Academic/career interests recap

In the last posts before the recap, I had just graduated from college and was getting ready for graduate school. I wasn’t very specific yet in what I wanted to do. I knew I was interested in applied Mathematics and Statistics, but I wasn’t completely sure how to wrap Computer Science and Statistics up. I took a Statistics course my first term of graduate school, and after finishing, I spoke with the professor of the course, Dr. Amin. He asked me if I had already chosen a major, because he was looking for perspective students to give a scholarship to. I told him I was in the Computer Science program and I also had an interest in Statistics. He said I should try to talk to Dr. Sutton in the Biology department. When I searched around and discovered the Medical Informatics program at UWF. A little personal research lead me to learn what Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics were about, and how they could wrap up all my skills in Computer Science and Statistics. At that time, I was planning to finish my master’s degree in December 2008, but after talking to Dr. Sutton and Dr. Mbizo, I decided to work toward the Medical Informatics certificate and delay my graduation until May 2009. Most of my Computer Science courses featured some sort of term paper and project that was open ended. I used those projects to focus on Biomedical Informatics topics as related to Computer Science. In Artificial Intelligence, I focused on Bioinformatics; in Advanced Programming Languages, I focused on R; in Advanced Topics, I focused on gene mapping; in Data Mining, I focused on ClustalW and AntiClustAl; and for my Master’s Project, I’ve been working on a Marine Bioinformatics problem with image processing of x-rays of food passage of stingrays. My interest in Biomedical Informatics also prompted me to finish the certificate in Database Systems, which Bioinformatics makes use of. An area I may want to be more involved in is the idea of effectively using genetic profiles in electronic medical records, an area which would combine Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics.
I also came to a decision to pursue a PhD in either Medical Informatics, Bioinformatics, or Computational Biology. I applied to two schools, UNC-Charlotte and FSU. UNCC rejected me, saying they had no seats left. FSU accepted me with a stipend and tuition waiver. Starting this fall, I plan to attend FSU in pursuit of a PhD in Computational Science specializing in Biological Sciences. I am graduating from the Medical Informatics certificate and master’s in Computer Science in a week. It is kind of funny in that, when you know another program is right around the corner, you don’t really think about the fact that you’re about to finish a master’s degree.
Since Julie is also planning to go to law school to study environmental law at Florida Coastal in Jacksonville, we plan to move to Live Oak and commute to the two schools. Hopefully everything will work out. It is going to be tough, and I’ve predicted about 66 hours per week spent on school (including driving and studying).
By the way, eventually I will expand the About Me section to include my courses again.