Arjun Narasimhan ’23 attended the recent high school competition at the Biomedical Engineering Society's (BMES) National Conference in Orlando, Florida, one of only 20 participants chosen to present in person. More than 5,000 conference attendees had the opportunity to view his presentation. Narasimhan says he “was proud to represent Gilman” as he met leaders in the field of biomedical engineering.
“My current research actually stemmed from my first robotics experience at Gilman on the sixth grade robotics team. Mrs. Nichols has been championing my love of robotics since then. The summer before ninth grade, my family and I visited the World Refugee Day Festival in Baltimore.
I contacted the organizers to see how I could share my passion for robotics with refugee teens. This led me to found an after-school robotics club for refugee students from the Congo. Every Thursday after school I would travel to Patterson High School in Baltimore to teach students how to build and program robots from the ground up (photos below). It was a very rewarding experience for me and the students alike until COVID-19 restrictions brought that to a halt.
Wanting to continue community service during restrictions, I volunteered at a COVID-19 testing site during the summer of 2020. Seeing the devastation that the second wave of COVID was causing in India, this time affecting children, led me to start the fundraising campaign. My team and I raised more than $11,000 and donated all the proceeds directly to those in need in India via a world-renowned nonprofit organization called SEWA.
Volunteering all summer at the testing site made me want to continue to understand our ongoing public health crisis. I looked up labs that were conducting bench and clinical research involving COVID. I reached out to the Pan Lab at the University of Maryland and applied for a research position that involved my interest in tech and science. In the fall of 2020, I was offered a project using Artificial Intelligence and CT scans to study cardiac complications in COVID-19 patients. In August of 2021, my lab director, Dr. Pan, suggested that I submit my research for a competition at the national conference of Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). It is a national conference and the competition for acceptance is quite stiff. I was thrilled to have received an acceptance letter in September to present my research in person at the national BMES conference in Orlando, Florida, October 6-9, 2021.”