Doctoral Student Earns Award for Mentorship


Shuo Qin (right) with Berkner High Science teacher Paula Rilling.
Shuo Qin, a doctoral student and member of Dr. Chandramallika Basak’s lab at the Center for Vital Longevity (CVL), won the Best Graduate Student Mentor award for the Young Women in Science and Engineering (YWISE) Investigators program at UT Dallas.
Qin received the award at a special ceremony at the University, which featured a congratulatory address by Dr. Alicia Abella, vice president of advanced technology realization at AT&T.
During the nine-month YWISE program, Qin mentored three students from Berkner High School in Richardson. The students, two of whom will be attending UT Dallas in the fall, learned video game programming, and collected electroencephalography (EEG) data to evaluate brain responses to different levels of cognitive effort during game play.
Qin worked closely with the students on designing two games — one that focused on math, the other on memory. They then measured the amount of brain activity of nine subjects playing both games. The team found that the math game required more “effort” and generated more gamma waves when recorded by EEG than the memory game, Qin said.
“It’s amazing how motivated and involved the group of high school students was this past year,” Qin said. “They are doing more sophisticated things than I remember doing in my high school years.”
The YWISE program, in its seventh year, offers research and engineering experiences to high school students with the aim of increasing their interest in science, technology, engineering and math. It provides mentoring and support for more than 50 students from eight high schools in the Dallas area.
–Alex Lyda