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Scheduling Disasters

Update: To be fair, it turns out the advisers sent out an email about this a few days before registration started, with instructions about emailing them to avoid any problems on registration day.

I generally have a pretty high opinion of the CSE program here at the UW. Recently, however, a recurring problem has made me question the sanity of the advisers in the department. You see, the CSE department is in the middle of switching a set of requirements that doesn’t require CSE 303 to a set that does have that requirement. And they keep getting it wrong. Classes that shouldn’t have 303 as a prerequisite, because over half the students in the program didn’t have 303 as a requirement when they started in the program — myself included, keep showing up with 303 listed as a prereq. So this morning, despite my doing everything right, I wasn’t able to sign up for either of the two CSE classes I had planned. And now one of them is full, even though I was definitely there first.

I also try to be nice to the advisers when I send them a message about it. But its hard when they’ve had this problem before — last quarter and this quarter with other classes — but they keep screwing it up. Maybe its just too early, but COME ON PEOPLE GET IT RIGHT.

Musings On Spring 2007 Schedule

On Tuesday I get to choose my Spring 2007 classes. Once again the original plan didn’t work, so I want to work to find the next best alternative. The graduation plan page has been updated accordingly. Basically, EE 233 is getting pushed back, and I am considering 19 credits; otherwise 15.

Everything All At Once

I am busy these days. This long weekend is full of more work, but I am consciously taking some time off to do some important things. Like Blog. And hang out with the TRC leading into the Pre-ship event tomorrow. And watch a movie with friends. Somewhere in there I will write two lab reports, study for a test, finish a CSE project and start another, do some reading and some homework, and on and on…

Nevertheless, life is good :-)

Clinical Research Experience for Engineers

A big thanks to Chris Neils, Bioengineering Lab Instructor extraordinaire, and Rick James, the man who hired me at Microvision, for writing the recommendations that helped land me this opportunity!

February 2, 2007

Dear Ryan McElroy:

Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in the Clinical Research Experience for Engineers (CREE) program this summer. You will need to finalize your summer clinical-based project along with your two mentors (one bioengineering faculty member and one clinical faculty member). In addition, you should discuss with your mentors what the clinical components of your project will be. The ideal CREE project should address an unmet clinical need or problem and provide you with the opportunity to understand the flow of patients and data (images, analyses, charts, etc.) in the clinic, how medical decisions and diagnoses are made, how therapies are delivered, and how engineering can improve the clinic/hospital’s operation and/or patient outcomes. The majority of your summer should be spent in the clinic or clinical research labs, not in a bioengineering research lab. I would encourage you to discuss with your mentors which laboratories and/or clinics you will be using for your CREE project. I realize both clinical and bioengineering faculty members are extremely busy, so it is fine if one of their graduate students, post-doctoral fellows or staff provides the day-to-day mentoring for your project.

Based on your CREE application the CREE Steering Committee believes the project with Drs. Mark Holmes and Ceon Ramon would be a good match for your interests. I recommend you discuss this project further with them to ensure it will meet the guidelines listed in the previous paragraph. You will also need to identify a Bioengineering faculty mentor for this project. Some people to contact about this are Profs. Michael Regnier, Wendy Thomas and Eric Chudler. Also, when selecting your CREE project I urge you to consider expanding this project into your BIOEN 482 senior research project. However, this is not a requirement of the CREE program.

Please notify Mady Lund and myself no later than Friday, March 9, 2007 whether or not you will accept this offer to join the CREE program this summer. If you agree (which I hope is the case), you will also need to inform us by March 9, 2007 which project and mentors you have selected along with a brief description of the clinical components for your CREE project. CREE trainees will receive a 3-month stipend of $2739 and are expected to work at least 20 hours per week on their projects. The CREE grant will also provide $400 to purchase supplies for your CREE project. The starting date for the CREE traineeships will be Monday, June 11, 2007. There is also the possibility short trip to the Washington, D.C. area sometime during the 2007-2008 academic year to attend a training grant symposium at NIH. If NIH decides to hold this meeting, the CREE program will cover the travel expenses for this trip. We are currently working on the schedule for this summer’s CREE program. I have attached a copy of the schedule from last summer to give you an idea of the type of activities we schedule for CREE. We plan to have a meeting for all CREE students early in Spring quarter to provide you more details about this summer’s CREE activities. I will also send out updates via e-mail.

Again, congratulations on being selected to participate in CREE. Please let Mady or myself know if there is anything we can do to assist you in making your decision.


David G. Castner, CREE Program P.I.
Professor, Bioengineering & Chemical Engineering