Goldwater Scholar Barrett Anderies plans to pursue neuroscience in graduate school
Barrett Anderies, a double major in biomedical engineering and mathematics, is one of three Fulton Schools students and one of 252 students selected from a field of 1,150 nominees to be awarded a Goldwater Scholarship – considered the premier undergraduate scholarship for mathematics, science and engineering majors.
The honors student originally chose to pursue a biomedical engineering degree due to his interests in robotic prosthetics. He recognized that it was a field that required both biological and engineering expertise.
“Over the course of my studies I became more interested in the biological side of the problem, which involves integrating devices with the nervous system,” Anderies says. “I started working in a neural engineering lab a couple years ago, and my experience there has reinforced my interest to pursue graduate studies in neuroscience. I hope to combine mathematical analysis, engineering tools, biological expertise and clinical experience to improve treatment of neurological disorders.”
Anderies is currently participating in the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI) for the second straight semester. “I work on quantitative analysis of electrocorticography data for rapid screening and identification of electrographic features in epileptic patients,” he says. “My work has been focused on improving the performance of an experimental feature identification and extraction algorithm. I have managed to improve the algorithm performance to a point where automated analysis might soon be possible.”
ASU President’s Professor Eric Kostelich, a professor in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Science, suggested that Anderies should apply for the honor. “I agreed, thinking that the application would be a useful learning experience,” Anderies says. “But, I never thought I would actually receive the award. Without his encouragement and experience, I likely never would have considered myself a competitive applicant for the Goldwater scholarship.”
Anderies’s Goldwater application highlighted his research from his mathematics background. “The goal of my mathematics research is to develop and validate mathematical models of tumor growth which are capable of estimating the missing information as well as making predictions about future tumor dynamics. This information could better inform treatment regimes on a patient-specific basis, resulting in improved patient survival and quality of life,” he says.
The Goldwater Scholarship Program, honoring the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona, is intended to encourage outstanding students to pursue graduate studies and careers in engineering, science and mathematics fields. It provides up to $7,500 per year to support completion of undergraduate studies.
“I am pleased to have been selected for such a prestigious award, and honored and humbled to to have hundreds of highly accomplished scientists as my peers,” says Anderies. “I would like to say how grateful I am to Professor Eric Kostelich, who first reached out to me with the research opportunity that evolved into my honors thesis and research proposal for my Goldwater application. His mentorship and guidance has been invaluable over the course of my studies.”
As for where he will go next. – “I find that I am always discovering new and interesting fields of study, and am still considering multiple career paths.”
Erik Wirtanen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering