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Faculty Profile - Heather Whitney

Heather M. Whitney, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics

On Faculty since 2010
630.752.5897
Science Center 364

heather.whitney@wheaton.edu

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Vanderbilt University
Ph.D., Physics, 2009

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
M.S., Medical Physics, 2007

Vanderbilt University
M.S., Physics, 2006

King College (Bristol, TN)
B.S., Physics and Performing and Visual Arts, 2003
Minor, mathematics
summa cum laude

  • Deep Learning
  • Radiomics
  • Technology in the Classroom
  • Computer Modeling
  • Physics
  • Physics Education
  • Medical Physics
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Machine Learning

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

* indicates student researcher

Effect of biopsy on the MRI radiomics classification of benign lesions and luminal A cancers, Journal of Medical Imaging 
Whitney, H. M., Drukker, K., Edwards, A., Papaioannou, J.,  Giger, M.L., 2019 (in press)

Additive Benefit of Radiomics Over Size Alone in the Distinction Between Benign Lesions and Luminal A Cancers on a Large Clinical Breast MRI Dataset, Academic Radiology 26(2): 202-209
Whitney, H. M., Taylor, N.S.*, Drukker, K., Edwards, A., Papaioannou, J., Schacht, D., Giger, M.L., 2019

Accuracy and robustness of a simple algorithm to measure vessel diameter from B-mode ultrasound images, Journal of Applied Physiology – Innovative Methodology 120: 1374-1379
Hunt B E, Flavin D C,* English E,* Whitney H M., 2016

James Clerk Maxwell: A Model for Twenty-first Century Physics in the Christian Liberal Arts, Christian Scholars Review XLV 4: 345-364
Whitney H M., 2016

Characterization and suppression techniques for degree of radiation damping in inversion recovery measurements, Spectroscopy Letters 48: 783-788
Keeler A* and Whitney H M., 2015

Radial Forcing and Edgar Allan Poe’s Lengthening Pendulum, Am. J. Phys. 81: 682
McMillan M,* Blasing D,* and Whitney H M., 2013

Magnetization transfer proportion: a simplified measure of magnetization transfer in polymer gel dosimeters, Phys. Med. Biol. 53, 7107
Whitney H M, Gochberg D F, and Gore J C., 2008

Optimization of MAGIC gel formulation for threedimensional radiation therapy dosimetry, Phys. Med. Biol. 52, N241
Luci J J, Whitney H M, and Gore J C, 2007

Books

Handbook of Mathematics and Problem Solving for Introductory Physics, Institute of Physics Concise Physics series | Institute of Physics Concise Physics series
Whitney, J F. and Whitney, H M., 2016

Contributed Conference Presentations

* indicates student researcher

Robustness of Computer-aided Diagnosis of Breast Cancer Using Radiomics and Machine Learning Classification of 3,158 Lesions across Populations in China and the United States.
Whitney H M, Li H, Ji Y, Edwards A, Papaioannou J, Liu P, Giger M L. Radiological Society of North America Conference (2018)

Effect of biopsy on the MRI radiomics classification of benign lesions and luminal A cancers.
Whitney H M, Drukker K, Edwards A, Papaioannou J, Giger M L. International Workshop on Breast Imaging (2018)

Robustness of radiomic breast features of benign lesions and luminal A cancers across MR magnet strengths
Whitney H M, Drukker K, Edwards A, Papaioannou J, Giger M L. SPIE Medical Imaging (2018)

Additive Benefit of Quantitative Radiomics in Distinguishing Between Benign Lesions and Luminal A Cancer Subtypes on a Large Clinical Breast MRI Dataset.
Taylor N*, Drukker K, Edwards A, Papaiannou J, Giger ML, and Whitney H M., Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (2017), Chicago, IL

Development of active learning tools for a course on physics and music
American Association of Physics Teachers Conference (Summer 2011)

Clicker program implementation at a small liberal arts university
American Association of Physics Teachers Conference (Winter 2010)

Invited Talks

Machine Learning and Deep Learning in Medical Image Analysis of Breast Cancer and Parathyroid Lesions. Wheaton College Science Sandwich Seminar (S3), Wheaton, IL (2018).

Machine Learning and Deep Learning in Medical Image Analysis of Breast Cancer and Parathyroid Lesions. Joliet Junior College, part of their STEM Scholars Series, Joliet, IL (2018).

Successful Grant Writing. With Virginia Shaffer, Academic Grants Officer. Wheaton College Topics in Learning and Teaching (TiLT) (2016).

Making Your Physics of Music Course Truly Cross-Disciplinary. Illinois Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers Annual Meeting (2015)

Discourse Communities as a Framework for Writing in Physics (and Beyond). With Jim Beitler, Wheaton College Department of English. Wheaton College Project Teacher Lecture Series (2015).

