Forrest Hippensteel, an electrical engineering junior and physics minor, gave a presentation at the 54th Biophysical Society meeting in San Francisco on Feb. 20 . The presentation was titled “Optimizing Image Analysis for Subwavelength Fluorescence Microscopy with PALM and STORM.” He received a student research award from the Fluorescence subgroup of the Biophysical Society and $100.
The Biophysical Society is an organization of biophysicists, and the Fluorescence subgroup includes people who focus on applying fluorescence techniques to problems in biology. More than 300 people attended the meeting.
Hippensteel says his experience at the meeting was positive and the presentation was a success, as several people commented saying, “I get it now!”
For the past two years, Hippensteel has been working with Professor Alex Small on building better image-processing algorithms. The focus of his research is to come up with new methods of analyzing microscopic images that allow scientists to “see” very small features that wouldn’t be visible with conventional approaches. He describes it as “building the next generation of optical microscopes.”
Hippensteel is drafting research papers he helps to publish. When asked why he is working on this research subject, he replied: “I like to solve problems. If they are hard, then that is even better. I spend a lot of my free time thinking about it.”