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JOCELYN SHEN
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ABOUT ME

Photo of Me

Hi! My name is Jocelyn, and I'm currently a freshman at MIT pursuing a major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science along with two minors: one in Brain and Cognitive Science, and the other in Economics. I'm passionate about technology, machine learning, and computational neuroscience. The driving question behind my research and my projects is: how can we use technology to better understand ourselves? I hope to use my knowledge in CS and machine learning to better understand human behavior, memory, and dreaming, and I want to eventually contribute to causes related to mental disability, education, and assistive technology. Aside from my work, I enjoy painting, writing, playing guitar, and hanging out with my dog, Pebble.

SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

Python

Machine Learning

Data Science

Java

MATLAB

HTML/CSS

SQL

RESEARCH

Evolutionary Convergence in Vascular Branching

This paper uses statistical and machine learning methods to better understand vascular branching traits in plants and mammals. We explore methods to distinguish between networks from gymnosperms, angiosperms, mouse lung, and human head and torso data collected from vessel image extraction technology. Given the immense importance of vascular networks in everyday function, understanding traits that distinguish these complicated structures from one another is of immense importance.
Submitted to Nature, Second author
Source code available here

WRITING

ON TECH

Machines and Medicine - The Tech (MIT newspaper)

Artificial intelligence is beginning to cement itself as a useful tool for researchers and engineers alike, and it has the potential to become a new addition to the health professional’s toolkit. There are a number of groups at MIT that are exploring the immense potential benefits that artificial intelligence can bring to the healthcare industry. Ranging from diagnostics solutions to making unbiased algorithms, MIT researchers across campus are working to provide new technologies and insights into the future of AI in healthcare.
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Open Source and Diversity (2018)

Richard Stallman created the Free Software Foundation in 1984 with the vision that a community of people could share ideas with one another and create a social movement. Stallman describes this social movement as one that combats the injustices of proprietary software, which he calls “a part of a power struggle between common citizens and the powerful forces of society — a class struggle.”
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NOVELS

Time Zone

Juneau is a mess. From the outside, she has it all together: she is smart, warm, and well-liked. But behind closed doors, she lets all the pent-up emotions flood out.
Haiden is her best friend. He’s her rock, and he’s also absolutely off-limits.
Caught in the midst of turbulence back home and at school, Juneau struggles to uncover her own identity as the voices around her are so disharmonious. The only thing that helps her drown out the noise is Haiden. There’s just one problem: he’s moving to the other side of the world in three months.
But with a heart full of hope, she wonders if perhaps their love can withstand every time zone.
Coming soon...

Idle Winds

Veda is exactly what the Council is looking for: she's cold, detached, and most importantly, wealthy. Senator Darth has just passed the Restoration Act, which the government claims to be a purification of society. But Veda knows what it really means: The Council is trying to rewrite history. In the midst of it all, Veda must hide the one secret that might prevent her election: her blind and faithful love for the past. In an effort to protect and preserve the one thing the Council is set on destroying, Veda joins the Revolutionists, led by Haiden Alexander, a witty and charming technician who helps Veda reveal the underlying corruption and class-driven discrimination deeprooted in the Council. Veda is torn between the two sides of the war, and while she may fight with strength, her efforts might just be idle winds.
Coming soon...

ESSAYS AND SHORT STORIES

Between Barbed Wire: A Visual Analysis of TIME's Welcome to America (2018)

A series of rafts float closer to shore, near the Rio Grande on United States territory. The riders’ faces are beaten and their hair mangled and sweaty. Most, if not all of them, are women and children. Driving out, photojournalist John Moore sees more than a dozen asylum seekers. Among them, a pair of figures stands out: A mother clutches her daughter closely to her chest, waiting to be searched. The border patrol agent asks the mother to set her child down, and immediately, the child begins to scream.
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Rotten to the Core (2018)

Every parent has a pet peeve. My mother’s is dishonesty. In her house, even the little white lies never went unnoticed. Sometimes she would pounce and catch me in the midst of telling a grandiose fabrication. But other times, she would catch a lie on her tongue, roll it around in her mouth, and chew on it for a few days before spitting it back in a heated argument years later. The woman was a lioness. She preyed on the truth and tore apart lies with just a single whiff of suspicion.
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Black Ink Ocean (2018)

The white Marina del Rey dock juts into the water like a sharp crease in the silk scarves mother used to give me. There, at the hemline, the corner of Admiralty Way hangs just a few strips away from the sandspit regularly populated by young, blonde women with sun-bleached hair and strong, tan legs. My legs, unlike those of the regulars, do not bounce with the confidence that seems to awaken in their every step. They are slightly pasty from the spots the sand has scratched my skin and olive yellow like the lemon wedges slapped onto the beach club martinis, which I longingly stare at from afar.
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An Asymptote (2018)

I sometimes look back at an acrylic piece I painted a few years ago. “The Pool,” which I creatively named in the haste of submitting the painting to an art show, features a girl swimming in a crystal-clear pool somewhere on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. A boy in a red shirt stands over the pool, watching the girl as she completes her laps. In this painting, there is a single dark red wrinkle on the boy’s shirt that has a different shade from the other wrinkles. I often stare at that stroke before I fall asleep, wishing I could pull out my art supplies, some dried tubes of Alizarin Crimson, and fix up that tiny mistake.
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POETRY

Sugar Glass Cage (2017)

Winner of the Helen Creeley Poetry Prize 2018
Walking through streets of Nanjing
Lanterns speckled by the carbon dust and debris,
I inhale.
Sweet, like the honey Nai Nai keeps
Soaked in osmanthus petals.
The vendor blows molten sugar,
Curling it into thousands of fine strands
Which cling to the next like blades of wet grass
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A Needle in Time (2017)

Winner of the Helen Creeley Poetry Prize 2018
The needle is a fine strand of hair plucked from an aging scalp.
It is intentional in physiology:
Designed to be invincible, it pushes through flesh and muscle with ease.
It is good-willed in nature:
Dimpled at the end of a steel body, it permits quick removal.
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ARTWORK

MY ARTWORK

Acadia in Acrylic
The Pool
Bokehs in Black
Passion Flower

CONTACT

Los Angeles, US
Phone: +1 (310) 980-2254
Email: joceshen@mit.edu