Krishna Shenoy's passion is understanding how a seemingly simple collection of things (like neurons) can result in remarkable functions – "It's nearly magical..."
Krishna encourages students to follow their passion and follow their hearts!
What made you decide to be a professor, and what made you want to be at Stanford?
I'm passionate about working with students and postdocs to help them become leaders in their field, all the while pursuing fundamental questions about how the brain functions. Stanford is singularly unique in its interdisciplinary culture and resources, which makes these pursuits possible and a joy.
How did you choose your field of research?
I'm interested in how a collection of relatively simple things (e.g., transistors, or neurons) can be assembled into systems capable of remarkable functions (e.g., computers, or brains). It's nearly magical, and understanding their design can lead to ways to help people and society.
Who has influenced your work and why.
Many in EE and in Neuroscience have pioneered mathematical, technological, biological and theoretical approaches to understanding complex and dynamical systems.
Briefly explain a project you are currently working on.
We are currently working on translating neural-electrical activity from 100s of neurons into control signals for restoring motor function to people with paralysis. This spans basic neuroscience, electrical engineering, and translational medicine. This arc from theoretical to medical system is deeply satisfying to our group as it allows us to work on the level that we are each most passionate about, but always connecting across all levels.
What advice do you have for new EE students?
Follow your passion, follow your hearts. You only have one path through life and it is too precious to not follow your instincts for what you most enjoy and find most meaningful. Sometimes this will have you face great uncertainty and perceived risk, but the risk is far greater by not maximizing your time at Stanford early on in your career.