Discourse Communities as a Framework for Writing in Physics. With Jim Beitler, Wheaton College Department of English. American Association of Physics Teachers Conference, San Diego, CA (Winter 2015)

More than a Thousand Words: Making Medical Images More Meaningful. Midwest Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (2014)

Light as a Model for Fourier Analysis of Complex Sound Waves. American Association of Physics Teachers Conference, New Orleans, LA (Winter 2013). 

Getting Started with Mendeley. Global Physics Department (2012). 

Toxic, but Useful, Jello: Magnetic Resonance Studies of Polymer Gel Dosimeters. Wheaton College Science Sandwich Seminar (S3), Wheaton, IL (2010).

Studies of the design, use, and characteristics of methacrylic acid-based polymer gel dosimeters. Vanderbilt Institute of Imaging Science Lunch Seminar Series (2009).

Conference Posters

* indicates student researcher

Does Biopsy Influence Effectiveness of Radiomics in the Classification of Benign Lesions and Cancers on Breast MRI?
Ji Y,Whitney H M, Li H, Edwards A, Papaioannou J, Drukker K, Liu P, Giger M L., Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (2018), Chicago, IL

Use of Deep Learning in the Classification of Benign Lesions, Lumina A Cancers, and Other Molecular Cancer Subtypes in Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Whitney H M, Antropova N, Giger M L. American Association of Physicists in Medicine Annual Meeting (2018).

Additive Benefit of Quantitative Radiomics in Distinguishing Between Benign Lesions and Luminal A Cancer Subtypes on a Large Clinical Breast MRI Dataset.
Taylor N*, Drukker K, Edwards A, Papaiannou J, Giger ML, and Whitney H M., Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (2017), Chicago, IL

Behavioral and ERP responses to emotionally evocative images among high and low trait anger college age men
Ross K*, Addleman D*, Early A*, Reyes C*, Baker S*, O’Hora* H, Phinney R, Struthers W, Whitney H M, and N Thom., Society for Neuroscience Conference (2015)

Initial Investigation into Effect of Radiation Damping on Magnetization Transfer Parameters Extracted From Inversion Recovery Experiments
Willson, E* and Whitney, H M, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Conference (2015)

Development and Characterization of NMR Measurements for Polymer Gel Dosimetry
Kwong, Z S* and Whitney, H M., American Physical Society April Meeting (2012)

Magnetization transfer and relaxation properties of MAGIC-2 polymer gel dosimeters at high field
Whitney, H M., Gordon Research Conference and Seminar on Magnetic Resonance (2011)

Using Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded in a course module on energy and the environment
Whitney H M., American Association of Physics Teachers Conference (Winter 2010)

Optimization of Quantitative Magnetization Transfer Imaging Using a Selective Inversion Recovery Pulse
Li K, Zu Z, Xu J, Gore J C, Whitney H M, Gochberg D F., International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Conference (2009)

Panels

Christian Liberal Arts Today
Wheaton College Junior Faculty Faith and Learning Series, 2016

Wheaton College Women in Leadership Brunch
(student-organized), 2015

The Serve: Lecturing Effectively
Wheaton College New Faculty Development Seminar, 2012-present

“Making the Transition from Graduate Student to Faculty Member"
GradSTEP (Graduate Student Teaching Event for Professional Development), Online Panel Presentation, Vanderbilt University, 2012

Teaching at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution
CIRTL (Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) Coffee Hour, Online Panel Presentation, 2012

CIRTL Forum Panel Presentation by New STEM Faculty
University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011

Dr. Whitney is interested in the basic physics research that goes into developing tools and techniques for medical physics. Her dissertation connected the radiation therapy and diagnostic imaging branches of medical physics with its ability to characterize and fully understand three-dimensional dosimeters. These dosimeters are made of gelatin and polymers and can be analyzed using magnetic resonance imaging. Later, she did research into the effects of radiation damping in nuclear magnetic resonance. She currently conducts research in radiomics of cancer imaging.

In January 2019, Dr. Whitney was awarded an R15 AREA (Academic Research Enhancement Award) grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The three-year, $396,673 grant will fund research efforts by Dr. Whitney, four undergraduate students from Wheaton College, and collaborators at the University of Chicago and at Wheaton College. The title of the project is “Assessment of Repeatability and Robustness of Radiomics in Breast Cancer Imaging.”

  • Visiting Scholar, University of Chicago
  • American Association of Physicists in Medicine
  • American Association of Physics Teachers (Member, Committee on Women in Physics)
  • American Physical Society
  • Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honor Society)
  • SPIE
  • General Physics I (PHYS221)
  • General Physics II (PHYS222)
  • Introduction to Medical Physics (PHYS311)
  • Computer Modeling of Physical Systems (PHYS334)
  • Analytical Mechanics (PHYS341)
  • Data Analysis and Presentation (PHYS345)
  • Physics of Sound (CORE338)

Why Seek Understanding of the Physical Kingdom?

As Dr. Heather Whitney explains in this TowerTalk, human interaction with the physical world can be thought of as a third way in which humans are called to understand and cultivate relationship, with the other two being humans relating to God and humans relating to each other.

 

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