Student Spotlight: Deanna Socha

August 17, 2015

What type of exciting things are our students up to at the Centre?

Deanna Socha, an MHSc candidate from the University of Toronto IBBME Clinical Engineering program, is completing her thesis to evaluate a mobile electroencephalogram (EEG) platform and widen availability of data for mental health research. Let’s ask her a few questions about her experiences here.



1. What was the favourite part about working on your project?

I really enjoyed collaborating with people from different backgrounds and being challenged to attack problems in new ways. Whether I was brainstorming an issue, or chatting about my project with someone in the hallway, I always loved when someone would look at one of our approaches and say, “Why is it done that way – has anyone ever tried to do it this way?” – the outside perspective helped me develop a deeper understanding of the problem and always kept me questioning!


2. What was the least favourite part of your project? 

Going back and forth between the Centre and another lab across the city to do training and data collection – especially in the winter!


3. What was the most surprising, unexpected, or fascinating thing that happened while you were doing your project?

When we were discussing initial designs for an EEG headset, we anticipated having to work with various head shapes and sizes, but I never really noticed how much head shape varied from person to person!


4. Where is your favourite spot to wind down in the Centre? Why?

In the summer, I love heading outside for lunch or a break because it allows me to recharge and get in some sunlight. With that being said, the whole open space is very bright and enjoyable to come work in regardless of the season.


5. After you graduate, what’s one thing you would miss the most from the Centre?

The people! In addition to their many talents and passion, I will miss being able to ask where is the best “_____” food in Toronto and getting amazing recommendations every time.


Deanna has been working closely with Damon Pfaff (pictured) and Kevin Tallevi. Damon designs and creates the headset, while Kevin develops the hardware to process signals from the headset.