HEALTH AND TECHNOLOGY. On May 9, students and supervisors will gather for the sixth Master’s Thesis Fair in Health and Technology. Meet former Chalmers University of Technology students Felix Ericsson and Alma Lund, who did their master’s thesis project on how stress affects blood pressure in the brain.
“It is almost impossible to find a better project for a master’s thesis than the one we chose,” according to Felix Ericsson. “It was a perfect choice for what I wanted to do as a student, a reality-based project where I felt we could make a difference. It was also very exciting to work with data from brain images.”
High blood pressure and stress
Working on the project in autumn of 2021, Felix Ericsson and Alma Lund classified brain imaging data derived from magnetoencephalography (MEG) using healthy subjects exposed to stress. This is part of an extensive line of research that Professor Mikael Elam’s team has been working on for 20 years, with the long-term goal of preventing high blood pressure.
“Using image analysis based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, we have investigated whether it was possible to find new patterns in the data that the usual statistical methods might have missed. Such a classification of blood pressure-related signals could lead to an alternative method for assessing whether a person is at risk of developing long-term high blood pressure caused by stress,” says Alma Lund.
The master’s thesis was a major step forward in attempts to use machine learning in the project. Ericsson and Lund concluded that the technology has the potential to provide high reliability, and they proposed ways for moving the project forward.
New avenues for research
We meet at the Gothenburg office of the large consulting company Syntronics, where both Ericsson and Lund now work as engineers and machine learning experts. The company also served as an industry partner when they did their master’s thesis. Their supervisor at the University of Gothenburg was Justin Schneiderman, an associate professor at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology.
“You cannot know the potential of a technology until you try it. This provided an opportunity for us to understand where machine learning could take us. We didn’t have extremely high hopes because we knew that our data is limited, but collaboration on the thesis project has helped us broaden our research and find new avenues to explore,” says Schneiderman.
From student to supervisor
The master’s thesis project by Lund and Ericsson was the third conducted in collaboration with Kevin Andersson at Syntronic and Justin Schneiderman. Now that a fourth thesis project is beginning, Ericsson and Lund are serving as supervisors at the company.
“For our project, we used the limited data available. In the new project, the student will try to enhance the data by artificially filling in the material to see if more can be extracted from it. Exactly which direction the project takes depends on what the student wants to do,” says Lund.
New opportunity on May 9
The sixth Master’s Thesis Project Fair in health and technology will be on May 9. The fair takes place at the Wallenberg Conference Centre from 13:00 to 17:00. Potential supervisors from the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers, and Sahlgrenska University Hospital need to submit their projects by April 14. During the fair, students can find out about the projects, ask questions, and speak directly with supervisors.
More information and application: https://akademiliv.se/2023/01/88842/
BY: ELIN LINDSTRÖM