I’m currently a doctoral candidate in the MIT mechanical engineering department. My research interests lie within the field of deterministic design and control of precision machines, particularly as they apply to cutting processes and chatter.
My Ph.D research objective is to enable larger volumes of synaptic-resolution brain maps, which would allow neuroscientists to better understand the mammalian brain structure and better understand the origins of cognitive function and pathology. Larger volumes are enabled by removing one of the current impediments to scaling the process up: simply attempting to scale the process up to larger volumes results in chatter (an unstable vibration of the cutting tool), and by studying the cutting mechanics of the resin-embedded brain tissues we aim to understand the process enough to be able to overcome the chatter issues incurred when scaling the cutting process up. To characterize the cutting process, I’ve designed a cutting instrument with force sensors and a microscope which enables me to observe the cutting as it takes place, while measuring forces in three directions.
In the past I’ve also been involved in some of the campus maker efforts. I’ve been at MIT for a decade now, as an undergrad and now as a graduate student, and I’ve had the opportunity to use various of MIT’s makerspaces and machine shops. I’ve experienced them as both a user and for some of them as an instructor/supervisor/helpful dude, in particular as a long-time MIT Hobby Shop member and as the president of the recently-formed MIT Makerworkshop.
My hobbies include cooking, baking, woodworking, metal scraping, guitar, and video games.
Contact: aeram00 at mit dot edu