I received my Bachelor’s degree in physics from Stony Brook University in 2015. I was previously involved in research in particle physics, but I spent my junior summer in a neuroscience lab on a BRAIN initiative grant. After graduating, and spending a gap year as a software engineer at Kyruus, Inc. (a healthcare IT startup in Boston where I grew up), fond memories of that summer came back to me as I began to look for research opportunities in grad school.
The book “Gödel, Escher, Bach” by Douglas Hofstadter strongly pushed my academic interests towards neuroscience. Upon reading the book, I was struck by the assortment of academic and artistic fields in which particularly “elegant” work often involves some form of self-reference. For example, take Gödel numbering, Escher’s tessellations, or Bach’s counterpoint. As someone who was steeped in Bach’s music from a young age, that last example was particularly important to me, and my subsequent musings about musical counterpoint led to an interest in the neural representations of consonant vs dissonant polyphony, which survives today as my curiosity about the neural mechanisms underlying pitch perception, especially in response to “missing fundamental” sounds, which contain spectral energy only at nontrivial integer multiples of some fundamental frequency, yet have the same pitch as the fundamental alone.
When I’m not doing science, I enjoy rock climbing, skiing, cooking, Final Fantasy, listening to music (especially Bach), and playing the violin (especially Bach).