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How does the mind interact with technology?

What is the intersection of clarity and beauty?


I’m Shailen, a Duke junior studying neuroscience, visual & media studies, and creative writing. Almost all of my interests revolve around the two questions above. I’m extremely passionate about creating content that makes sense and feels powerful.


With every shot in a film, I look through my viewers’ eyes to test if what I’m conveying is strong and aesthetically beautiful. Writing, filming, and sharing my content regularly on Instagram has taught me the value of streamlined language and fresh ideas.


One life-long hobby of mine is building radio-control airplanes. I've logged thousands of hours of first-person-view drone piloting. The experience of flying a racing drone with ultra low-latency video goggles can only be described by two words: consciousness transfer. In the goggles, my body becomes the drone—accelerating through the air as intuitively as I would move my own legs.


My interest in this phenomenon prompted an email chain with neuroscientist Greg Appelbaum that blossomed into a professional relationship. I now work in his lab to formally explore how the brain interacts with virtual environments—but, more generally, I’m learning about research. What makes a good question? What constitutes rigorous study design? How do I interpret data impartially? 


I almost never work alone. The most rewarding aspect of my experience at Duke has been collaborating with my peers and mentors. I’m extremely curious, and that quality has given me the opportunities to do things like ask a world-renown biologist why the blue whale is the largest animal ever, learn chess strategy from a national champion, and win $100K in an international engineering competition as the only non-engineer on the team.


I’m very excited to employ my analytical and creative skills to develop clean and effective user experiences.

If you'd like to chat, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to meet you!    •    Durham, NC / Dallas, TX    •    214.673.8233    •    @shailenstagram

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