Hello, world.

People call me Lilli.

You can, too,

if you like!

Born in Maryland, USA, 1990

BS Behavioral Neuroscience, Purdue University (2012)

BS Computer Science, Oregon State University (2014)

Predoc in Structural, Computational Biology & Molecular Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine (In progress)

I love personal statements, because they feel a lot like I’m seeing myself and others for the first time all over again. It isn’t until you see the vision of a person’s life that you can competently walk alongside them. A great way to capture the vision I have for my life is to start with an inner-dialogue – much like the one I am writing now – which conveys my passion for unraveling an experience into its externalized and internalized component parts.

My internal world holds dearly to affect, asking only herself if others feel the same way she does, as she yearns to be known for her thoughts and experiences. Conversely, my external world removes all sense of self, and navigates reality using inductive reasoning, guided closely by rationality. The external world needs the internal world’s keen insight into how logic interacts with human experience, activating an important aspect of human morality and empathy. Similarly, the internal world needs validation from the external world in order to feel as if her notions of self and ambitions are consistent with the story she is embodying. When we externalize, our internal self asks the external self, “Does my experience speak to rationality? Am I behaving predictably?” When we internalize our experiences, our external self asks the internal self, “Does my experience resonate with my identity and harmonize with my moral framework?”

It’s been a basic trend in my life to dance between my internal and external worlds. When posed with the query of who I was, what I wanted, and where I was going throughout bouts of my life, my external self sent me inwards, into narcissistic rumination cycles that seemed to ask the same questions of an implied but not proven greater importance. My internal world weighed my likes and dislikes (hedonistic identifiers) with my general objects of admiration (identifiers of worth and respect) – largely influenced by the worldview of my childhood – in order to sculpt a basic identity and quest. Over time, these “sculptures” have engulfed my personal ethnography.

***

Taking my ideals and advocacy for enhancing the quality of life, while combining my natural skills for math and science, I emerged as a Biochemistry scholar in the beginning of my collegiate years. The fragility of life compelled me in the same way that the complexity of a human being did. I wanted to know how both could be reconciled, existentially: I wanted to break down life into its smallest components in order to make sense of the larger organism those components comprised. During my journey in Biochemistry, I had a lot of experiences in the laboratory, which were meant to be the seat of my discoveries. However, my chemistry and biology labs did not make me feel closer to the deeper insights of the human condition, and I was not inspired by their routine methodologies: I had zoomed to the nth level of complexity in search of a deeper understanding of humanity via its component parts and had discovered I had lost the intuitive component of my internal world. Life at the biochemical level was void of the emotion and moral judgment that makes one scene feel connected to other scenes.

By then, my ethnography had already turned to the mind of a Behaviorist, where I then probed into a four year investigation of the human mind, via the neurosciences, the social sciences and philosophical conquests. I spent bouts of time specifically perspective-taking in many paradigms within psychology – including Behavioral Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Social Psychology, Psychological Anthropology, and Counseling Psychology – reintroducing my internal world with strong representation. I tried methodology after methodology and began to favor some questions over others, but by the end of my first undergraduate degree, I had decided to pursue a masters degree in Psychology at NYU to further extend my explorations in the field, because no vision or methodology had captivated me yet. At NYU, I had largely shifted my focus to social psychology – with particular attention to moral psychology. Over time, my coursework and my interactions with faculty members just impressed on me more and more that I was either asking the wrong questions, or that the questions I was asking held too many assumptions to hold any merit. Soon after, I began to become disillusioned by the values of social science regarding its large emphasis on human ethnography and subjective experience. I began to feel the paradigms of psychology I was dabbling in were largely metaphysical and destined for ruminative questions, malleable truth claims and that they possessed only subjective freedoms to comment on the human condition. I felt no closer to understanding my humanity in the social sciences than I did in the life sciences laboratory. Instead of being completely immersed in the external world like I felt in Biochemistry, I felt completely immersed in a tangled-infinite-loop-of-internal-dissonance in Psychology. I began to lose faith in human experience and to distrust human ethnography as being a rigorous or valid measurement.

