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Gautam Chebrolu: Seizure Prediction for an EEG- and EKG-Based System

Interview with BME/ECE major and Pratt Research Fellow Gautam Chebrolu

  • Major: Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Project: Seizure Prediction for an EEG- and EKG-based System
  • Advisor: Professor Leslie M. CollinsGautam Chebrolu

How did you know you wanted to go into engineering?

When I was applying to schools I was interested in international relations, so I was initially considering doing a major between BME and international global studies or international cultural studies, because I was interested in understanding different types of perspectives and integrating them into something new. I chose engineering because I truly believe that I could get the skills of engineering and apply them in different ways, and I thought it would be best to get that skillset first and expand my knowledge of thought.

How did you decide which project to pursue for Pratt Fellows?  

When I originally applied to Pratt Fellows the projects I was interested were all under Leslie Collins’s name, and they were all about signal processing, but then I met with her and she told me about other projects she was involved in. I previously shadowed a neurologist, so I was interested in the brain-computer interface already, but when she had a project that was focused on seizure prediction, I jumped on the chance to work on that.

How did you hear about the Pratt Fellows Program?

Before I had even committed to Duke I actually reached out to someone who connected me to his friends who were in BME and were Pratt Fellows, and then I pursued it junior year. It was an opportunity for me to get experience in a nationally recognized lab, and it just ensured that I was really taking advantage of these great opportunities that were available at Duke.

Is there any experience you had at Duke that stands out to you?

My original goal was to do engineering, but to do it in a different context than you would normally experience. One of the things I was inspired by was Engineering World Health, which was another organization that I was involved with. It really forced me to reimagine how we view donating medical devices to low-income countries, because while we think we may be saving a bunch of other people by giving them medical equipment, we should understand their point of view and resources to help them build their own products. It’s all about understanding different points of view and a different way of thinking about the world.