What sort of research are you doing? I am conducting research analyzing electroencephalographical (EEG) data in order to find and establish trends between humans under specific testing conditions.
How long have you been doing this research? What inspired you to become involved/ how did you become involved? My mentor, Dr. Fow-sen Choa, presented me with the opportunity to conduct research with him at the end of my Sophomore year and I have been working with him since then. I was interested in obtaining research experience in order to learn if it was something I wanted to do professionally.
Is this your first research project? This is my first full-time research project. I have also conducted research at Clemson University and the University of Maryland, College Park.
How much time do you spend doing research? While working with Dr. Choa, I have been able to work flexible hours, working in and outside of the lab, so I would say I spend about 4-5 hours a week doing research.
Are you collaborating with any other students or faculty members? I am working under the tutelage of Dr. Choa and have worked with a few other researching undergraduates in the past.
Do you plan to become involved in URCAD? Or, are you being supported by any scholarships or fellowships? I participated in URCAD last semester being a URA scholar, and I will also be participating again this coming April, supported again by URA.
What is the best part of your research so far? The best part has been learning about how research is conducted. Learning more about the process gives me a better idea of what graduate school may be like and how to work alongside a faculty mentor.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced while doing research so far? The biggest obstacle has been learning more about neurological reactions and how they occur in the brain.
What do you hope to achieve with this research? I hope that by the end of the research, Dr. Choa and I have established a basis on which research can be continued discovering how the brain acts in a general manner amongst all human beings. Although this research has a large scope, establishing a methodology of experimentation and analysis would help the process.
Do you feel like this research is preparing you for post-college plans? It definitely is. As I said earlier, the research experience is giving me a better idea of what graduate school may be like, if I decide to go down that path, and that seems likely because I have enjoyed my time working with Dr. Choa on our projects.
What are your plans after graduation? I am currently in the process of applying to graduate schools across the country as well as learning about career opportunities so I hope to have a definitive answer to this question soon.
*Sheriff was interviewed in October 2011.