Amidst the onset of this disillusionment, I had immediately become a TA for Perception Psychology at NYU, and while Perception was not an area of personal expertise and I struggled gravely the first semester, by the second semester of my teaching assistantship, I got raving reviews from my students. I began to fall more and more in love with lower level analyses of human behavior. So many constraints, for example, that come from basic perception can identify many parallels to topics in social psychology, social anthropology and the more malleable scientific analyses of human behavior. This realization was my first glimpse at the vision I had been looking for my entire life: a posit to the connection between the inner (sensual) and external (perceptual) worlds. Perception was a gateway into a deeper passion that gave me the bravery to switch gears completely. After just two semesters at NYU, I left the program and enrolled in Oregon State’s post-baccalaureate program in Computer Science.

As I had always suspected, I immediately began to love computer science’s logic-oriented structure and its roots in more objective measurements. Bearing the mindset of an engineer while building a toolset of technical skills, new questions seemed to be coming up regarding how I wanted to use my new skill set. I considered which programming languages I loved the most, and I could see a safe existence pounding away as a Web Developer or Software Engineer for a reputable company like Intel or Microsoft; however, when I think about the vision I got a glimpse of while teaching Perception Psychology to a series of undergraduates at NYU, every component in my biology is telling me that I cannot morally accept a life that includes programming for the sake of programming, but rather, programming for a greater good and for a vision about which I am passionate. More than ever, medicine has been a huge preoccupation of mine for the past couple of years. Go one year without medical insurance in the dirtiest place in the country – New York City – and just try not to start asking questions about health and medicine. Especially given my training in the life sciences and the neurosciences in combination with my concern for medical advancements, I am compelled – both internally and externally – to align my new skills and love for computer science with efforts to unveil biological mysteries, specifically with efforts to understand mental health and neurological networks. Modeling neurological processing with computational measures seems, to me, the most natural measurement. I sometimes “see” a neuron orchestrating a symphony of transduction while implementing various systems, related to biology or not. There is something very compelling to me about lower-level programming especially that makes me feel connected to the inner workings of my biology and which compels me into intrigue. It’s the kind of glorified creative freedom I want to spend the rest of my life fully immersed in.























    Favorite...
  • Book: Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  • Colors: Grey & Pink
  • Hobbies: Writing, Reading, Web Development, Art (drawing, pastels, painting, photography)
  • Interests: Psychology, Philosophy, Food, Design, Photography, Theatre
    Bucket List...
  • Write a book
  • See the Egyptian Pyramids
  • Ride in a hot air balloon
  • Fly under my own capacity
  • Design a garment of some kind & make it
  • Backpack in Europe
  • Ride on the back of an elephant
  • Read 1000 books
  • Get a kitten
  • Do something I'm proud of
  • 10 apps

Family

My dad

My mum

My brother

Me

Higgity

Research

My predoctorate training was embedded in the computational biological and biophysical neurosciences at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. My first rotation alongside molecular and computational neuroscientists, I created a computational program that analyzes data from in vivo MRS data.

I majored in Behavioral Neuroscience as an undergraduate at Purdue University and participated in research across many institutions in the field, including Indiana University in Bloomington, IN; the Brain and Mind Research Institute in Sydney, Australia; and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.

As an undergraduate student, my senior honors thesis was a computational cognitive psychology study of the effects of mood on emotion recognition in facial expressions. Before my honors thesis, I contributed to discussion of theory and experimental design for perceptual projects, including exploration of visual afterimages and visual illusions. I also assisted in theoretical discussions of projects in Human factors, which included explorations of map design (which color contours marking different countries, for example, make visual search fastest?) and the design of computer keyboards for disabled users. Lastly, I contributed to projects measuring various aspects of perception, including the effects of evolutionary triggers on sensitivity thresholds.

