Logo: University of Southern California

2010 Grodins Symposium Showcases Research by BME Ph.D. Students

Vivek Pradeep wins top prize for “Robot Vision for the Visually Impaired”
Michael Khoo
April 19, 2010 —

The Viterbi School’s Department of Biomedical Engineering held the 14th Annual Fred S. Grodins Graduate Research Symposium on Saturday, April 10, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

As in previous years, the event was organized by a committee of BME doctoral students selected by department chair Michael Khoo. The organizing committee included Patjanaporn Chalacheva, Navya Davuluri, Heidi Gensler, Nora Nelson, Alexander Reyes and Bryce Wilkins. The research conducted by BME doctoral students was presented in the form of 71 posters and 8 platform talks.

Continuing a new tradition started last year, the symposium featured BME Ph.D. alumnus Dr.

Grodins 2010-Vivek Pradeep-5
Double prize winner: Vivek Pradeep won both the BME excellence award and the USC Stevens Institute 'Most inventive" honor, which he receives here from Chris Moulding.
Sunil Dalal, Senior R&D Manager from Abbott Laboratories, as its keynote speaker.

Sponsors of the event included the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at USC (AMI-USC), the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, Hope for Vision, National Semiconductor, Replenish Inc., the Viterbi Graduate Student Association, the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, the USC Biomimetic Microelectronics Systems Engineering Research Center, Advanced Brain Monitoring, St. Jude Medical and Dr. Steve Koh.

The top prize, the Grodins Graduate Research Award, presented for academic excellence and outstanding research, went to Vivek Pradeep for his work on: “Robot Vision for the Visually Impaired.” Pradeep also won the “Most Innovative” Award presented by the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation.

Other awards were as follows:

Platform Presentations:
First Prize: Nicholas Wettels – Multi-Modal Synergystic Tactile Sensor for Robotic Fingertips.
Runner-up: Joseph Munaretto – Effect of reaction force and elbow orientations on mechanical load in wheelchair propulsion.

Poster Presentation (by theme areas):
Bio-Systems & Signals: Manish Kurse – Extracting mathematical models defining index finger kinematics using symbolic regression.
Cell & Tissue Engineering: Kenrick Kuwahara – Cell-activated release of BMP2 using transglutaminase crosslinked gelatin as a delivery system.
Devices & Diagnostic Technology: Joshua Inouye – Design and fabrication of a device for studying unstable grasp mechanics; Chia-Hsien Lin – Signal processing, fabrication and implementation of a biomimetic tactile sensor array with force, microvibration and thermal modalities.
Imaging: Matthew Borzage – Simultaneous BOLD and NIRS signal correlation during hypoxia;
Man Nguyen – Fresnel-based beamforming for low-cost portable ultrasound; Sinchai Tsao – Cerebral spinal fluid contamination correction in MR-based diffusion tensor imaging tractography of the fornix in brain imaging studies of elderly subjects.
Jeremy Fishel – Investigating the effects of fingerprints in generating microvibrations; Arvind Iyer – Evidence against relying on retinal temporal codes for detection tasks; George Tsianos – Studying the intrinsic properties of spinal connectivity in the context of multi-joint arm movement; Andrew Weitz – Calcium imaging of the electrically stimulated retina.


Committee members, left to right: Bryce Wilkins, "Sang" Chalacheva, Alex Reyes, BME Chair Michael Khoo, Navya Davuluri, Heidi Gensler and Nora Nelson.