael F. Ruane Award for Excellence in Senior Capstone Design
Michael Kasparian

Senior Honors Thesis Award
Automated Detection of Colon Pre-Cancer Based on in vivo Endomicroscopy Images: Evgeni Aizenberg

Entrepreneurial Award
iMedix Patient-Nurse Communication System: Kholood Al Tabash, Donald Dougherty, Eric Hsiao, Kenneth Zhong, and Gregory Zoeller

Design Excellence Awards
Self-Cleaning Solar Panels: Alex Chan, Sarah Griesse-Nascimento, Kshitiz Kohli, Syed Naufal Bin Veqar and Christopher Petrik

Sailboat Bailer: Andrew Francis, Srilalitha Kumaresan, Henry Lok, Mason Tan, and Alexander Whittemore

-Rachel Harrington (rachelah@bu.edu)