personal photo David Wheland
PhD Candidate, Electrical Engineering (Signal Processing)

Office: Ronald Tutor Hall 317
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089

E-mail: my_last_name at

I am an electrical engineering Ph.D. candidate in the Biomedical Imaging Group at the University of Southern California, where I work with Prof. Richard Leahy. My research focuses on the signal processing of brain signals for functional connectivity and the analysis of cortical brain structure (folding patterns). I also have an interest in finance and entrepreneurship that has lead me to take courses on these topics and pursue related personal projects.



University of Southern California
Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Dec. 2013 (expected) GPA: 3.73/4.0

University of Southern California
M.Sc. in Mathematical Finance (7 of 10 courses)
GPA: 3.82/4.0

University of California, Santa Barbara
B.Sc. in Computer Engineering, June 2006
GPA: 3.77/4.0
Certificate in Technology Entrepreneurship



Connectivity analysis of functional brain time series

Cortical folding pattern analysis



Signal processing: spectral and time series analysis

Levelset methods for segmentation

Probability theory, statistics, and random processes

Graphical modelling

Stochastic calculus

Monte Carlo methods

Investment portfolio analysis, management, and hedging

Pattern recognition

Blind source separation and independent component analysis

Computer programming: C++, C#, Matlab, Java

Data structures and related algorithms



EE 301: Linear Systems (three times)

EE 101: Introduction to Digital Logic (two times)



Personal project
Automated stock screening and trading system, Jan. 2010–Jan. 2011
  • Identified probable after-hours market inefficiencies resulting from news events
  • Wrote program in C# to automate calculation of stock features for pattern classifier and day trading of stocks (with the exception of closing positions) based on classifier output
  • Realized ~33% annual return day trading stocks (~6 billion average market cap) on personal investment in 1 year trial period
University of California, Santa Barbara
Capstone project leader, Sep. 2005–June 2006
  • Large, extended project of a group's choosing to apply and integrate knowledge from their courses
  • Led a group of five in designing and programming a printed circuit board for controlling a motorized camera mount to track moving objects on a budget of ~$500
  • Programmed the circuit board's ARM processor and complex programmable logic device (CPLD) to track movement and interface between mount motors and camera (a mix of C and Assembly languages)
Personal project
Achieved rank of "Competent Toastmaster" from public speaking organization Toastmasters International, May 2006



In preparation: Wheland, D., Joshi, A. A., Ashrafulla, S., Leahy, R. M., 2013. Robust computation of sparse functional connectivity.

In preparation: Wheland, D., Joshi, A. A., Haldar, J. P., ... , Leahy, R. M., 2013. Computing Partial Correlations with PC*.

Submitted: Wheland, D., Pantazis, D., 2013. Second order blind identification on the cerebral cortex.

Wheland, D., Joshi, A. A., ... , Thompson, P., Shattuck, D. W., Leahy, R. M., 2012. Robust identification of partial-correlation based networks with applications to cortical thickness data. Proc IEEE ISBI 2012.

Wheland, D., Pantazis, D., Leahy, R. M., 2011. Structural analysis of the cerebral cortex using blind source separation. 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging.