Physics

Nicolas Ivanov

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Nicolas is a member of the PRISM lab at the Bloorview Research Institute and the University of Toronto. His research involves developing brain-computer interfaces that can be communication devices for children with disability. More specifically, he is interested in the application of machine learning, neuroscience, and instructional design to improve user training and reliability of these devices outside laboratory settings.


Nicolas has been a Discovery volunteer and mentor since beginning his graduate work in the Fall of 2018 and has led the development of Discovery Physics programming for several semesters. He is continuously excited to participate with Discovery and explore innovative approaches to impactful and accessible educational experiences. During his time volunteering with Discovery, he has continually been inspired by the creativity, innovation, and passion demonstrated by the students.

Corinna Smith

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I am currently a masters student studying biomedical engineering at U of T. My research involves the development of brain-computer interfaces to help children with complex communication participate in conversation. I am interested in determining whether we can detect that a person has something to say before they begin to speak.

I joined discovery in Fall 2019 as a volunteer instructor. This term, I helped develop the online physics curriculum. I think being involved in the Discovery program is a very fun and exciting way to share my interest in engineering and science with high school students.

Emily Lam

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Emily is a master’s student at IBBME who is interested in clinical and rehabilitation uses of wearable sensors to make care more affordable, accessible, and fun.

She is a research student in the Possibility Engineering and Rehabilitation Lab (PEARL) and Neuropsychology Outcomes via Education and Learning (NOvEL) Lab at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab hospital. Her master’s project is about using wearable sensors to detect fatigue during a return-to-play assessment for youth after a concussion.

In her undergraduate degree, Emily studied Biomedical Engineering in the co-op program at the University of Waterloo. Since coming to UofT she has volunteered with the Discovery program twice, once with the Chemistry program and once with Physics.

Guijin Li

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Guijin is a first-year PhD student at IBBME (UofT) and a trainee at KITE (Toronto Rehab) under the supervision of Prof. José Zariffa. Guijin is passionate about improving the quality of life for individuals with neurological disorders like spinal cord injury (SCI) and stroke. Currently she is exploring how to help physiotherapists deliver functional electrical stimulation therapy more effectively to improve arm and hand functions after cervical SCI. 


Guijin grew up in China, and completed her undergraduate study in the beautiful North Carolina. Outside of research, Guijin enjoys meeting and learning from other people, and bringing people together. She also believes in connecting with the youth to show them the door/window of a potentially different world that she would’ve known earlier if she had the opportunity. 

Elyar Abbasi Bavil

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My name is Elyar and I have completed both my BASc and MASc degrees at UofT. My specializations are in the areas of computational modeling and fluid mechanics where I have tackled physiological problems with applications of math and physics. In my Master’s research, I looked at a specific type of liver disease that was very commonly seen in patients with congenital heart disorders. Due to the abnormal cardiovascular function, these patients experience unique blood flow dynamics. Using concepts of fluid mechanics I was able to gain a better understanding of the relationship between blood dynamics and liver disease in these patients that could eventually help clinicians with diagnosing the onset of irreversible liver disease.

I have been involved with the Discovery Physics team for 3 terms as of now and find the practical nature of projects along with their impact on students very exciting and fulfilling

Maryam Moadeli

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Maryam is a first-year PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department at the University of Toronto.

She is a member of the PRISM lab at the Holland Bloorview Research Institute. Her research involves developing smart technologies that can help children with complex communication needs to communicate and interact with their environment in a meaningful way, and to accelerate their progress in language learning. More specifically, she is interested in machine learning applications, human-computer interactions, and developing intelligent algorithms to improve augmentative and alternative communication devices. She is always keen to support students and share her knowledge and expertise with them. 

Maryam has been a Discovery volunteer and mentor since beginning her graduate work in the Fall of 2019. 

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