Exploration of an interdisciplinary approach for introducing students to bioengineering
Regarding the lack of a bioengineering undergraduate program at the National University of Colombia and convinced of the country’s urge to advance medicine and biology using technology, it is described in the following article how as part of a student group focused in engineering, medicine and biology, a place was built where students from any discipline could learn together about bioengineering. Namely, topics such as physiology, machine learning, genetic engineering and physical therapy were addressed and discussed with teachers and professionals from different institutions and countries. Furthermore, the methodology involved a two- stage process where students began with lectures, essays and open forum, so they could later, start their own projects in teams with the coaching and support of the group. As a result, the initiative gave the opportunity to work amongst mechatronics, electronics, mechanics, computation, biology and psychology students every friday for a whole year in two-hour sessions. Up to now, the initiative has encouraged about ten students to work in areas like signal processing, brain machine interface, bioinformatics and prosthetics, but the most significant result is that some of the former students are eager to lead next year’s course and continue the process.