At the Epicenter Retreat, we asked faculty to share news about entrepreneurship, innovation and engineering activities at their home institutions. Kurt Thoroughman from Washington University in St. Louis tells a story about a group of young engineers at his school and considers the ways faculty can support student innovation.

Kurt Thoroughman
Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Engineering and Applied Science
Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Neurobiology, and Physical Therapy
Washington University in St. Louis

Kurt Thoroughman studies human learning and motor control. His lab characterizes motor learning processes in healthy human adults and identifies the specific signals used to plan movements and build motor predictions, which will in turn predict the neuronal activities required for motor learning. Comparing these predictions to physiological recordings from nonhuman primates indicates brain areas that likely underlie these computations. Emerging research projects include motor control and learning in children; cognitive components to motor behavior; motor dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease; and theories of movement, biomechanics, reflex and brain.
He also studies innovations in undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). His work aims to improve motivation, achievement, and understanding across courses and semesters, especially for underclassmen.

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