Published April 3, 2017
by Christian Miller
At UB, Sanjee Choudhery became inspired to work in two distinct fields—computer engineering and neuroscience—and found that she didn't need to choose one over the other.
Her first step toward discovering this novel combination was as an undergraduate teaching assistant for Carl Alphonce and Kris Schindler. "They were really different experiences. With Kris I did upper-level courses and with Carl I did 100-level courses. It's really cool to see how the students have grown in just one to two years. They're much better at figuring out their work so they're not staying up all night."
During her junior year, she joined the Brain Connectivity project at Buffalo General Hospital, sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (CURCA) and led by UB neurologist Michael Dwyer.
"It was very interdisciplinary: biologists, people who knew how to code, computer science people. It combined computer science and neurology. I worked with MRI data for multiple sclerosis patients. I'd like to continue that or do something similar in the medical field."
Sanjee, who is from Clifton Park, N.Y., also found it easy to find her place in CSE. "UB is such a big campus, but computer science is a well-knit community if you choose to be a part of it. It's not only certain groups of people with certain GPAs who can get involved."
She herself has volunteered as UB Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) chapter vice president, '15-16; American Association of University Women (AAUW) Tech Savvy volunteer; and UB Hacking '16 co-director, with Meg Arnold.
"UB Hacking was a good event to network and meet other students who you could possibly collaborate with and make cool stuff. I'm computer engineering, so I'm very good at hardware stuff, and I met people who are very good at software stuff. In fact, that's how I met some of my current friends. I was a sophomore, so I hadn't been exposed to Python, C++. We got to work with a Raspberry Pi."
Additionally, Sanjee has served as captain of an Indian fusion dance team, mixing traditional styles with western styles. Competing for the Indian Student Association, her team's 40-member tribute to Mahatma Gandhi won UB's 2016 International Fiesta dance competition. "The event is a great way to celebrate and explore cultures around the world represented at UB," she said.
Sanjee is heading to Stony Brook in Fall '17 to pursue her MS in Computer Engineering. Eventually, she wants to earn her PhD and work in interdisciplinary research.