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2010 - Brina Goyette

Brina Goyette prefers the “hands-on” applications of computer science research.  That inclination has led her to design algorithms that control robotics for “hands-off” heart surgery.

The Heartlander, a robot designed at Carnegie Mellon for minimally invasive surgical procedures on the heart’s surface, is guided to the location for therapy using a magnetic tracking system and a 3D model generated from patient CT scan data. Brina has contributed to the algorithms that aid this visualization, as well as developing an algorithm for controlling the device’s locomotion to travel as efficiently as possible to the site of treatment on the heart.

Brina is a longtime percussionist and former participant and instructor for the Red Deer Royals marching band of Alberta, Canada. In pursuit of an undergraduate degree in music, Brina found that she enjoyed her computer science coursework and chose to make a career of it, and specifically, to investigate robotics. Brina’s interest in robotics extends to service as RoboCzar of RoboOrg, the graduate student organization at Carnegie Mellon.

A recipient of the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Canadian Graduate Scholarship, Brina also was one of a select group of 50 invited to the biennial Summer School in Surgical Robotics in Montpellier, France.  Brina intends to continue her work on Heartlander upon graduation from Carnegie Mellon with a master’s in Computer Science.