Aiden McComiskey ‘23 

Aiden’s research created a model to map ECoG signals to text in order to help patients who have lost the ability to speak.

Why did you pursue this project?
I have always loved languages.  From the moment I was born, my mother was trying to get me to learn as many languages as possible.  As I grew up, this turned into an interest in learning various languages, and a general interest in the history and influence of languages themselves.  When I heard about this research field, I thought it was really interesting.  In a way, this could be the closest thing to a universal language that we have seen so far.

I heard about this field through an incident in my family.  A couple of years ago, a family member was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gherig’s disease.  This is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, so over time, he lost the ability to move, and eventually speak.  He then tried to get access to something called a “brain-computer-interface”, to try and restore some of his communicative abilities.  When I heard about this, I became very interested in trying to improve this technology to try and help restore peoples’ communication.

WESEF 2022: Second place in category