The Effects of Ostracism on Aggression in Romantic Relationships

I conducted experiments measuring the effects of ostracism on aggression in romanticly-minded relationships, specifically in college-aged males.

Tools:

MediaLab, CyberBall

Categorization of Non-Verbal Communication
Description:

I did extensive research on the pseudo-science of non-verbal communication for a MBA who wanted to develop a mobile application for its categorization. You can find the app here.

  • Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    Mark Twain
  • Not all those who wander are lost.

    JRR Tolkien
  • Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company.

    Mark Twain
  • To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    John Dalberg-Acton
  • The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.

    Malcolm Forbes
  • For those to whom much is given, much is required.

    John F. Kennedy
  • We don't see things are they are: we see them how we are.

    Anais Nin
  • An unexamined life is not worth living.

    Socrates
  • Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

    Dr. Suess

Projects

  • All
  • Research
  • Coding
  • Writing
  • Art
  • Senior Honors Thesis

    Research
  • The Geographic Personality Happiness Project

    Social Informatics
  • Inventory Application

    Tracking Your Stuff
  • Don't Poosh the Stroop

    Game Application
  • Sketches & Pastels

    Artwork
  • Photography

    Snapshots of Life
  • Delusions, Diversions, Disillusions of Grandeur

    A memoir
  • Brainy Etc

    Book Blog
  • Off the Clock

    Blog
  • Music Compositions

    Original Scores
  • Graduate School

    Research Rotations
  • Undergrad Academic Resources

    Subject Outlines, Term Papers, Past Research Projects

Check Out My Brain!

View On YouTube
Latest From

Off the Clock

Life Begins When Work Ends.




Latest From

Brainy-Etc

Read Until Your Eyes Dry.

Lillian Ashmore.

Curriculum Vitae

Address: Houston, TX
Email: lillian.ashmore@bcm.edu
Tel: Available upon request.

Education

    Baylor College of Medicine, SCBMB PhD Program
  • 2014 - present.
    Oregon State University, B.S. Computer Science
  • 2013 - 2014.
    New York University, M.S. Psychology
  • 2012 - 2012. (Did not graduate)
    Purdue University, B.S. Behavioral Neuroscience
  • 2009 - 2012.

Work Experience

    Graduate Research Rotation, Baylor College of Medicine, SCBMB PhD Program
  • 2014 - present.
  • Served as a graduate research assistant for Mirjana Maletic-Savatic at the Baylor College of Medicine. Made statistical MATLAB packages for SVD analysis of NMR and MRS data.
    Programming Intern, contractor for the Department of Defense
  • 2013 - 2014.
  • Using Java and SQL heavily, I was responsible for maintaining and creating new reports for the order writing and payroll system web application used by the Marines, Navy, Air Force and the Reserves.
    Teaching Assistant, Perception Psychology, New York University.
  • 2012 - 2013.
  • I assisted tenured professors with test development, grading and teacher-student communication. Furthermore, I led two sections of perception psychology recitations a week and assisted students in office hours and via email.
    Research Assistant, Business Psychology, Body Language Dictionary LLC
  • 2012 - 2013.
  • Independently funded research funded by Mark Onsager (MBA), where I was in charge of performing a large scale literature review of research on the categorization of non-verbal communicative behaviors. This research was used to create a mobile application for a non-verbal communication dictionary, found at this link.
    Staff Reporter, Features Desk, The Exponent, Purdue University's Independent Student Newspaper
  • 2009 - 2010.
  • Wrote human interest stories about student life at Purdue University, with themes ranging from campus romance, to flip flops, to movie reviews, to aphid infestations on campus.

