Research & Innovation

Stevens Brain Video Among Most Beautiful in World of Science

Kurt Lab at Stevens Institute of Technology wins Vizzies people's choice award for video showing how brain, coupled with blood flow, moves with every heartbeat

(Hoboken, N.J. - Nov. 7, 2018) -- Popular Science magazine and the National Institutes of Health selected the eight winning projects for the 16th Annual Vizzies Challenge, celebrating the use of visual media to artfully and clearly communicate scientific data, principles and research.

Among the winners: Stevens Institute of Technology's Mehmet Kurt and John Martinez for their video showing how the brain moves, coupled with blood flow, every time the heart beats. 

The competition recognizes the best visualization for all types, including photographs, illustrations, posters and graphics, interactives, videos and other submissions produced by artists, hobbyists or academic researchers.   

This year's contest gave entrants even more opportunities than previously, offering them the chance to animate data, create science apps, illustrate engineering concepts, take photographs of the natural world and more. A team of experts at NSF and Popular Science pared hundreds of submissions down to 28 finalists; from those, a panel of outside experts in science, art and visualizations determined the top 5 winning teams, while the public voted on their top 3 favorite finalists.

Kurt's and Martinez's video above shows the brain moving with every heartbeat, with each pulsing motion gently pushing on the brain tissue around it. For the first time, they also synced the brain tissue motions with those of veins and arteries - a new imaging method that could reveal weak spots in blood vessels that bulge and sometimes burst, as in aneurysms. 

"These visualizations give you a peek into something we have never seen before," said Kurt, assistant professor mechanical engineering at Stevens. "Most importantly, they spark interest in the beauty of science and gives people a better idea of what scientists do." 

Collaborators who contributed to this work include Kambiz Nael, a physician at Mount Sinai Hospital, Samantha Holdsworth,  a research scientist and senior lecturer at University of Auckland and Itamar Terem, a graduate student at Stanford University. 

-- Stevens --

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, New Jersey overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Since our founding in 1870, technological innovation has always been the hallmark and legacy of Stevens’ education and research. Within the university’s three schools and one college, 6,900 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate closely with faculty in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment. Academic and research programs spanning business, computing, engineering, the arts and other fields actively advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront our most pressing global challenges. The university is consistently ranked among the nation’s elite for return on tuition investment, career services and the mid-career salaries of alumni.

Stevens media contact: Thania Benios, 201-216-5003, [email protected]