How Engineering Is Related to the Heart

In honor of the pending Valentine’s Day holiday, we wanted to bring a little application to it! Check out these examples of how engineering is related to the heart and get our free Valentine’s Day worksheet to explore it with your students!

Pacemakers

Engineering Discipline: Biomedical Engineers

Pacemakers are devices that are implanted into a human’s body to assist in regulating the beating of the heart. Electrical activity in the heart was discovered in the 1800s, but the pacemaker was not developed until 1932 by Albert Hyman. It was powered by a hand crank motor and only tested on animals as the idea of artificial heart stimulation at the time was thought to be similar to reviving the dead.

Paul Zoll and Earl Bakken were a few of the pioneers that were first in developing smaller pacemakers that could be implanted in the human body. They didn’t last long, and people who received them died shortly after receiving them due to complications.

Once advances were made between 1960 and 1990 in materials used for the pacemakers and the type of battery to support them, pacemakers became a lifesaving tool for many that needed it. The technology is still being improved today to last longer, be smaller, and decrease the rate of rejection within the human body.

Match.com

Engineering Discipline: Computer Engineering

Match.com is one of the world’s leading online dating softwares. What do you think they owe most of their success to? Their highly tuned algorithm of course! It takes into account a person’s many preferences for what they are looking for in a mate as well as evaluating the information the user provides about themselves. In addition, it learns from how the user interacts with the platform to hone in on their perfect match. So, if a woman says she only wants to date men under 30 but is consistently looking at men’s profiles that are over 30, the algorithm will take that into consideration in making suggestions for her.

In addition, the president of Match.com, Mandy Ginsberg, has an in depth technology background and just happened to marry an engineer!

It takes a lot of complex programming and computer engineering knowledge to create a tool like the Match.com algorithm and is a great example of computer engineering impacting the heart!

How can you apply these concepts?

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