Science and Health Advocacy
If we consider society a control system, advocacy is the feedback signal that informs the optimal control policy. Don’t speak up and the important information you have about the internal state of society remains unknown. That’s a recipe for disaster.
During my PhD training I gained a deep appreciation for advocacy as an important tool to maximize the impact of both science and patient care. Personally, it also taught me how to be a positive force in a team and how to be an effective leader. Ultimately, these experiences directly helped me become a more effective physician-engineer.
Graduate Student Government
Working together with a diverse group of colleagues is an important step in being a fully capable academic researcher and clinician. During my graduate years I found myself getting more and more involved in the GSGA of both Emory and GeorgiaTech.
- A profile of our leadership team at GeorgiaTech GSGA link
- Some articles covering our work at Emory GSGA link
Congressional representatives are surrogates for our decision-making. Without our input, they make decisions that are far from closed-loop. In the fall of 2017 there was a unique challenge placed in front of American graduate students: a tax on money they never see. Through efforts spanning Atlanta, Georgia, and the US at large, we worked to fix the problem in the GOP Tax Bill that would have taxed the tuition waivers of graduate students. I was particularly interested in fixing this given the MD/PhD program here can enroll us at both GeorgiaTech and Emory, a total tuition waiver of approximately 80k USD on a stipend of about 30k USD… Imagine being taxed at 110k USD as a graduate student…
- CNN segment where I contributed a small quip about what graduate students do link
The Mathematical Model
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have some mathematical model for the importance of advocacy. In this project, I’m working on better understanding the roles of both top-down and bottom-up control.
- Diffusion Network - A playground to play with different distributed vs centralized control schemes in the context of gradient diffusion. @Github
- Instabilities in top-down control - I’m very interested in how top-down control can lead to alternating ‘high performance’ and ‘destabilization’ events. This has applications across neuroscience, medicine, politics, and economics. So my goal here is to build a model that ties these things together. stay tuned