August 2022 Alumni Spotlight - Yasmin Karasu Benyes '21 ScM'22
Yasmin Karasu Benyes was a 5th year Master’s student in Biomedical Engineering. She completed her Sc.B in Computer Engineering in 2021. She conducted research with Dr. Tripathi where she continued to pursue her interests in using machine learning to solve biomedical issues.
1. What kind of research did you do during your undergraduate studies?
I published a paper with a physician at Rhode Island Hospital on using machine learning to predict patient outcomes for patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). I then worked in Dr. Tripathi’s microfluidics and diagnostics lab on one of their industry projects to develop software that controls a device that they were building.
2. Did you continue to do the same type of research for your master's thesis?
I continued in the Tripathi lab during my master's, but this time I had my own project and thesis on cervical cancer diagnostics using deep learning. I’m still in the process of publishing this one.
Update: The study was published soon after this interview!
Karasu Benyes, Y., Welch, E.C., Singhal, A., Ou, J. and Tripathi, A., 2022. A Comparative Analysis of Deep Learning Models for Automated Cross-Preparation Diagnosis of Multi-Cell Liquid Pap Smear Images. Diagnostics, 12(8), p.1838.
3. Why did you switch over to BME?
I majored in Computer Engineering as an undergrad but realized I was more interested in the biomedical application than the computers themselves. The skills I learned in undergrad were a tool for me to design biomedical devices.
4. Why did you decide to stay at Brown for your master's, and when did you know that you wanted to do the 5th year program?
I applied to many grad school programs all over the country including Brown. I spent most of my senior year prepping for the GRE and writing applications, but in the end, I really liked my time here as an undergrad, and I had an invitation to join in on the start of a very interesting project that would only be possible if I stayed. There were definitely the added bonuses of not having to relocate and only doing a 1 year program.
5. What were the main challenges of doing your master's thesis in one year? Did you take classes for both semesters?
I took 2 classes and a research credit each semester. The courses themselves were challenging, but I was careful in what I chose to avoid overloading my schedule so I could have enough time for research. The biggest challenge is coming up with a thesis idea and completing it in one year. I had never been in a position of coming up with my own innovative idea so it took me a while to find the right project and mentor. I didn’t start until November and was still waiting on final data 2 weeks before the deadline.
6. What are your plans after graduation?
I’m working as the CTO of a startup in Providence that develops new pharmaceutical solutions for people with dementia.