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Success! Journal paper 2 of 4

Well kids, Christmas has come early! As of this morning my second of four journal papers I’ve written has been accepted for publication! Since it’s been a somewhat long and confusing road, I figure today I can remind everyone why I’m so thrilled about this paper and why this is good news for me in particular. There’s still a lot to do and more papers to publish as we go, but things are looking up!

Let’s just skip my semi-regular intro and get right to business. Since starting my PhD I’ve had several papers that just started piling up on me. The first is one from my Masters degree that has been a pain in my ass since we wrote it. It’s a design paper and engineers apparently hate design papers. I developed a full size bipedal walking robot which has parts that are to this day better than anything currently published, with the exception of an extension on my work by my collaborator who is changing my knee design slightly so that it can be used for prosthetics specifically (in other words same capabilities because I don’t think it can be done better honestly).

Anyway that was a sidebar I wasn’t expecting to take. Back to the story. So that paper has been going on for years now and we just resubmitted it (checking the archives) back in September it looks like. It will probably be Mid-February before we hear anything and that’s if we’re lucky. Then I had one journal paper from my school-PI, which was delayed thanks to COVID. That was about two years in the works and we will hopefully be submitting it shortly. The third was an unexpected addition from a class I was taking. Being the overachiever I apparently am, I got featured twice in the school news because of that class and while the teacher is leaving to a different university, I still am in awe of how brilliant she is and hope to follow her footsteps someday.

The last paper was a paper that I started over the summer with hospital-PI. I collected all of the data, did the analysis, wrote the paper, and we submitted it just a few months ago. For those counting that’s four papers and for about a full year or so I had zero of them done. They just kept piling up on me. Because of the years of back and forth with my robot paper, I was convinced for a while there that I would never finish any of this. I would just have paper after paper piled on me until I dropped out or everyone realized I wasn’t getting anything done and they just kicked me out. I mean it was a logical fear, nothing was getting done.

Well thankfully that cycle broke a few months ago with paper one being published (here)! That paper was about seizure detection using EEG, which I can now say because it’s published, how about that? It was a very cool paper and I’m proud of it, but it’s not what I’m excited about. It’s not what I wanted to be known for, but I learned a ton from it and I’m thankful for the class as a whole. I mean how many class projects lead to a journal publication?!

Now hospital-PI thinks we took too long to get this paper out and that’s fair to a point, but for me this was the fastest I’ve had a paper go from data collection to publication. This is my second paper that has been accepted for publication, but ironically was the last one I wrote. Once it’s published it’s going to be very hard for me not to want to break my (semi) anonymity because the paper was so cool. It’s exactly the stuff I want to be doing. It was a project hospital-PI offered me since I collected the data (here). While I accepted the project at the end of April (thanks archives!) we didn’t dive into it until the end of June or beginning of July.

I’m only a little surprised by how fast this was accepted, the data were pretty clear and the hardest part of the paper was organizing the large amount of data we collected, which I came up with a creative way to do just that! I’m very excited to get to share this with everyone once it gets finalized by the editors and put to (digital) print. If the first paper is any indication that shouldn’t be long and I may actually get this published before the new year, which would be amazing for me personally.

While I still have two papers, one in review and one about to be submitted if my co-authors can agree on the work I did, I’m super happy to have things going out instead of just getting piled up. Hospital-PI has promised that the next year will be very busy and we will be publishing several papers more on top of the two I have left.

No rest for the researcher I guess! Still, this is good news and I can use all the good news I can get right now.

Speaking of which, this is my regular thanks to all of you for the support and general love you send my way. It may not feel like much, but it’s literally life changing. I didn’t realize when I started this little project that I would make so many different connections and find a little virtual support system. If I could, I would thank each and every one of you by name anytime I publish anything! Nothing I can write here could express the level of gratitude I have for all of you, so I’ll just leave it at, thank you!


4 responses

  1. Colette Hilliard

    I would love to read your publications!

    Liked by 2 people

    December 15, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    • Thank you! Since you asked I guess I can just post it, here’s the EEG for seizure detection study I recently had published: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/9541179

      Once the latest study gets published I’ll definitely have to share that one because it is very exciting!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 16, 2021 at 11:40 am

      • Now I have a chance to comment after having read the whole thing. I still think it’s a pretty neat concept.

        Is the hope for the closed-loop systems to be worn in daily life, rather than in supervised treatment sessions? It sounds like the urge to reduce computational complexity is driven by the desire to run everything on a small computer the patient can carry.

        The paper mentions eye and other motion artifacts as sources of noise. I’m curious whether you get a significant amount of noise from variations in the placement of the electrodes between sessions?

        Again, nice work.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 17, 2021 at 12:53 am

      • Thank you! Yes, the idea would be the person could wear the device whenever they were out or felt the need to wear it. The device could augment the treatment the person receives (closed-loop neuromodulation), monitor how effective a medication is at stopping seizures, and improve the prediction accuracy as it detects seizures. We do want to reduce computational complexity because we have to think not only processor power, but actual power requirements, so in a perfect world this would run on a cellphone without too much hassle,

        Sensor placement is important, but ideally the device would be designed so it would only fit comfortably (or correctly) in one position. Small variations won’t matter because of something called volume conduction, so the signal gets spread out as it propagates through tissues like ripples in water. In short, we need to be accurate, but only to a small degree.

        The whole project was a lot of work, but it was fun! I really enjoyed the class, so thank you I’m glad you think it’s interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 17, 2021 at 10:10 am

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