Work by Gavin Behind The Scenes of a Rising Innovator

Google Software Engineering Internship in Mountain View, CA!

People who know me know that I’m a big fan of Google and all of the projects that people working there do. I like to think that I’m a fan of the future and the people that are making things that were once only science fiction into a reality for everyone in the world. That’s what drives me to Google, and this summer I got to return for another summer internship, this time at the Mountain View, CA location working on the awesomely fitting Medical Knowledge Research Team. When I applied saying that I would love to come back after college but only for a summer because I would be going off to Harvard Medical School in the Fall, someone found the perfect role for me and I loved it.

I can’t share too much about my actual work, but my team is doing cutting edge research on applications of machine learning in the medical field. I implemented an end-to-end Android app and corresponding web service for my project. I got to work through the process of going all the way from from an idea, through design and testing, to a demonstrable tool created to be easy to use and highly impactful. I learned a lot and developed my skills as a software engineer, a designer, and as an interviewer of future users of my project.

I made the most of my time at Google and scheduled a lot of lunches and meetings with awesome people there, including Dr. Kapil Parakh, MD, Dikembe Mutombo, and a reunion with Peter Norvig and Jeff Dean. I also got really involved with organizing events and lunches among the thousands of interns at Google and made a website internally which became pretty famous called go/intern-events where people could suggest events or lunches at a given time with a max attendees and people could sign up for them. It became a fun side project and through it I got to try out my first escape room with 12 other interns! I also was honored with being highlighted in an internal email digest as one of “eight interns with extraordinary backgrounds.” In addition to walking in the SF Pride Parade right after gay marriage legalization, the Darpa Robotic Search-and-Rescue International Competition, and and going home for the Fourth of July, this was a pretty amazing summer! Next up, Harvard Med!
Read more about Medical Knowledge at Google

Mayo Clinic Ventures Internship

When I was an intern at Medtronic, I learned that many of their devices and surgical tools were thought up by surgeons who had recognized a need from their operation experiences. I hope that as a doctor with a background in engineering, I too, will think of solutions if I become aware of unique needs. Even with a 2 hour commute, I am so glad to be working at Mayo Clinic Ventures in Rochester, MN for the 2014 summer. Mayo Clinic Ventures helps doctors develop their ideas and discoveries that will “truly transform healthcare.” I worked with innovative doctors to help develop their ideas by critically analyzing and verifying their merits while trying to evolve them into powerful applications.

Learn what MCV is doing

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute ABLE Volunteering

I have been volunteering in the summer of 2014 each week at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute to aid the participants of the ABLE program. The ABLE program is a unique research based fitness program to try and help people with severe spinal cord injury to regain function. Always working in teams of supporters, I help the patients do workouts like running on a treadmill or standing and stretching that they normally couldn’t. By working out and seeing themselves in a mirror, the hope is that this will retrain their neural connections. The research is funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation and I have greatly enjoyed working with and getting to know the ABLE patients.

Learn about ABLE

Hanging Out At My Google Kirkland Internship

In the summer of 2013, I had an amazing time interning at the Google Kirkland Campus on the Google+ Hangouts API team. I was there from May to early August and I became really good friends with my team as well as a lot of the other interns who stayed with me in the apartments near the office. When I got to Google, what would become my intern project was just an idea and I got to develop the idea into a full fledged feature which I got to ship for testing to the Huffington Post and Al Jazeera who gave me really positive feedback. I wrote around 5000 lines of javascript while I was at Google using the Closure library. Also, while I was at Google, I recieved a Peer Bonus from a Googler who said,

"Gavin is hands-down one of the Googley-ist interns I have ever met. He has taken so much initiative to get the Sea/Kir interns in touch with one another and creating community - something that is necessary and takes extra effort."
While I wasn't busy working on my project, I had the chance to hike around the Seattle area and a group of interns went to Vancouver by train for a weekend and stayed in a hostel! I would highly recommend Whirlyball to anyone who hasn't tried it. My team all went to play Whirlyball together one day and it was a blast. I also really enjoyed going on a thriftshop themed boat cruise with the other interns and also organizing an event for all the tech interns in the area which 70+ interns from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook came to!

UPDATE: My project was recently announced in a blog post here under the name "Control Room". It's so great to see what started as an idea turn into a full fledged feature.

Working With Monkeys In The Nicolelis Lab

Since the end of my freshman year at Duke, I've been involved in the Nicolelis Research Lab at Duke as an undergraduate volunteer. In the lab I get to work with Rhesus Macaques directly and I help to research the field of Brain-Machine Interfaces. This technology allows a monkey to control a computer or robot through brain control alone using neural electrodes. Also, the Nicolelis Lab is one of the few labs in the world which has been working on sending information back to the brain which is what I am really interested in. I'm really excited for what this Lab is working on and I am happy to help!

My Summer In The Core Technologies Division At Medtronic

During the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair in which I presented my device to help people with disabilities (see The CHAD), I was awarded the Medtronic Foundation Corporate Sponsor Award and was invited to tour the Medtronic World Headquarters. On my tour of the campus, I was amazed by the wealth of knowledge and amazing medical devices that Medtronic has developed. After my senior year of high school, I got a chance to intern at Medtronic in the Core Technologies division and I got to see first hand what it takes to produce life changing technology at scale while not sacrificing quality. I worked on many projects while there, including designing and fabricating a torsion testing apparatus for hyper-elastic metals as well as a testing workflow for using a high speed camera in conjunction with a tensile testing machine and subsequently analyzing the photos en masse using Matlab code that I wrote. I also got to talk with people like Dr. Mike Hess and Dr. Stephen Oesterle about their work and I received invaluable career advice. I also got to meet the outgoing CEO of Medtronic, Bill Hawkins, in person and I learned that he was a big fan of Duke! In my exit interview, my boss gave me the following evaluation,

"Outstanding worker, shows initiative and creativity in approaching and solving problems, outstanding level of technical competence, superb communication, time management and group coordination skills – mature beyond his years."