Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Sedra Davis ’14

From studio arts to medical informatics, Sedra Davis ’14 sees endless possibilities in her liberal arts education. She and Claudia D’Adamo ’13 are working with Assistant Professor of Computer Science Tom Armstrong to improve automated monitoring of critically injured patients. The project is funded by a grant from the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research and Coalition to Diversify Computing.

A minor in explorations: I enjoy sampling portions of various disciplines. I sometimes say I minor in “explorations.” I also take pride in the process of learning and connecting different subject areas, like computer science, art and medicine. I entered my first year as a pre-med student interested in becoming an anesthesiologist, but sophomore year, I began to explore the possibilities at the intersection of studio arts and public health, my official minor.

The project: I’m working to help identify patterns in vital signs data and use those patterns to predict patient outcomes. This research will contribute to innovations in medical informatics that will make processes more efficient and effective.

Not just for geeks: Computer science is not what it sounds like. It can be applied to almost anything. I am grateful for the exposure to a new discipline that will contribute to my success in the future. With assistance from Claudia and Tom, I am now learning computer languages and concepts that are the core of technological innovations.

Why Wheaton: I chose Wheaton because I was attracted to the quality of education and small student-to-professor ratio and class sizes. I enjoy the space to be an innovator, to make the impossible possible with resources and support at the tip of my fingers.

Endless possibilities: The road in front of me seems like a blank canvas awaiting its transformation into a masterpiece. My post-Wheaton life may include one year as a flight attendant, to travel the world and to hone my French before graduate school.

—Interview by Mary Howard ’85