Student Bio: Randy Deng
The RHS Science Research course is more than just a course. It’s a program that allows students to conduct independent research and move into the real world of science. During the summer of 2014, I went to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia under the mentorship of Professor Dean Krusienski to conduct original experimentation on brain-computer interfaces (BCI). A BCI is a system that translates thoughts into commands so that people are able to control objects by thought alone.
My goal was to discover what visual stimuli size would be optimal to control a BCI. The idea was to use visual stimuli to create a brain signal that could be translated into a command. My results could then help improve accuracy in BCIs, making them more reliable. On Saturday, February 7, I presented my research at the Southern Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair (SCSEF) and was recognized for my hard work. It was refreshing to know that three years of hard work amounted to something, and that it did hold weight to other fellow researchers.
But this course is much more than just research and science fairs. This course taught me life skills. Data mining, presentation skills, and emailing professionals were all skills I had to master in the past 3 years as a Science Research student. Another skill I learned was dealing with failure. It’s very easy to avoid big words in journal articles or feel hopeless after a mentor rejection, but it’s important to remember that that is not the end. I have been denied several mentorship requests, read countless daunting journal articles, and lost science fairs, but moving on from failure is just as important as being successful, if not more. It shows not only your problem solving skills, but also your determination as a researcher.
Randy about to undergo his own experiment to see how well his brain signals can be classified
Area where Randy’s experiment is taking place