Student’s internship leads to published research

The advancement of student research is a continuous effort at Augusta State, and it is the academic success of students like Karin Hauffen that prove the benefits of hands-on experience.

Hauffen, management information systems major, completed nearly 180 hours in 2011 as a paid apprentice computer programmer for Dr. Jay Hegdé, principal investigator at the Hegdé Laboratory at Georgia Health Sciences University.

During his time as Dr. Hegdé’s intern, Hauffen had the opportunity to use research equipment that analyzes vision and perception in both humans and monkeys. Some of the software used included MATLAB, a program for algorithm development and data analysis, and Presentation, software used in psychological experiments.

Although he says the technology being used in these studies seemed intimidating at times, he overcame the challenges and is grateful for the experience.

“When I began interning in the lab, I had absolutely no experience with the software or hardware technologies used in Dr. Hegdé’s research,” Hauffen said. “Although it felt like a daunting task at first to write code for each experiment, Dr. Hegdé offered plenty of advice and helped make each project more manageable.”


As a result of his hard work, Hauffen’s research with Dr. Hegdé earned him co-authorship on two biomedical research publications, the Journal of Visualized Experiments and PLoS ONE.


In the Journal of Visualized Experiments, Hauffen co-authored the research Creating objects and object categories for studying perception and perceptual learning. In this study, the research team used simulations of the biological processes of morphogenesis and phylogenesis to study object recognition and perceptual learning in humans.


Hauffen also worked on the research Fragment-based learning of visual categories in non-human primates which was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PLoS ONE. According to Hauffen, this research explored methods used to experiment with humans, but they adapted their research tactics to test the psychophysical capacity of monkeys.
Hauffen’s academic achievement and research will be recognized at ASU’s annual Honors Convocation. During the program, he will be presented the Applied Learning Award, formerly known as the Co-op Student of the Year award. This accolade recognizes those students participating in paid co-op programs as well as non-paid internships.


The Hull College of Business named Hauffen as a 2010-2011 Hull Scholar, and he has been nominated for the ASU Emerging Leader Program.