Valerie Ann Pérez Medina
Attendee ’20 ● University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez ’22
I learned programming languages like MATLAB that have helped me in classes and allowed me to analyze data in a project I recently started. Tools like this will help me become a better engineer, scientist, and researcher. I treasured meeting grad students, undergraduates, and faculty from different backgrounds and sharing stories about overcoming obstacles. These experiences taught me that, with perseverance, I can achieve my goals.
Attendee ’19 ● University of Maryland, Baltimore County ’21
I learned different ways to analyze and visualize large amounts of data, various statistical analysis methods, as well as basic deep learning to look for trends. My favorite part was meeting researchers currently working at MIT during the small group sessions. I got exposure to the kinds of research other people are working on, and had the opportunity to ask people who are where I want to be (in terms of career path) how they got there, so that I am more prepared for my future as a researcher.
Nadja M. Maldonado Luna
Attendee ’19 ● University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez ’21
I was already familiar with MATLAB as it applies to engineers, and during the workshop I learned that this programming tool can also be used to analyze and solve problems in biology. I left with valuable skills that I will use in my research, which will make my data analysis much easier and more organized. I also enjoyed networking with faculty. They come from interdisciplinary backgrounds, and talking to them helped me gain a sense of confidence and belonging, reaffirming my academic aspirations and showing me that they’re possible.
Daniela Aguilar Garcia
Attendee ’19 ● Florida International University ’20
The new skills I gained in this workshop are invaluable. It showed me how computer science could be helpful, and in some cases absolutely necessary, to validate and facilitate many different fields of research in biology. Specifically, I learned how to use MATLAB, which complements my other programming languages and will help me in lab. My favorite part of the workshop was getting to meet the amazing faculty at MIT, and having one-on-one conversations with them. It was a truly memorable experience.
Instructor ’17 ● Post-QMW: Master’s student, University of Oxford
The Quantitative Methods Workshop was an incredible experience. I was able to design and teach a workshop on Python, and test strategies for communicating these ideas in a way that resonates with students from many different fields: computer science, chemistry, biology, etc. One student even emailed me after and said the workshop inspired them to enroll in an introductory programming course. These things make the experience so rewarding, and I look forward to teaching again at the 2018 workshop.
Attendee ’16 ● Post-QMW: Research Assistant, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
The workshop was an incredible experience. I was able to meet and network with amazingly bright and motivated students, and the intense, fast paced program ensured we all made the most of our time while fostering teamwork. I was exposed to the programming languages used in MatLab, ImageJ, and Python. During a fellowship that same year, I used my newfound skills to write a program and analyze dozens of z-stacks efficiently — allowing my team to draw important conclusions from the work I had been doing.
Lorraine De Jesús-Kim
Attendee ’14, ’15 ● Post-QMW: PhD student, MIT Biology
The workshop introduced me to multiple quantitative tools and programs. I had never used these tools before, and I didn’t know they could be applied so extensively across so many areas of biology. By explaining how they use these programs in their own research, the instructors gave me a concrete idea about how to analyze my own scientific results, and I later applied to grad school at MIT. I currently study protein-protein interactions using MATLAB — thanks to the workshop, this program is no longer intimidating!
Mónica Quiñones Frías
Attendee ’14 ● Post-QMW: PhD student, MIT Biology
I didn’t have any computational biology experience before the workshop, which allowed me to explore different aspects of the field in a matter of days. I learned MATLAB, and I also learned to use ImageJ to analyze the intensity of different fluorescent proteins in an image. I continue to use these same techniques today to analyze the images I take with confocal microscopes as part of my research in the Littleton lab.
The workshop allowed me to network with MIT professors and students; I got advice about how to apply to MIT, listened to talks, and was introduced to the scientific literature. I also got a basic introduction to programming and realized how useful it is in biological research. Now, as a grad student in the Littleton lab, I use fruit flies to study changes in connections in motor neurons due to neuronal activity — research which requires programming for image analysis.