Research Experience

    Senior Honors Thesis, Computational Psychology, Purdue University
  • 2011 - 2012.
  • Supervised by Dr. Greg Francis, Cognitive Psychology, Purdue University. I conducted my own original research project, which analyzed the effects of mood on emotion recognition in facial expressions. I manipulated mood using classical music, and used random noise to determine what part of the face subjects were using to make their analyses.
    Undergraduate Honors Research Seminar, Purdue University
  • 2011 - 2012.
  • Led by Dr. Kip Williams, the seminar is designed to provide independent research opportunities to exceptional undergraduates with a strong interest in research. Seminar activities included critical literature reviews and presentations, idea generation and application, IRB submission workshop, discussion and groundwork in experimental design and measurement techniques and a final proposal, presentation and poster session for my senior honors thesis.
    Research Assistant to Dr. Greg Francies, Cognitive Psychology, Purdue University
  • 2010 - 2010.
  • I piloted a study that later matured into my senior honors thesis, studying the effects of mood on the analysis of facial expressions. Furthermore, I contributed to other studies headed up by Dr. Greg Francis and his graduate students, involving the discussion of theory and experimental design during weekly lab meetings. Topics for these projects included explorations of afterimages, visual illusions, human factors of map design, and the design of computer keyboards.
    Research Intern, the Brain and Mind Research Institute, Sydney, Australia
  • 2010 - 2010.
  • I executed several lesion studies in the straitum, in which behavioral tests were conducted to pinpoint specific brain regions involved in a cognitive loop that enables goal-directed behavior. In this study, I performed crystal violet staining, behavioral tests and neural surgeries on Long Evans rats.
    Research Assistant to Dr. Jessica Witt, Action-Modulated Perception (AMP) Lab, Purdue University
  • 2010 - 2010.
  • I conducted experiments measuring various aspects of perception, including the effects of evolutionary triggers on sensitivity thresholds. I gained hands-on experience with running human subjects, analyzing research methods and experimental design.
    Research Assistant to Dr. Chris Eckhardt, Clinical Psychology, Purdue University
  • 2010 - 2010.
  • I conducted experiments using CyberBall measuring the effects of ostracism on aggression in romantic relationships in college-aged males. I wrote basic code using MediaLab for the experiment.
    Research Assistant to Dr. Cara Wellman, Behavioral Neuroscience, Indiana University-Bloomington
  • 2008 - 2008.
  • I measured the effects of maternal separation on glucocorticoid receptor count in the interpositus nucleus of the cerebellum in Long Evans rats. Furthermore, I performed rat surgeries, immunohistochemistry, densitometry measurements, and behavioral testing, and presented my findings to a group of students and faculty.

Publications

  • Ashmore, L. (2012). Research Spotlight: All In My Head?: How Does Mood Affect How We Interpret Facial Expressions? The Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research. Vol 2.

Projects

    Don't Poosh the Stroop.
  • Ashmore, L. (2014).
  • An Android mobile applicatoin and desktop web game application rooted in the Cloud that integrated the psychological construct of the Stroop Effect, by awarding positive points to selections of congruent Stroops and negative points to incongruent Stroops. Players play with other players in real time (using a Cloud timer) and winner statistics are stored both for game instance rankings and all time rankings.
    An Inventory Application.
  • Ashmore, L, Vasek, A. (2014).
  • An Android mobile web application & desktop application that can be used to track items & who they were loaned to with barcode scanner capabilities.
    The Geographic-Personality-Happiness (GPH) Project.
  • Ashmore, L. (2013).
  • The GPH project tracks people from all over the world, with all different types of personalities and identifies trends of the parts of the world given personality types are reportedly most content with their lives.

Skills

  • Computer programming
  • Web development
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Technical & non-technical writing
  • Typing speed: 96 WPM
  • Strong research skills
  • Personality: curious, creative, approachable

Awards

    Purdue University
  • Best Research Spotlight Award, JPUR
  • Phi Beta Kappa Scholar
  • RFHP Scholar
  • Jill P. and Robert E. May Scholarship
  • Lloyd G. Balfour Scholarship
    Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Award of Excellence Scholarship
  • IFLE Scholar
    The Indiana Academy
  • Kenneth Stuart Scholastic Scholarship

Contact Me

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