"Biomedical engineering provides me with a unique set of skills in problem solving and critical thinking. I have learned how to identify niche-specific problems in healthcare and develop solutions to improve the lives of many." Read more about Chelsea Stephens, Ph.D. Student
Hannah Childs, B.S. '18
Hometown: Seaville, NJ
Why did you choose Cornell?
I chose Cornell because of its insane combination of outdoor life, social groups and student activities, the beautiful campus, as well as the amazing course roster that Cornell has to offer. I really loved being able to do my work with friends outside on the quads or in the beautiful libraries on campus and take breaks by hiking around the Ithaca gorges. It really is a place like I have never experienced before, and I am so happy I made the decision to be an engineering student here!
Why did you choose to major in BME at Cornell?
Biomedical engineering, in my opinion, is the best major for a student eager to really learn about the human body and use their mind and problem-solving skills to affect the medical standards of treatment. I feel like in BME I get to experience all of the best parts of physiology and human health but from the macroscale to even the nanoscale perspective, and I am not limited to textbooks in my learning. BME is so current and innovative that I get to look toward the current literature and learn from the newest of sources. It is really amazing to be learning as the field itself grows.
What opportunities has the major given you so far?
BME really is a close-knit department, which gave me the opportunity to have one-on-one learning experiences from each and every one of the BME Professors that taught our classes. Each one seemed to take a personal interest in teaching us cool things or sharing their own BME passions to help explain a topic. It felt like they really had our backs and wanted to show us everything the field has to offer.
What was your favorite class at Cornell BME and why?
I think I have two favorite BME courses: Biomedical Signals and Systems taught by Prof. Adie and Principles of Drug Delivery taught by my PI Prof. Putnam. In both courses I think my knowledge and competence in BME increased a tenfold. Every class blew my mind with things I never thought I would be able to understand or apply in real world systems. Prof. Adie brought a guitar to class one time to help us learn audio signal processing of the ear canal. Both were super fun and kept me on my toes.
What clubs/organizations do you participate in at Cornell? Undergraduate BMES—Academic Chair COE—I used to be a rock climbing instructor and Rock Wall Czar for COE during my first few years here, it is a really great community/place to let off some steam!
Do you have any advice for other students considering research in Biomedical Engineering?
I think it’s extremely important to be aware of the bigger picture when it comes to doing research. Things may get frustrating at times, but knowing that what you do will have a major positive impact on the overall health and quality of life for people everywhere then everything gets easier and way more exciting. Also, don’t be afraid to learn new techniques and ask so many questions, it is the only way you get comfortable and succeed in the research world.
While at Cornell, what did you do for fun?
When it’s nice out I loved going to the Commons and enjoying all of the different Ithaca classic restaurants and cafés. Trivia at Ruloff’s is also my favorite Sunday night activities! I also loved playing tennis on the North campus tennis courts with friends!
I think I really just enjoyed every time my BME crew got together to study or do problem sets/lab reports when the material got pretty difficult or prelim season came around. They helped me realize how necessary it is to laugh through the challenging academic times with friends.
I will be pursuing my MS/PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University starting in the Fall of 2018!