May 08, 2021
Berhampur, Odisha, India
PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Where did you complete your undergraduate study?
B.S. Biju Patnaik University of Technology, Odisha, India; MS University of Missouri
Why did you choose Mizzou for your graduate program?
After my Bachelor’s education, I worked at Mindtree Ltd. as a Programmer Analyst. At Mindtree, I got an opportunity to work on a research project focused on developing assistive technologies for kids affected by spastic cerebral palsy to improve their mobility and function. The project inspired me to continue my journey as a researcher to develop technologies to improve health care and make a real impact to improve lives. During my search for graduate schools and research centers, I found that the Center for Eldercare and Rehabilitation Technology (CERT) at Mizzou worked on similar technologies to serve the needs of older adults and others with physical and cognitive challenges. The impactful research projects at the CERT lab and the presence of a multidisciplinary health care research ecosystem at Mizzou were the primary reasons why I chose Mizzou for my graduate program. Also, the beautiful campus, the presence of a strong international student population, and the historic traditions at Mizzou were some of the other reasons why Mizzou was on top of my list.
Tell us about your graduate research. What are some potential outcomes or applications?
My PhD research focused on developing state-of-the-art models to predict health risks in older adults. The research also focused on explaining which factors are causing an increased health risk so that personalized interventions can be done to manage risk. We used statistical analysis, natural language processing, computer vision, machine learning and deep learning, amongst other techniques, to build the models. We used nine years of longitudinal health data obtained from TigerPlace, a senior living facility located in Columbia, Missouri, to predict personalized functional health and fall risk in older adults. The health data included Electronic Health Records (EHR) and in-home sensor data.
I worked with an interdisciplinary research team to design these research projects. Every research project was driven by actual clinical needs and was evaluated with real-world data. The personalized functional health tracking may provide clinicians with a longitudinal view of overall functional health in older adults to help address the early detection of deterioration trends and decide appropriate interventions. It can also help older adults and family members take proactive steps to improve functional health. Fall risk predictions with explanations can potentially help clinicians to save time from analyzing individual risk factors and provide early personalized interventions to avoid a possible future fall. Also, our work on predicting fall risk from nursing notes provides the groundwork for further research in the field to use natural language processing and deep learning techniques to predict fall risk from unstructured EHR clinical notes.
What are some accomplishments you’ve achieved at Mizzou that you’re especially proud of?
My Mizzou journey was a great learning experience. I worked with an amazing multidisciplinary team to conduct research which helped me to grow as a researcher and a science communicator. I had several opportunities to publish research articles and attend conferences in and outside the USA. My publications can be found on my Google Scholar account and the CERT Lab website.
I volunteered/organized international conferences and events, mentored undergraduate researchers, received awards, and led multiple student organizations, and committees during my Mizzou journey. Here is a list of all the things I am very proud of:
- Winner, 3 Minute Thesis People’s Choice Award, University of Missouri, Columbia, November 2020
- National Science Foundation Student Award, IEEEE CHASE Conference, Washington, DC, USA, 2016
- US-Ignite Travel Award, US Ignite Application Summit, Silicon Valley, CA, USA, June 2014
Professional Services (National/International)
- Reviewer, The Imaging Science Journal
- Graduate Student Organizer, International Fuzz-IEEE Conference, New Orleans, LA, 2019
- Volunteer, 38th Annual International Conf. of the IEEE EMBS, Orlando FL, 2016
- Steering Chair, IEEE CIS Chapter Poster Competition, University of Missouri, Columbia, 2015
- Volunteer, I70 Corridor Network on Aging Conference, 2013-2014 University of Missouri, Columbia
- Reviewer, 2021 Spring Undergraduate Research & Creative Achievements Forum, Office of Undergraduate Research, University of Missouri, Columbia, 2021
- Graduate Student Mentor, National Science Foundation REU Program, University of Missouri, 2020
- Graduate Student Organizer and Host, Framing Your Future Conference, University of Missouri, 2016-2020
- Product Commercialization Leader, ARM Product, Coulter Translational Partnership Program, 2018
- External Affairs Officer, EECS Department Graduate Student Association, University of Missouri, 2017-2018
- Graduate Professional Council (GPC) Representative, Dept. of EECS, University of Missouri, 2017-2018
- President, EECS Department Graduate Student Association (GSA), University of Missouri, 2016-2017
- President, Cultural Association of India (CAI), University of Missouri, 2014-2015
- Student Coordinator, IEEE CIS Chapter, University of Missouri, 2014-2016
- Webmaster, St. Patrick’s Board, E-week, University of Missouri, 2014-2015
- MU College of Engineering Open House Exhibits 2014, 2015
What do you hope to do after you complete your degree?
I believe there are many opportunities and challenges in health care those need to be addressed. I will continue my journey as a researcher and engineer to contribute and improve health care quality in the U.S. and across the world. I have recently joined Blessing Health System as a Data Scientist, where I am working with a team of data analysts, data engineers, and software developers to develop state-of-the-art models that encompass all aspects of healthcare. Connect with me at LinkedIn for research collaborations and discussions.