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Yao Wins First Place at Georgia Tech 3MT Competition

Jingting Yao won first place at the Georgia Tech Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, held on November 13, 2017. A Ph.D. student in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Yao was one of 10 doctoral students and three master’s students to compete in the final round of the competition.

Yao’s presentation, entitled "Enhanced Diagnostic Cardiac Imaging with Lower Risks," addresses detecting heart disease, the leading cause of death globally. The current gold standard to assess coronary arteries is an invasive, cardiac catheterization where a catheter is inserted into the blood vessels surrounding the heart while x-ray images are taken. A non-invasive alternative is computed tomography angiography (CTA), which images the heart externally, but is however challenged by the need to capture clear cardiac images with low radiation exposure while the heart is in motion.

Co-advised by a Georgia Tech ECE Professor Pamela Bhatti and Emory University Radiology and Imaging Sciences Professor Srini Tridandapani, Yao is working to improve the quality of diagnostic information while also reducing patients’ exposure to radiation during CTA. To pursue this goal, she applies novel hardware and signal processing methods to fuse electrical (electrocardiogram) and mechanical (seismocardiogram) features to achieve cardiac CTA imaging using patient-specific information.

A contest developed by the University of Queensland, 3MT aims to develop academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports students’ abilities to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience in a three-minute timeframe. 3MT does not “water down” research, but requires students to consolidate their ideas and concisely explain their research discoveries.