Student and Alumni News

Interns in the Weill Cornell Medicine/RLab internship program will work on a tool to identify areas in the US where COVID-19 symptoms are emerging.

Macaulay Honors College today announced a plan for student interns in the college’s RLab program to be redeployed to assist in a national COVID-19 monitoring effort.

Starting immediately, Seniors Tanja Miketic (City College) and William Zeng (Baruch College) will join a dedicated team at the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine (EIPM) at Weill Cornell Medicine. They will remotely assist in the development of mobile friendly tools and AI Voice Assistant skills for the EIPM COVID-19 Risk Survey, a research tool that detects the disease’s impending hotspots throughout the US.

The students had initially been selected to work on a virtual reality project, which began with the Spring 2020 semester, but are enthusiastic about having the opportunity to assist during the state’s health crisis. “I am humbled to assist Weill Cornell Medicine’s COVID-19 team,” said Miketic. “We will be using data from surveys of self-reported symptoms in the United States to try to identify areas of outbreaks before they occur, in an effort to anticipate the needs of the healthcare system.”

Data gathered by the EIPM team at Weill Cornell Medicine is publicly available so that it may be used for related life-saving scenarios such as identifying medical supply and service support needs at multiple locations.

“I hope to help the data analysis efforts and also assist on the web development front, where we will also be creating a mobile app in order to make the survey more user-friendly and accessible,” explained Zeng.

“The extraordinary abilities of Macaulay’s student body is becoming a proven resource for this world crisis,” commented Macaulay New Media Lab Director Robert Small, who pilots the Macaulay RLab partnership.

“The goal of the RLab Macaulay Honors College internship is for students to gain real-world experience in emerging technology fields. Our collaboration with EIPM is powerful because it also provides students with an unprecedented opportunity to use their skills to address a real-world problem,” said Alexis Seeley, Director of Education and Opportunity programs at RLab.  Participating students receive fellowship funding for their work through Macaulay’s Opportunities Fund.

“The addition of Macaulay students will help speed enhancements to the EIPM COVID-19 Risk Survey, now when it is most urgently needed,” added Alexandros Sigaras, Assistant Professor of Research in Physiology and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine and one of the key Principal Investigators leading this research.

The wider public is strongly encouraged to participate daily in the anonymous survey and see the data simply by visiting https://covid19.eipm-research.org