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The Students of IMMERSE-X: A Unique Perspective

Yu-Jou in Dr. Nordin's lab

Each summer, many students do engineering research at BYU. This research is faculty-mentored and helps students apply course material, prepare for graduate school, get published, and much more! Many of these student researchers are from BYU, but there are a handful who come from other schools for this experience!  

IMMERSE-X is a research program in Electrical and Computer Engineering for these students and provides them with the support and resources to apply their engineering knowledge in a research environment. After completing IMMERSE-X, students will be better prepared to enter the workforce or graduate school.  

One of these students is Yu-Jou Chou. Yu-Jou is from Taiwan, studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the National Taipei University of Technology. She is working in Dr. Nordin’s lab this summer and will officially graduate from her university next month. In addition to her university education, Yu-Jou has participated in an HP internship program over the past year. Her research at BYU involves 3D printing chips with resin. This is something that she remarks as being a unique opportunity, as Taiwanese schools focus their learning efforts elsewhere, and students do not usually have access to do further research with 3D printers. Yu-Jou enjoys how IMMERSE-X allows her to dedicate her entire workday to one specific project.  

Another IMMERSE-X student this summer is Brenlie Shirts, who is working with Dr. Allen in the MRI Facility. Brenlie is studying Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Utah. Outside of her schooling, she enjoys hiking, running, and road biking. The goal of her research in the MRI lab is to create a computing network that can be used to test compressed sensing reconstruction algorithms. Brenlie describes that compressed sensing “is a category of reconstruction methods that use incomplete sampling of k-space to accelerate the collection of magnetic resonance (MR) data.” The images they are reconstructing in the lab encode ultrasound vibrations, which ties into the ultimate goal of mapping ultrasound fields. Even though there is a steep learning curve in her research, Brenlie enjoys her time in the lab, and shares that “it has been super cool to learn how MRI works and get to observe scans.”  

Taylor Mendenhall, a student from BYU-I, is also participating in the IMMERSE-X program this summer working with Dr. Mangelson. Taylor is studying Mechanical Engineering and plans to go into a graduate program soon after. For his research, he is working to develop image recognition technologies. One use of this technology would be for boats to sense coastlines. This is in hopes of having boats that can sense the level of the tide to know where to dock and keep a safe distance from the shore. This could be especially useful for autonomous cargo ships, as they would not need a large crew to operate. Taylor appreciates the opportunity IMMERSE-X gives him to research something he is truly interested in and wants more people at BYU-I to be aware of IMMERSE-X.  

In speaking about her experience so far, Yu-Jou shares that “All of the professors, students, and department secretaries I met were so kind and willing to help.” The faculty and students at BYU are thrilled to work alongside these brilliant minds who bring a fresh perspective.