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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Life + Arts

New researcher not here to play games


Video game enthusiast David Mayerich will teach at UH this fall.  |  Courtesy of David Mayerich

Video game enthusiast David Mayerich will teach at UH this fall. | Courtesy of David Mayerich

David Mayerich attended Southwest Oklahoma State University with one goal in mind: to become part of the ever-growing video game industry. Right now, he aims to create a more efficient and accurate way to detect cancer. Although Mayerich specializes in breast cancer, his current research can be applied to different types of tumors and diseases.

Mayerich will be joining the staff at UH’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering this fall thanks to a $2 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. He was recruited with the money this grant provided.

“I’m extremely excited about receiving the CPRIT Scholar award,” Mayerich said. “It’s an excellent opportunity to develop a unique program based on large-scale cancer imaging.”

After receiving his undergraduate degree in computer science, Mayerich decided to pursue a degree in biomedical imaging at Texas A&M University. He also has a background in computer graphics. These fields go hand in hand because they are somewhat parallel to each other. Both deal with interactive visualization and parallel programming.

“Over the next decade, I think we can make huge strides in this area, especially given the resources that are available in Houston,” Mayerich said. “I’d like to play an important role in making that possible.”

Although video games are not part of his career anymore, Mayerich still finds the time to be an avid gamer. He only plays games that have been highly recommended by friends and trusted critics. He likes to play them for the rich story that they tell. His latest favorites are “Borderlands 2” and “Guild Wars 2.”

“The gameplay is straightforward but fun, and the dialog is extremely entertaining,” Mayerich said. “It’s nice to have a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is obviously aware of — and tries to make fun of — every trope in the genre.”

Aside from gaming, Mayerich likes to fence. He and his wife Liz are both competitive fencers. Liz teaches fencing at the Peoria Fencing Academy. Mayerich fenced for the Texas A&M Intercollegiate Fencing Club and Salle Mauro Fencing Academy in Houston. Mayerich will try to get his ‘A’ rating in fencing once he moves to Houston.

Never one to look back, Mayerich has high hopes for his current field.

“Over the next decade, I think we can make huge strides in this area, especially given the resources that are available in Houston,” Mayerich said. “I’d like to play an important role in making that possible.”

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