Researchers Finding Rewarding Careers As Software Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs When Steve Sands was studying for his Ph.D. in neuroscience in the late 1970s, he planned to write his doctoral thesis on experiments matching brain function with behavior. However, a lack of good software or computerized methods for correlating brain activity with behavior eventually forced Sands to drop his idea. "I ended up doing a thesis on animal behavior [alone] rather than the neuroscience project I really wanted to do," he recalls. Like many scientists who are frustrated

Lee Katterman
Jul 7, 1996

Entrepreneurs When Steve Sands was studying for his Ph.D. in neuroscience in the late 1970s, he planned to write his doctoral thesis on experiments matching brain function with behavior. However, a lack of good software or computerized methods for correlating brain activity with behavior eventually forced Sands to drop his idea. "I ended up doing a thesis on animal behavior [alone] rather than the neuroscience project I really wanted to do," he recalls.

Like many scientists who are frustrated by the lack of available software tools to aid in specific experiments, Sands took up programming while he was working on the psychology department faculty at the University of Texas, El Paso. And like a number of these computer-savvy researchers, Sands eventually was able to parlay this experience into a new career: He wrote a pair of software programs tailored to neuroscience research that he took to market.

Today, he is...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?