Formaldehyde Wishes and Skeleton Dreams

And just like that, the first semester of the Biomedical Visualization program has drawn to a close.  What else can be said that hasn't already been perfectly captured in every 80's era/John Hughes/coming-of-age/summer vacation film?  What a white-knuckled thrill ride it has been!  All  I need to do now  is wrap this bad boy up by winning a downhill  skiing competition on one leg.

We finished it all up with a day of presentations, where all of the current BVIS students had the opportunity to share what they have been working this semester.  Even though all of the first year students had the same assignments, it was awesome to see how each student interpreted them and achieved such different, unique results.  The progress arc was impressive too - everyone entered with a background in art, but by the end of the semester the projects looked like professional medical illustrations.  The sheer volume of work we all had to produce was an impressive feat in itself, but being able to see the amount of progress each student made is a true testament to the dedication of the students, faculty, and staff in the Biomedical Visualization program.

The work that the second year students presented was incredible!  After the first semester of the program, the range of classes opens up quite a bit.  Each student hand picks classes specific to their area of interest, which results in an enormous amount of variety in the work they show.  Aside from a  few standard classes that everyone takes (one  of  which  is a surgical illustration course which looks AWESOME), the coursework really branches  out, heading into 3D modeling,  animation, illustration, anaplastology,  haptics and virtual reality,  app and game design…the list goes on.  The work that the second years showed was really impressive and I’m eager to see what next semester looks like, especially with the haptics class!  The possibilities of what can be done with this technology are astounding, especially with regard to developing interactive teaching and learning tools for the medical field.  Developing this technology is going to revolutionize the field of medicine, and having the opportunity to be a part of it is extremely exciting and encouraging.

The first semester of grad school is over and I made it through the hazing period relatively unscathed.  The smell of formaldehyde is beginning to dissipate and the feverish dreams of dissection are slowly retreating into the deep recesses of my mind.  And in this moment of calm betwixt semesters, I look forward to further exploring the frigid, industrialized terrain that is the great city of Chicago.  Present to me your grand and wondrous secrets, Hog Butcher!