Some of the most memorable, attention-grabbing ads and shows on TV today are optimized using advanced neuroanalytics to create content that consumers will respond to. Florida Polytechnic University senior Chelsea Reeves has spent her summer helping improve that process as a Neuroanalytics Engineer in the Big Apple.
“It’s been absolutely wonderful,” said Reeves, an electrical engineering major. “I wanted an internship in exactly what I wanted to do, and that is simply a mix of electrical engineering – taking the hardware side of things – and incorporating that into a neuroscience perspective.”
She found the perfect marriage of these two passions at SPARK Neuro, a New York-based neuroanalytics company that measures emotion and attention to optimize advertising and entertainment.
Reeves has been working with electroencephalogram (EEG) machines and other high-tech equipment to collect data from test subjects and analyze it for clients.
“I’m taking what I’ve learned at Florida Poly and incorporating it into a whole different type of company,” the Jacksonville, Florida, native said.
Her interest in neuroscience was evident this spring when she was part of a team that won the annual Great Eight entrepreneurship pitch competition at the University with a plan for a consumer device that uses EEG signals to read a user’s mental state and inform mental health solutions.
In addition to her internship’s data collection and analysis duties, Reeves has been working on creating a new EEG prototype for the company and helping to reduce noise that is present during the data collection process.
“Chelsea brings a different perspective to our company,” said Roshni Lulla, Senior Neuroanalytics Engineer at SPARK and Reeves’ supervisor. “It’s so unique because everyone here has a neuroscience or data science or psychology background, and I don’t think any of us realized how valuable it was to have an electrical engineering background.”
Lulla said internships like this one also help students learn about career possibilities in startups and in industries they may have never considered.
Reeves said Florida Poly’s coursework has been a big advantage throughout her internship.
“I’ve definitely been sneaking the skills I learned in my classes at Florida Poly into the workplace,” she said. “The classes give you a way to think about something from all angles and come up with a variety of ideas in order to come up with one solution.”
She plans to graduate from Florida Poly in December and is interested in continuing at SPARK Neuro before eventually pursuing a master’s degree.
“It is completely up to me to succeed in my life. Florida Poly has helped me get to my dreams, but it’s up to me what I do from here on out,” said Reeves, who has been involved in many University organizations, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Rotaract Club, and the Campus Activities Board. “But I always know that I can go back there, and people will be willing to help me.
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