New research award for a DTIC student Palacio, recent graduate in Biomedical Engineering, has obtained the award to the best scientific contribution by students at the recent Annual Congress of the Spanish Society of Biomedical Engineering (CASEIB 2016), for the work "Characterizing functional connectivity during rest in multiple sclerosis patients versus healthy volunteers using independent component analysis", supervised by Ralph Andrzejak and in cooperation with the company Mint Labs.


In this work, Laura applied Independent Component Analysis (ICA) as a statistical approach to compare the functional connectivity in the brain between multiple sclerosis patients and healthy volunteers. Such neuroimaging analysis was performed using the FMRIB Software Library (FSL), where FMRIB stands for Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain. Laura created a web user interface in Python and HTML/CSS using Flask, which allowed to classify the independent components of the analysis. Therefore, this enabled the correct identification of the resting-state networks.

A research-oriented education

The educational programs at DTIC at undergraduate and postgraduate level have a strong orientation to research, maximizing the opportunities for students to take part in the activities of the research groups at the department. This work has resulted in a number of awards received for their work at all educational levels. Some recent awards to students in the UPF engineering programs include at the undergraduate level the 2016 Gemma Rosell i Romero award for Biomedical Engineering students (Mariona Castrejón, Mar Hernández, Silvia Fernández and Glòria Macià) for joint work with Dr. Brugaletta at Clinic Hospital, supervised by Óscar Cámara; at master's level the award for the Best Master Thesis in Spain in Human-Computer Interaction awarded by the Spanish Association for HCI (AIPO) to Ciera Crowell for her work on full-body interaction to foster socialization among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, supervised by Joan Mora and Narcís Parés; or at the PhD level, the Distinguished Paper Award at the 25th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-16) for the work “Hierarchical Finite State Controllers for Generalized Planning”, carried out in the context of Javier Segovia Aguas' PhD project, supervised by Anders Jonsson; the Best Paper Award at CBMI2016, the 14th International Workshop on Content-Based Multimedia Indexing, to the article Experimenting with Musically Motivated Convolutional Neural Networks, with the PhD student Jordi Pons as first author, or Measuring Platform Effects in Digital Democracy, Best Paper Award at the Internet, Policy & Politics Conference for work by PhD student Pablo Aragón.

Our María de Maeztu Strategic Research Program aims at reinforcing these links between education and research with several initiatives, as the Research Assistantships offered to Master's students and by the development of several Bachelor's and Master's thesis in the context of its projects.

UPF educational programs in ICT

Undergraduate: Biomedical Engineering / Computer Engineering / Telecommunications Network Engineering / Audiovisual Systems Engineering