MU electrical engineering major lands spot in MIT neuroscience summer program


Martha Gahl will be working with Brain and Cognitive Sciences Associate Professor Josh McDermott and graduate student Andrew Francl on a project that involves building a computational model for auditory localizations — i.e., how our brain can tell where sounds are coming from.

Last year, it was Carnegie Mellon. This year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mizzou electrical engineering and physics major Martha Gahl is racking up quite the list of summer study destinations.

MIT and the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines offer a unique 10-week Summer Research Program in Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience, and Gahl was one of the few selected to participate. The program brings together undergraduates from various science and engineering backgrounds to work in one of several labs on top-notch neuroscience research projects.

Gahl will be working with Brain and Cognitive Sciences Associate Professor Josh McDermott and graduate student Andrew Francl on a project that involves building a computational model for auditory localizations — i.e., how our brain can tell where sounds are coming from.

“I was asking about a good computational neuroscience program,” Gahl explained. “They told me to find a program that has good engineering, good medicine and good biology, and you’ll find people who are in that intersection. I started looking … and that came up.”

Gahl said that what she’s looking forward to the most is the opportunity to work at the intersection of students with neuroscience backgrounds, biology backgrounds, engineering backgrounds and more.

“The students are from all different fields, so you get to interact with a bunch of students you don’t normally get to interact with,” she said.

The summer program will give Gahl a unique perspective when she returns to MU in the fall. It will also set her up nicely to build off her eventual Mizzou Engineering degree as she moves into the neuroscience field.

“I want to do electrical engineering, but I think neuroscience is really fascinating, so my research when I’m in my Ph.D. program could focus on neuroscience in some aspect,” she said.



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