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Penn State student Taylor Baum receives PennACE Student of the Year Award
20 May 2019

Taylor Baum is presented the 2018-2019 PennACE Award by Penn State's Tomalei Vess and Robert Orndorff.

Taylor Baum is presented the 2018-2019 PennACE Award by Penn State's Tomalei Vess and Robert Orndorff.


Taylor Baum, a Penn State undergraduate student double majoring in biology and electrical engineering, has been selected to receive the 2018-2019 Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers (PennACE) JoAnne Day Student of the Year Award in the STEM category. This award recognizes outstanding students who have completed an internship or co-operative experience in the fields of engineering, computer science, information technology, sciences, or research. Baum was selected for her six months of experience with the Neuroscience Statistics Research Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2018.

While at MIT, Baum was in the lab of Dr. Emery Brown as an independent researcher where she worked to create a novel model for her study. Her work from this co-op has led to a paper acceptance for the 2019 Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference with sights on publishing again this upcoming summer in a journal.

“My research project involved developing a probabilistic model of an anesthetic brain state known as burst suppression,” said Baum. “This work will primarily impact development of a closed loop anesthetic delivery system, improving the quality of care of any patient in need of general anesthesia. More specifically, with the help of this model, we may be able to administer the drug autonomously without sole reliance on traditional administration methods prone to human error.”

For her co-op, Baum worked on four focal points: probabilistic modeling of burst suppression, development of an operating room monitor with spectrograms, development of a spectral analysis graphical user interface, and power content analysis of four anesthetics. As a result of Baum’s research efforts, she earned the title of co-first author. Baum credits her co-op opportunity as being a vital step in her research career.

"This experience has wholly changed my life. It has opened my eyes to what a career in research could bring. When returning to Penn State, I had a new found appreciation and understanding of the course content I was pursuing. The potential of each technique and concept to impact people in need had become clear. For this and more, I am so excited to start my research career and continue to grow… I’m kickstarting the rest of my research career from this co-op and it’s propelled me into the school of my dreams.”

Baum graduated in May 2019 and has committed to a graduate degree at MIT.

PennACE recognizes students with the Student of the Year Award in honor of career development professional JoAnne Day. Day was an active member of the educational community with a passion for her craft and an incomparable commitment to her students. She passed away in March 2005 after a two-year battle with cancer. In honor of her spirit and dedication, PennACE recognizes students for their excellence in completing their internship or co-op.