From California to TUM

Interview with Tina Dorosti, student in the new Master’s program „Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics“

Tina Dorosti sitting at her desk and working on a laptop.
Tina Dorosti, Student in the new Master‘s program “Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics” (Image: private)
Tina Dorosti sitting at her desk and working on a laptop.
Tina Dorosti, Student in the new Master‘s program “Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics” (Image: private)

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Tina Dorosti holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics from the University of California in Davis and is now among the first students in new Master’s program Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics. In this interview she tells us about her reasons for choosing this particular program and her impressions after having been part of it for several months. The interview was conducted via video conference.


Hi Tina! Where are you now?

I am actually in Munich. I was planning to travel a few months before the program so I got here before everything stopped. I have family in Düsseldorf so I went there originally, and I also went to TUM to meet an advisor at the Physics department. I was thinking about applying for the Applied and Engineering Physics program because this is my background, but he introduced me to the Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics program and got me interested.

Was it a spontaneous idea to apply for the program then?

Not really spontaneous. When I was in high school, I did some volunteering in a university hospital, so I got the experience of the medical side of things. I always thought it would be great to do something in applied physics that would be more directly helping people, so I always had the Medical Physics in the back of my mind. It is a fascinating field and has a great future with all the technologies being developed there. So, I thought – I want to be part of it.

What made you choose Germany and TUM in particular?

There are a lot of factors. One was that I have family in Germany, and it is a new experience being in a different country and experiencing a different culture. And I chose TUM because it is one of the best universities in physics and the technical sciences – it is strong in research and has good ties with companies and industry.

What is your impression of the program?

It is a very in-depth program, and I am learning a lot about the actual applications – like the different modalities of imaging. This is different from my Applied Physics studies that were more theoretical. The great thing about this particular program is that we have a lot of research in different areas – imaging, microscopy, biosensors. I am doing the imaging focus, but if I want to explore microscopy or the computational aspect of things at a later point, I can do so.

I guess you have to study lot of medicine and biology in the program. Have you found this challenging considering your physics background?

I was a bit scared about the medical side, but so far, I realized that most aspects of the program deal with applications of the machinery used in medicine. There is also some biology imbedded in the course work, but it’s just the basics of biology – like how the cell works. So, it hasn’t been so difficult that I don’t have a biology background.  

Your program began in a digital format due to the Corona pandemic. How well does this work for you?

I thought it would be a lot harder. I actually enjoy that it gives a lot of flexibility to us  –  you can watch the prerecorded lectures whenever you want. Also, we can make the videos go faster or slower – these are some things that are not possible in normal lectures. But of course, it has a lot of disadvantages, too: We are not able to physically be in the classroom and the classes that are more hands on – such as lab work – are not happening right now.

Are you in touch with your teachers?

Yes. Teachers have been really amazingly helpful and considerate. They have provided many paths to contact them, and a lot of them also provide live online sessions for the prerecorded lectures, so we can ask questions, which is really helpful. Sometimes it's just easier to explain through talking. Most of the professors also keep asking for feedback and how they can improve the lectures.

Have you met your fellow students?

Some of them yes, as we have to do group work or meet in break-out rooms online. But I haven’t met anyone in person yet. We also aren't that many students as many of us decided to postpone their studies until the winter.

Have you had a chance to explore Munich?

Just a little as I have been studying a lot. But I have been to the English garden and walked around in the nice weather and enjoyed seeing some of the old buildings. Munich is really an amazing city. Hopefully, when everything goes back to normal, I'll have a chance to explore it with my peers.

Are you planning to learn German?

Actually, I did a little because I came to Germany earlier. Before my program started, I attended a few language courses and having family here is good, because I hear the German language more often. I also try to be in contact with the friends I made in the language course, so I don't forget so much.

Media contact

Media relations manager MSB
Dr. Paul Piwnicki
Email: paul.piwnicki(at)tum.de

Scientific Contact

Prof. Dr. Julia Herzen
Biomedical Imaging Physics
Physics department
Technical University of Munich
Phone +49 89 289-14532
Email: Julia.Herzen(at)tum.de

More Information

This semester, the MSB Seminar will take place online (Zoom). Please register via email (paul.piwnicki@tum.de / julia.knuerr@tum.de) and we are happy to provide the access data.